Dental Tips Blog

Dec
31

Black Teeth and Other Bizarre Dental Trends

Check out a few of these once-popular dental trends that astound, impress, and horrify us today.

Tooth Blackening

At one time, black teeth (ohaguro) were considered a mark of beauty in Japan. This was especially so when they contrasted with the white makeup of a geisha. The practice was believed to have strengthened teeth.

Egyptian Bridgework

This archaeological find isn’t so much bizarre as it is innovative. The early Egyptians apparently had a technique for bracing false teeth over a gap in the gums using gold or silver wire.

What isn’t entirely know is whether this extensive bridgework (which looks like it could have been painful) was performed on living patients or dead ones. It’s possible they only placed a dental bridge on a dead body to make it look good in preparation for burial.

Mayan Tooth Bling

The Mayans had some pretty advanced cosmetic dentistry. Mixing a resin with crushed bone, they would bind gems to carefully carved holes in teeth. They’d get creative with all kinds of precious stones and metals.

Analyzing those teeth today reveals that the Mayans knew a thing or two about tooth anatomy – their restorations usually stayed well away from the nerve inside of the tooth.

Tooth Sharpening

Teeth have been sharpened in countries all over Africa, South America, South East Asia, and the South Pacific. Cultural reasons for doing so include:

  • Class distinction
  • Religion
  • Gender distinction
  • Superstition
  • To look like sharks (that is an actual reason)

Thankfully, today’s cosmetic dental procedures are far safer, kinder to teeth, and more hygienic. There is plenty of room for self-expression within the bounds of safe cosmetic dentistry. Ask your dentist about treatment options for whitening, straightening, and otherwise enhancing your teeth to fit the modern ideal of health.

Posted on behalf of:
Precision Digital Dentistry
674 US-202/206
Suite 7
Bridgewater, NJ 08807
(908) 955-6999

Most Popular

Tori, Exostosis, and Extra Bone Formation in the Mouth

A fairly common occurrence in the mouth is the existence of extra bone development along the outside or inside of the jawline near the teeth, or in the roof of…

Difference Between Conscious and Unconscious Sedation

Sedation dentistry is a wonderful option for many people who would not or cannot tolerate dentistry in a traditional dental setting.   Many people have a fear of visiting the dentist,…

Lingual Frenectomy versus Lingual Frenuloplasty

Lingual frenectomy and lingual frenuloplasty are both dental procedures used to correct a condition called ankyloglossia. Ankylogloassia, more commonly known as ‘tied tongue’, is an abnormality of the lingual frenulum….