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How monarchs of different times treated teeth, and why Ivan the Terrible did without dentists
How monarchs of different times treated teeth, and why Ivan the Terrible did without dentists

In history lessons, you learn a lot about where and when the troops of different states went to fight. And there is little about what is usually more interesting for children: how people lived, what they ate exactly, how they coped with everyday difficulties. For example, what did all these kings and queens do when they had toothache? Fortunately, adults can learn the details without textbooks. At least about the royal teeth.

The pharaohs already had dentists

It is known that in Ancient Egypt there were people who specifically dealt with teeth, including royal ones. Oddly enough, these were, it seems, not priests, but engineers. One of the famous royal dentists, for example, was also an architect. The dentists of Ancient Egypt knew little - to put a filling, pull out teeth and install a posthumous (so that the gods would not be ashamed) prosthesis. By the way, one of the most famous rulers of the country, Hatshepsut, died from a torn tooth. Pulling out a tooth, the dentist damaged her capsule with pus at the base of the root, and the queen died of blood poisoning.

A more gentle method of tooth extraction was developed by the ancient Roman physician Aulus Cornelius Celsus, who lived much later than Hatshepsut - in the first century AD. He first flooded the carious area with lead, killing the nerve. Then he cut the gum and gently loosened the tooth. Only then did he pull with forceps. Not everyone could pull out the tooth completely before it, and this was important - the pieces of the tooth left in the gum and jaw could lead to the same outcome as in Hatshepsut.

Of the imperial personal dentists in ancient Rome, Archigenes is most famous. The first in the written history of Europe, he drilled a tooth cavity for his treatment. There was no drill, so Arhigen ordered the blacksmith a cylinder with a lower edge-blade and a comfortable handle - a trepan. The trepan had to be rotated manually. The same technique was used in other places in the Stone Age, only they drilled with an onion drill, exactly the same as the one used to drill the teeth of animals for a necklace.

The alleged appearance of Queen Hatshepsut

The stinkiest king of France

On the Russian Internet, they like to quote the memoirs of foreign ambassadors about the stench from King Louis XIV of France (the one who is called the "Sun King"). The first thought when reading about the smell coming from him is that he probably did not take care of hygiene. However, the French historian Louis Bertrand, at the beginning of the twentieth century, noticed that in the famous portrait of Louis, judging by the characteristic folds on the cheeks, all the teeth are missing. Fully Bertrand opened the archives, and learned that the personal physician of the king, Antoine d'Aquin, persuaded Louis to rip out all his teeth, explaining that an infection was spreading from them through the body, and convincing that such concern for health would serve the prestige of the king. Louis replied that he was even ready to die for the sake of prestige. After that, he had to endure terrible torture.

D'Aquin clearly did not know about the method of extracting teeth from Celsus, besides, it is not so easy to remove healthy teeth from their places as sick ones. As a result, pulling out tooth by tooth, the doctor broke the king's lower jaw and pulled out a piece of bone with soft tissues from the palate, making a large opening for the king from the mouth to the nasal cavity. “It's okay, Your Majesty, the main thing is to burn it with a hot iron,” the doctor consoled and did so.

Only now food was stuck in the king's sinuses and rotted for several days. Due to the lack of teeth, he also developed serious stomach problems.Of course, he was served very soft food, but by chewing, a person also performs primary fermentation by processing food with saliva. The king was forced to simply swallow, wiping the soup flowing from his nose from time to time. In general, the smell from him was really disgusting, but untidiness had nothing to do with it.

The Sun King had to endure a lot of troubles due to current medicine

By the way, about the oval of the face and dental care. At the court of the French king Louis XI centuries earlier, ladies basically ate only liquid food, because they believed that wrinkles in people are formed from chewing. As a result of the lack of load on the gums, their conditional massage with the work of the jaws, the condition of the gums worsened, the teeth began to loosen and fall out. In general, in the end, the ladies tied one with the other and the new generations have already bequeathed themselves not to limit themselves to soups.

The fate of Louis was almost repeated in her youth by the Russian Empress Catherine II. Once, when the entire courtyard was driving from Petersburg to Moscow, following Empress Elizabeth, Catherine's toothache was terribly sick from the wind. Before that, for several months he sometimes tormented her with bouts of pain, and in Tsarskoye Selo, during a stop, she began to beg the doctor to remove him. At first the doctor refused for a long time, but eventually succumbed.

Catherine was put on the floor - this is how patients sat during the procedures in the eighteenth century, they hugged her so that she would not twitch after the forceps, and the doctor began to pull out the tooth. It turned out to be a long and difficult process. Finally, the tooth came out, and at that moment the future empress poured blood from her mouth, and tears spilled from her eyes - it hurt so much. The doctor showed her that he had pulled out a piece of gum with a tooth - he was afraid of such a complication when examining a woman's teeth. Fortunately, in general, Catherine's palate did not suffer, remaining solid.

Portrait by Alexey Antropov

Queen Elizabeth Toothless

The English ruler Elizabeth I was famous for her beauty in her youth. But, in addition to beauty, she had a terrible love for sweets. Every day, the chefs prepared a variety of sweet desserts based on gelatin, sugar and egg white especially for the Queen. Any suitable nuts, fruits and seeds were added to these ingredients. Elizabeth threw them into her mouth all day - and, moreover, unlike her contemporary Ivan the Terrible, she did not like to brush her teeth. It is believed that from her youth she had sensitive thin enamel, so the treatment procedures were unpleasant for her. It is easy to guess that the bacteria that multiplied on the excess of sweets in her mouth very quickly destroyed the enamel even more, and by the age of thirty, literally all of the queen's teeth were seriously affected by caries.

For some time, the queen, during official receptions, put a strip of white thin cambric in front of her teeth to imitate a healthy smile. But she lost not only enamel, but also the teeth themselves (not only because of the sweet, but also because of the toxicity of the lead whitewash, which she loved so much). Soon, so that her face did not look aged due to the lack of teeth, she began to wear pads in her mouth. She began to speak rarely and as measuredly as possible, more concisely and more weighty, so as not to waste words, pouring the smell from her mouth over her interlocutor. In addition, due to the lack of teeth, her speech, as soon as she accelerated a little, ceased to be understandable.

Anita Dobson as Queen in Armada

In the end, the queen was advised to rinse with a decoction of oak and a protective coating of the teeth, probably with a special varnish. These protective measures were known, but unpopular - from rinsing the teeth became a vigorous brown color, and the varnish was black. But it was better to have intentionally blackened, uniform teeth than dark, mottled and unhealthy-looking teeth. After the queen, almost all the ladies began to blacken their teeth. True, the queen herself, blackening and rinsing did not help much - they had to be used at the very beginning of problems with enamel. She gradually developed problems in her mouth and throat, due to which she was greatly distressed and suffocated.

By the way, about Ivan the Terrible - most of his milk teeth were replaced very late.Nobody knows the reason for this phenomenon. But it is certain that he did not need the services of dentists. He was very afraid of diseases of the oral cavity and diligently rinsed and cleaned his teeth after simple dinners and bizarre drinking. When treating the teeth of other tsars, a special person was always present, supervising so that the priest would not be poisoned, taking advantage of the fact that his mouth was defenselessly open.

How the first Russian Tsar Ivan the Terrible feasted, and Why the Tatars cooked meat, the story is perhaps more interesting than his teeth. Certainly more appetizing!

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