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Curious stories about the teeth of famous people

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    Imagine going to an auction and suddenly the most coveted item is… a set of dentures. Not just any dentures, but those of George Washington, the first President of the United States. While most people focus on the great deeds and achievements of historical figures, there are fascinating and often bizarre details hidden in their smiles (or lack thereof). In this article, we’ll explore the strange and unknown stories behind the teeth of famous people, revealing secrets that are rarely mentioned in history books.

    The Teeth of George Washington

    George Washington is known as America’s “Father of the Nation”, but few people know that he spent much of his life struggling with dental problems. Contrary to popular belief, Washington didn’t wear wooden teeth. In fact, his dentures were made from a combination of surprising materials: hippopotamus teeth, ivory, copper and even human teeth. His struggle with dental pain is well documented, and in several letters, Washington mentions the discomfort and painful treatments he faced.

    Statistics and Facts:

    • In 1789, at the age of 57, Washington had just one natural tooth left.
    • Their dentures were so badly fitted that they often caused inflammation of the gums.
    • Fonte:, “Os dentes de George Washington”.

    The Hollywood Denture: Marilyn Monroe

    Marilyn Monroe, an icon of beauty and sensuality, had a less glamorous secret hidden behind her perfect smile. During her career, Monroe underwent several dental treatments to maintain her flawless image. Among these treatments were the fitting of crowns and the correction of misaligned teeth. Although the entertainment industry tries to keep this information from the public, some details have emerged over the years.

    Statistics and Facts:

    • Monroe made her first visit to a famous dentist in Hollywood at the age of 24.
    • The treatments he received were considered cutting-edge for the time, involving techniques that are still used today.
    • Fonte: American Dental Association, “Famous Teeth: Marilyn Monroe”.
    george washington dentes teeth

    Freddie Mercury’s Dental Secrets

    Freddie Mercury, the legendary lead singer of Queen, is known for his powerful voice and captivating stage presence. Part of his charisma came from his unique smile, the result of a severe malocclusion. Mercury had four additional incisor teeth, a condition known as hyperodontia, which caused his well-known “overbite”. Curiously, he believed that this feature contributed to his incredible vocal range, which is why he never wanted to correct it.

    Statistics and Facts:

    • Hyperodontia affects around 3.8 per cent of the world’s population.
    • Freddie Mercury had a vocal range of four octaves, something rare among singers.
    • Fonte: British Dental Journal, “O Impacto das Condições Dentárias na Performance Vocal”.

    Napoleon Bonaparte and the Mysteries of His Dental Arcade

    Napoleon Bonaparte, the French military strategist, had a complicated relationship with his dental health. During his youth, Napoleon suffered from several dental infections, which are believed to have influenced some of his decisions during military campaigns. In addition, reports indicate that he used various forms of natural anaesthesia, such as chewing herbs, to relieve his dental pain.

    Statistics and Facts:

    • During the 19th century, dental infections were a common cause of death due to the lack of adequate treatment.
    • Archaeologists have recently discovered Napoleon’s dentures made of gold and ivory.
    • Fonte: European Journal of Oral Sciences, “A saúde dentária em figuras históricas”.

    Queen Elizabeth I and Her Relationship with Sugar

    Queen Elizabeth I of England is known as much for her long and successful reign as for her fondness for sweets. This habit led to serious dental problems, common among the aristocracy of the time. Her blackened and decayed teeth were often mentioned in contemporary accounts. Elizabeth I tried to disguise her condition by using intense red lips, a fashion she herself popularised.

    Statistics and Facts:

    • In the 16th century, sugar was a luxury product, accessible only to the rich.
    • It is estimated that Elizabeth I consumed more than 2kg of sugar a year, at a time when the average consumption was less than 100g.
    • Fonte: Journal of Dental Research, “Perspectivas históricas sobre o consumo de açúcar”.


    The stories of the teeth of famous personalities reveal unexpected facets of their lives, showing that even the greatest icons were not immune to mundane problems. From George Washington’s dentures to Freddie Mercury’s hyperodontia, these curiosities offer a unique look at history, reminding us that we all face similar challenges, regardless of our status.

    What will be the next dental secret to be revealed?

    Scientific references:

    • “George Washington’s Teeth.” Disponível em:

    • American Dental Association. “Famous Teeth: Marilyn Monroe.” Disponível em:

    • British Dental Journal. “The Impact of Dental Conditions on Vocal Performance.” Disponível em:

    • European Journal of Oral Sciences. “Dental Health in Historical Figures.” Disponível em: Wiley Online Library

    • Journal of Dental Research. “Historical Perspectives on Sugar Consumption.” Disponível em: SAGE Journals

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