W.H. Atkinson, a dentist from the 19th century, described an odd condition where the teeth exploded in patient’s mouths. In 1817 he penned the case of a member of the clergy who had a terrible toothache.
On a fine morning, the reverend felt pain in his tooth that resulted in a loud crack that sounded like a gunshot. His tooth had shattered into pieces relieving him of all the pain.
In another case, a girl had a similar experience. The “explosion” in her mouth was so loud that the poor girl lost her hearing for a couple of days.
Doctors are not sure whether the condition really exists; however, they are of the opinion that the gas buildup in the teeth root as a result of long-term tooth decay can cause the teeth to explode.
Another theory suggests that the teeth can explode when different metals are used for filling. The metals react to each other causing the production of hydrogen.
Dentists of today don’t believe in these theories. The question is did Atkinson treat anyone with an exploded tooth or was it a trick to make his patients floss more? No one knows for sure.