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RE: Dentistry in War of 1812

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  • Ray Hobbs
    Hi Jim: Try this document for some good info on the (US) history of military dentistry. Nice section on W1812. Ray
    Message 1 of 5 , Apr 23, 2010
      Hi Jim:
      Try this document for some good info on the (US) history of military dentistry. Nice section on W1812.
      Ray

      www.bordeninstitute.army.mil/other_pub/dental/DCchapter01.pdf

      To: WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com
      From: yawors1@...
      Date: Fri, 23 Apr 2010 14:54:54 +0000
      Subject: Dentistry in War of 1812




























      We all know the requirement that infantrymen have at least one tooth on each gum in an opposing position so as to be able to tear a cartridge properly. A story that is always a "hit" when told to members of the general public!



      However, has there been any serious work done on dentistry aspects of military service at this time period?



      What sort of havoc on one's tooth enamel and gums would the military diet wreak? How many teeth were lost to scurvy or other poor dietary conditions? How many soldiers were discharged when they lost too many teeth: was this a category of "worn out"?



      Which cost more teeth lost: dental problems or bar-room fights etc?



      Were the regimental surgeon and assistant surgeon(s) expected to look after dental problems? Or was the regimental barber(s) called in? Or was it up to a sufferer to locate someone on a less official basis (civilian barber? local blacksmith? etc.) to assist?



      How prevalent were wooden or other types of dentures in the ranks etc? We've seen Fredrickson's dental problems highlighted in the Sharpe books: is this b.s., or based on actual reality?



      Or, was the usual diet of the infantryman in this period not as likely as the modern sugar-saturated diet to cause dental problems?



      Just curious...



      Jim Yaworsky

      41st.



















      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • petemonahan
      On a related note, I was viewing a site - which I can t find now- aboutan archaeological dig in the UK. One of the finds was a skull with the corners of 4
      Message 2 of 5 , Apr 23, 2010
        On a related note, I was viewing a site - which I can't find now- aboutan archaeological dig in the UK. One of the finds was a skull with the corners of 4 teeth [2 top, 2 bottom] completely worn away, leaving a hole a centimeter or more across. This was apparently the result of years of clenching a clay pipe in his/her teeth.

        It was also the case, apparently, that tailors had grooves worn in their teeth from biting through thread as they sewed. I suspect that less sugar in the typical diet may have tended to make for fewer decayed teeth, but perhaps not enough to outweigh the lack of oral hygiene. Mark?

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        > We all know the requirement that infantrymen have at least one tooth on each gum in an opposing position so as to be able to tear a cartridge properly. A story that is always a "hit" when told to members of the general public!
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        > However, has there been any serious work done on dentistry aspects of military service at this time period?
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        > What sort of havoc on one's tooth enamel and gums would the military diet wreak? How many teeth were lost to scurvy or other poor dietary conditions? How many soldiers were discharged when they lost too many teeth: was this a category of "worn out"?
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        > Which cost more teeth lost: dental problems or bar-room fights etc?
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        > Were the regimental surgeon and assistant surgeon(s) expected to look after dental problems? Or was the regimental barber(s) called in? Or was it up to a sufferer to locate someone on a less official basis (civilian barber? local blacksmith? etc.) to assist?
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        > How prevalent were wooden or other types of dentures in the ranks etc? We've seen Fredrickson's dental problems highlighted in the Sharpe books: is this b.s., or based on actual reality?
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        > Or, was the usual diet of the infantryman in this period not as likely as the modern sugar-saturated diet to cause dental problems?
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        > Just curious...
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        > Jim Yaworsky
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        > 41st.
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      • Victor Suthren
        I hope the group will allow a short digression from the theme of dentistry in 1812. In 1967 I sailed before the mast for some months as a seaman in the
        Message 3 of 5 , Apr 23, 2010
          I hope the group will allow a short digression from the theme of dentistry in 1812. In 1967 I sailed 'before the mast' for some months as a seaman in the Canadian schooner replica "Bluenose II" on Canada's East Coast. The captain and crew were otherwise former hands of the "Bounty" replica from the Marlon Brando 1962 version of the film. They crewed the ship 1961-1964 and were present in Tahiti for 13 months(!) during the filming. They related over messdeck rum a few stories (Brando was a swine, Trevor Howard a fine man, etc.) how the delightful dance sequence at which Christian (Brando) meets Maimiti (Tarita) was staged only after Tarita and the principal dancers of the sequence, female and male, were fitted with false teeth by MGM at considerable cost, toothlessness being very prevalent among Tahitians of even younger ages due to an introduced Western diet. In subsequent years the French health system has helped rectify this problem, returning Tahitians' dental health to something more acceptable, if not the pristine state at the time of European discovery. What the teeth (and breath) of the men of the first 'Bounty' in 1789 were like, I shudder to think. But now back to 1812....

          Vic Suthren
          Naval Establishments

          ----- Original Message -----
          From: James Yaworsky
          To: WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Friday, April 23, 2010 10:54 AM
          Subject: Dentistry in War of 1812



          We all know the requirement that infantrymen have at least one tooth on each gum in an opposing position so as to be able to tear a cartridge properly. A story that is always a "hit" when told to members of the general public!

          However, has there been any serious work done on dentistry aspects of military service at this time period?

          What sort of havoc on one's tooth enamel and gums would the military diet wreak? How many teeth were lost to scurvy or other poor dietary conditions? How many soldiers were discharged when they lost too many teeth: was this a category of "worn out"?

          Which cost more teeth lost: dental problems or bar-room fights etc?

          Were the regimental surgeon and assistant surgeon(s) expected to look after dental problems? Or was the regimental barber(s) called in? Or was it up to a sufferer to locate someone on a less official basis (civilian barber? local blacksmith? etc.) to assist?

          How prevalent were wooden or other types of dentures in the ranks etc? We've seen Fredrickson's dental problems highlighted in the Sharpe books: is this b.s., or based on actual reality?

          Or, was the usual diet of the infantryman in this period not as likely as the modern sugar-saturated diet to cause dental problems?

          Just curious...

          Jim Yaworsky
          41st.





          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Tom Hurlbut
          Hello Commodore Hmm.. Sorta makes you think on the concept of Tropical Paradise don t it? Commander Tom _____ From: WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com
          Message 4 of 5 , Apr 23, 2010
            Hello Commodore



            Hmm..



            Sorta makes you think on the concept of "Tropical Paradise" don't it?



            "Commander" Tom



            _____

            From: WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com [mailto:WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
            Of Victor Suthren
            Sent: April 23, 2010 1:58 PM
            To: WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: Re: Dentistry in War of 1812





            I hope the group will allow a short digression from the theme of dentistry
            in 1812. In 1967 I sailed 'before the mast' for some months as a seaman in
            the Canadian schooner replica "Bluenose II" on Canada's East Coast. The
            captain and crew were otherwise former hands of the "Bounty" replica from
            the Marlon Brando 1962 version of the film. They crewed the ship 1961-1964
            and were present in Tahiti for 13 months(!) during the filming. They related
            over messdeck rum a few stories (Brando was a swine, Trevor Howard a fine
            man, etc.) how the delightful dance sequence at which Christian (Brando)
            meets Maimiti (Tarita) was staged only after Tarita and the principal
            dancers of the sequence, female and male, were fitted with false teeth by
            MGM at considerable cost, toothlessness being very prevalent among Tahitians
            of even younger ages due to an introduced Western diet. In subsequent years
            the French health system has helped rectify this problem, returning
            Tahitians' dental health to something more acceptable, if not the pristine
            state at the time of European discovery. What the teeth (and breath) of the
            men of the first 'Bounty' in 1789 were like, I shudder to think. But now
            back to 1812....

            Vic Suthren
            Naval Establishments





            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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