10:15pm Sunday 15 December 2019

Did Hitler’s Bad Breath Contribute To His Downfall?

And the UK’s leading oral health charity campaigners have called on the UK public to maintain a healthier dental routine following a German study of the Fuhrer’s dental records.

In her Dentist of the Devil doctorate, German dentist Menevese Deprem–Hennen outlines how Hitler was plagued by severe halitosis (bad breath), gum disease and tooth decay.

Hitler’s bad breath may well have been related to his gum disease and tooth decay. The National Dental Helpline (0845 063 1188), the UK’s leading independent oral health information service, has dealt with numerous enquiries concerning bad breath, one of the main symptoms of poor oral hygiene.

Foundation chief executive Dr. Nigel Carter BDS LDS (RCS) said: “Persistent bad breath is usually caused by gases released by the bacteria that coat your teeth and gums and back of the tongue.

“Correct and regular brushing can help keep your breath fresh. It is important to ensure that plaque is removed from around the gum margins by regular brushing and from between the teeth by using interdental brushes or dental floss daily. You can also use a tongue scraper or brush to remove bacteria from the back of the tongue. ”

Mouthwashes with antibacterial agents can also help eliminate bad breath but it is important these are not just used to mask an underlying problem.

Dr. Carter added: “Poor oral hygiene can lead to gingivitis, which can progress to gum disease. Subsequent recession of the gum and bone, and eventually tooth loss, can also occur if not stabilised. It is very often the bacteria in these gum pockets that leads to persistent bad breath.”

Hitler’s dental records revealed that his lack of good oral care led to unhealthy teeth, and the removal of a molar tooth following periodontal problems. His health also suffered through eating very badly, a poor diet compounding his oral health problems.

The Foundation has urged the UK public to maintain a healthier example in their diet in order to improve their oral health by cutting down on the frequency of sugary foods and drinks.

Despite the Fuhrer’s alleged sensitivity to pain, Deprem–Hennen also details how Hitler was treated eight times for root canal work by his own private dental practitioner, and was also plagued by a likely dental phobia.

The Foundation emphasised its own key oral health message to the public to maintain regular dental visits as often as recommended, to help avoid serious oral health problems.


Editors Notes

For further advice about dental concerns and oral health issues, please contact the National Dental Helpline on (0845 063 1188) or visit www.dentalhelpline.org. The Helpline offers free and independent expert advice from oral health educators on many oral health issues.

A series of free ‘Tell Me About…’ leaflets, covering topics such as diet, bad breath, gum disease and dental decay, are also available.

For further information, please contact the British Dental Health Foundation’s press office on 01788 539792, or by emailing pr@dentalhealth.org.

The Foundation is an independent charity dedicated to improving the public’s oral health practice. It raises awareness of key issues such as mouth cancer through its annual Mouth Cancer Action Month campaign each November.

In alliance with its global arm, the International Dental Health Foundation, it also runs the educational National Smile Month campaign between May and June.

The Foundation provides free, impartial dental advice to inform and influence the public, the profession and the Government. The Foundation’s website can be found at www.dentalhealth.org

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