Postmortem Pink Teeth

    Volume 22, Issue 1 (January 1977)

    ISSN: 0022-1198

    CODEN: JFSOAD

    Published Online: 1 January 1977

    Page Count: 13


    Snow, CC
    Chief, Pathology Research Unit, Aviation Toxicology Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Okla.

    Andrews, EE
    Chairman and associate professor of maxillofacial prosthetics, College of Dentistry, University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, Okla.

    Snyder, L
    Chief, Pathology Research Unit, Aviation Toxicology Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Okla.

    Grape, PM
    Chief, Pathology Research Unit, Aviation Toxicology Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Okla.

    Kirkham, WR
    Chief, Pathology Research Unit, Aviation Toxicology Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Okla.

    (Received 14 May 1976; accepted 28 June 1976)

    Abstract

    The observation, in 1953, of pink-colored teeth in the exhumed body of a victim in the Christie murders appears to have been the first report of this postmortem phenomenon in recent times [1]. In reporting this and four other cases, Miles and Fearnhead [2] suggested that the pinkness is a natural postmortem phenomenon caused by the seepage into the dentinal tubules of a fluid containing hemoglobin or its degradation products derived from decomposition or liquefaction of the tooth pulp. Beeley and Harvey [3] further reviewed the occurrence of this phenomenon and recorded additional cases in five humans and one dog. Their studies on the red gelatinous material in the pulp chambers of pink teeth gave spectrophotometric evidence for the presence of hemoglobin or other heme compounds. Isoelectric focusing confirmed the identification of the material as hemoglobin or derivatives of hemoglobin.


    Paper ID: JFS10375J

    DOI: 10.1520/JFS10375J

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    Author
    Title Postmortem Pink Teeth
    Symposium , 0000-00-00
    Committee E30