Charlize Theron, quoted in The Sun last week, following the premiere of her latest film:
My early childhood was quite devastating. I had no teeth until I was 11.
I had these fangs because I had jaundice when I was a kid and I was put on so many antibiotics that my teeth rotted. They had to cut them out.
At first glance, that may seem a surprising explanation, but tooth damage is actually a fairly common outcome from excessive use of broad-spectrum antibiotics, especially during a child’s first years, when the teeth are still developing.
Dr. Verigin writes,
Up to the early 1980s, I saw a lot of altered enamel on teeth. The cause was the routine use of an antibiotic – Streptomycin, I think it was (I’m not 100% sure) – for treating high fever in one-year-olds. It would soften and discolor the teeth, turning them a sort of brown-orange color. The teeth would become breakable.
The affected teeth were always those that calcify around the age of one – first molars and incisors. Taking the antibiotics at later ages would cause all the teeth to be affected.
Jaundice or toothlessness? Quite a tradeoff!