If Manius Curius Dentatus Really Was Born With Teeth, He’s Not The Only One

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If Manius Curius Dentatus Really Was Born With Teeth, He’s Not The Only One In Sydney At Pitt St Dental Centre
Babies being born with teeth must be an indicator that life is moving on eh? Evolution and progress is fast tracking us. “Gallop apace my fiery steed.” I am in such a hurry that I am ready for a Big Mac as soon as I pop out of mommy. If Manius Curius Dentatus really was born with teeth, he’s not the only one.

Who was Manius Curius Dentatus? It sounds like a name out of Monty Python’s Flying Circus, yes? He was, however, in fact an ancient Roman consul who died in 270 BCE. Those old Romans were tough individuals, nothing like the effeminate Greeks and Persians. We might imagine them chewing on old leather straps as infants and gutting animals for fun in the sun. The ancient historian Pliny tells us that Manius Curius was born with teeth and thus got the nickname Dentatus.

“While most infants get their first teeth months after birth, some babies are born with one or more teeth. These are called natal teeth. Natal teeth are relatively rare, occurring in about 1 out of every 2,000 births.”

Natal Teeth: Manius Curius Dentatus Was Not Alone

As all those folk who have had babies know you want your baby to be largely like most other babies in terms of fingers and toes. Therefore, a few prominent teeth in your baby’s smile can be a mite disconcerting. However, no need to worry because a couple of natal teeth are not the end of the world or a highway to the circus freak show. You can blame it on your relations, as the prevalence of natal teeth are greatly increased via someone in your family having had them. On the gender score it is more likely that girl babies will have them than boy babies. I always knew those women folk were ahead of the game. Curious folk will always want to stick their nose in when it comes to birth anomalies and such stuff.

I suppose the important factors are whether Manius’ early natal teeth had any great impact upon the life that followed. Did his military and political success flow on from a particularly toothy smile at rallies and meetings? Did he kiss his fair share of babies at political gatherings? Was Manius’ success as Roman Consul (like an elected king or war lord) down to his ferocious bite in battle? Did he really like to get his teeth into things from an unnaturally early age?

“Dentatus is described as having been incorruptible and frugal; the story was that when the Samnites sent ambassadors with expensive gifts in an attempt to influence him in their favour, they found him sitting by the hearth roasting turnips. He refused the gifts, saying that he preferred ruling the possessors of gold over possessing it himself. Although the truth of this story is unclear — it may have been an invention of Cato “

Eating roasted turnips is code for a man of the ordinary citizen. Turnips have been the fare of the working poor down through the pages of history. Cato himself was the epitome of the self-made man who claims to have risen via the efforts of pulling himself up by his own bootstraps or hobnailed sandal straps in this instance. This has become one of the great archetypal myths of the conservative right. There is indeed a Cato Institute in America, where wealthy right wing billionaires pat each other on the back for achieving success the hard way. Of course, in many cases this is complete BS, as these chaps were handed everything via the silver spoon daddy put in their mouth at birth. Whether that spoon met a few natal teeth is another matter altogether. Donald J Trump is the perfect example of this American mythologising for political gain and fame. Fred Trump was a very wealthy property developer in New York and Donald inherited his wealth from his father.

The Natal Teeth Low Down

If Manius Curius Dentatus Really Was Born With Teeth Hes Not The Only One In Sydney At Pitt St Dental Centre
“Natal teeth are uncommon. They most often develop on the lower gum, where the central incisor teeth will appear. They have little root structure. They are attached to the end of the gum by soft tissue and are often wobbly.
Natal teeth are usually not well-formed, but they may cause irritation and injury to the infant’s tongue when nursing. Natal teeth may also be uncomfortable for a nursing mother. Natal teeth are often removed shortly after birth while the newborn infant is still in the hospital. This is done very often if the tooth is loose and the child runs a risk of “breathing in” the tooth.”
Mount Sinai

Teeth Mark The Stages Of Human Life

Teeth are the great markers in the lives of us humans. We can plot our journey via the coming and going of our teeth. Baby teeth give way to adult teeth and we even get our third molars, which are also called wisdom teeth. Eventually we lose all of our teeth and return to that gummy state of babies. Excepting those rare bubs who are graced with natal teeth, of course. Our teeth have deep roots in our lives, both anatomically inside our mouth and jaws and psychologically. Dreams about teeth are common, especially that one where all your teeth fall out. Teeth represent our ability to bite into life and all those who have lost their teeth know how bereft that can make one feel. Of course, we humans adjust to whatever life throws at us, including the decay and demise of our teeth. The famous Hollywood actress Bette Davis memorably said, “old age aint for sissies.” Getting old can knock you around for a bit and not being able to bite into a beef steak anymore can make one maudlin at times.

To Thee Manius Curius Dentatus: Toothy!

Manius Curius Dentatus was initially famous for his early teeth. He was marked out by this physical anomaly and got given a nickname on this basis. He has become forever memorialised in the halls of dentistry. A Roman consul who roasted turnips for tea and knocked back a bribe from the Samnites. Old Toothed was not for turning or taking a generous backhander. He was steadfast and remembered for it. Teeth are hard little buggers and grind away at things. Perhaps, Dentatus was the epitome of teeth. His character epitomised the unyielding nature of the tooth.

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