Louis XIV suffered greatly from poor dental hygiene, which caused him to have many teeth pulled. So much so that he ended his life with a hole in the palate!

Very acute toothaches

Throughout his life, doctors and dentists accompanied him and tried to treat his many pathologies. The doctors responsible for preserving the king’s health kept a daily register throughout his reign. This Journal of the King’s health between 1647 and 1711 indicates all the indispositions, the serious illnesses of which he was a victim – including the operation, on November 18, 1686, of his anal fistula. The king had a “court teeth operator“, a person who pulled his teeth on demand. In April 1676, the king complained of very acute toothaches. To relieve it, the doctor uses the essence of chanterelle and thyme. A purgative so strong that it often burns his mouth…

louis XIV bad teeth

A foul breath

Some time later, in 1677, the king was again affected by these same pains, finding his right cheek and his gums particularly swollen. His doctor notices that an abscess has formed and has begun to fester. But, Charles Boisguérin made a huge mistake one day. By pulling out several painful teeth, he completely ripped through the palate of Louis XIV. The wound remained open and was not treated, so a fistula appeared. Concretely, his nose communicated with his mouth and what he swallowed therefore came out through his nose. To improve the damage, the king’s surgeon attempted a risky intervention, which was partially successful. His distaste for water (even for bathing), his non-use of toothpaste, and the few teeth he had didn’t help matters and he had foul breath for the rest of his life.

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