Experimental formation of pink teeth and their analysis

N. Ikeda, A. Harada, H. Takahashi, T. Suzuki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Dogs whose deaths had been caused by mechanical asphyxia, or by extirpation of the heart, or by carbon dioxide (CO2) intoxication, or by carbon monoxide (CO) intoxication were left for 7 to 9 days in a forest where, earlier, two human bodies manifesting pink teeth had been found. In like manner, some teeth of these decomposing dogs changed to pink. A pink coloration in teeth is a characteristic that is most prominent and stable in cases of CO intoxication; this also is seen in cases of CO2 intoxication. As in the case of the human bodies, this pink coloration in the teeth of the dogs remained for at least two months. Spectophotometry of the extracts of these pink teeth revealed that they contain stable pigments which could not be reduced by sodium dithionite. These results suggest that a stable pink coloration seen in teeth as a post-mortem phenomenon is likely to have been induced by carboxyhemoglobin or by some similar derivative in the hem-carbon complex.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-183
Number of pages5
JournalJapanese Journal of Legal Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1988
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health Policy
  • Law


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