In 1954, a man committed suicide by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge.
His suicide note simply read “Absolutely no reason except I have a toothache.”
In a post-mortem, it was discovered that he was, in fact, suffering from a maladjusted wisdom tooth in the back of his jaw.
It’s possible that John Thomas Doyle suffered trigeminal neuralgia, known colloquially as ‘suicide disease’.
It can present as a toothache that can’t be cured.
Basically, the trigeminal nerve which supplies feeling to your teeth (and other structures) becomes hypersensitive and produces intense pain when stimulated.
Common triggers include smiling, touching your face, brushing your teeth, brushing your hair, wind, eating and drinking, changes in temperature, shaving, putting on makeup, certain foods, loud noises, and kissing.
The disease can be managed, but it is very debilitating and tricky.
A lot of people who never get a diagnosis, get told its all in their head, or who are unsuccessful with management, feel that suicide is the only way out.
Siobhan is a freelance writer, research addict and lover of twisted history. If you like horrible but amazing history, check out her website www.interesly.com or Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/interesly. Or you can reach her through www.siobhanoshea.com.