Abstract

The observation, in 1953, of pink-colored teeth in the exhumed body of a victim in the Christie murders appears to have been the first report of this postmortem phenomenon in recent times [1]. In reporting this and four other cases, Miles and Fearnhead [2] suggested that the pinkness is a natural postmortem phenomenon caused by the seepage into the dentinal tubules of a fluid containing hemoglobin or its degradation products derived from decomposition or liquefaction of the tooth pulp. Beeley and Harvey [3] further reviewed the occurrence of this phenomenon and recorded additional cases in five humans and one dog. Their studies on the red gelatinous material in the pulp chambers of pink teeth gave spectrophotometric evidence for the presence of hemoglobin or other heme compounds. Isoelectric focusing confirmed the identification of the material as hemoglobin or derivatives of hemoglobin.

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