Susannah: My pregnant mum’s antibiotics left me with teeth like grey tombstones
baring her teeth for the camera, Susannah Constantine reveals the ‘grey tombstones’ she was left with from birth.
The fashion guru explained how her teeth were permanently discoloured by antibiotics her mother took in pregnancy.
although you wouldn’t have guessed it from her glamorous TV appearances on this year’s Strictly, the 56-year-old said the drug tetracycline – commonly handed to mothers-to-be in the 60s and 70s – has had a lasting effect on her looks.
and in a candid video post on instagram yesterday, Miss Constantine took the brave decision to show her teeth while asking for advice on how to deal with the problem.
The former What not to Wear host told her 21,000 followers: ‘When my mother was pregnant with me she took an antibiotic called tetracycline. and one of the side effects of taking that antibiotic was that the foetus would develop grey teeth throughout their life and as you can see my teeth are discoloured.
‘if anyone knows of a solution to these grey tombstones i would be really grateful to hear what you have to say.’ The antibiotic, designed to fight bacterial infections, was once prescribed for everything from sore throats and skin conditions to urinary tract infections.
but studies later discovered that when taken by pregnant women, the drug can become calcified in the permanent teeth developing under their baby’s gum line, discolouring them for good.
Later, when the baby teeth grow out, the tetracycline-stained ones move into position and reveal themselves. The unsightly stains can appear as yellow, grey or brown marks as well as white spots and translucent edges, with few solutions available.
Miss Constantine said in a video called ‘Teeth! Oh what to do?’, which has been viewed almost 4,000 times: ‘You can’t get them bleached because what happens is the white parts get whiter and so the grey parts look greyer. and i don’t want to get them bonded or veneered because i don’t like fake-looking teeth.’
One fan replied: ‘My hubs has the same thing from his mum taking antibiotics when pregnant. He will never smile for a photo properly, lips always shut.’
The royal Pharmaceutical Society said tetracycline is no longer given to under-12s or pregnant women except in rare cases. it is still used to treat acne and the sexually transmitted disease chlamydia.
Miss Constantine’s mother Mary rose, who suffered from manic depression, died in 2008 aged 76.
The TV star has described how the mental illness had an effect on her childhood as her mother was ‘in and out of psychiatric hospitals’ and made ‘several suicide attempts’.
Still smiling: Susannah Constantine on Strictly
Grin and bare it: The star reveals stained teeth in the online video