I haven’t written any fun blog posts for a while; lately all my writing seems to be about new research showing how periodontal disease is related to something bad, usually a type of cancer. This is much lighter stuff that belongs in the world of pop culture. Have you ever heard of Isaac Yankem, DDS? Unless you live in the South or are a longtime fan of fake wrestling, the answer is probably no. Here is perhaps the most ridiculous, embarrassing portrayal of dentistry in the history of the world (I don’t use my superlatives flippantly; this guy really is the most embarrassing “dentist” ever):
Just in case you believe there might be anything legitimate about his “DDS” distinction, let me assure you that the man formerly known as Isaac Yankem has never been to dental school. Born as Glenn Thomas Jacobs, Yankem is just one of many stage names the man has borne as a “professional” wrestler. He gained notoriety in 1997 using name Kane, the supposed younger brother of another, more famous wrestler called the Undertaker. Yankem is supposedly a very good wrestler who is well respected among his peers, the winner of several championships, and considered by at least some colleagues (e.g. Ric Flair) as the greatest wrestler ever. I’d love to tell you all about Yankem’s curriculum vitae, but quite frankly his wrestling titles are as much of a farce as his dental degree because WWE wrestling is completely fake. That’s right WWE fans, it’s all fake and none of it matters. And even if it weren’t fake, we all know that the Ultimate Warrior and Legion of Doom are the greatest ever, right?
I do want to call attention to the man’s teeth though, which reflect more of a sad reality than a comical stage gimmick. In dental school many of my professors referred to Yankem’s oral condition as “Mountain Dew mouth.” This is the ultimate destination that teeth can reach only after years of riding the neglect and abuse train. I also suspect a good deal of drug use is involved here; many patients I’ve seen over the years with a history of methamphetamine abuse have teeth that look just like this. In many cases, extracting every tooth in the mouth and making dentures is the most appropriate treatment.
The takeaway message: take care of your teeth and don’t go anywhere near drugs, especially meth. You don’t want to end up like Isaac Yankem, DDS.
-Nicolas K. Young, DMD