South Korean President Moon Jae-in has been working so hard that he lost 12 of his teeth due to stress, a South Korean official claimed.
Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Poland Mira Sun recently told Business Insider how demanding government work in Seoul can be.
Sun, who first served former President Roh Moo-hyun as his foreign press spokesperson, shared that she was able to get to know Moon quite well during their brief tenure together under President Roh.
“Our terms overlapped a little over a year, and he became the chief of staff of President Roh around when I left the president’s office,” she revealed. “When I started working at the Blue House, I was told that presidential secretary is a demanding job, both mentally and physically, and one may last about a year and a half.”
“Teeth implants is one sign of how demanding it is,” Sun noted. “President Moon had 10 teeth pulled out at once while working for President Roh, and later two more as the president.”
She further joked that since she did not lose any teeth, her colleagues would tease her that it was because she probably “did not work hard enough.”
The toll of President Moon’s work on his health is not that surprising when one considers how demanding his job can be.
In recent years, President Moon has made some notable efforts in high-stakes negotiations in a bid to strengthen South Korea’s international relations, including the historic talks with their neighboring country, North Korea.
It is worth noting that South Koreans, in general, are known for working long hours to the point of overworking themselves.
It has been reported that South Koreans are second only to Mexicans on average work hours per year. An average South Korean reportedly clocks 2,113 work hours a year while an average American works for 1,779 hours a year.
When subjected to extreme stress, people may be at risk of gum disease because they grind their teeth more, and oftentimes stop caring for their teeth as much, as previous studies have shown.
It is believed that poor dental hygiene and behavior during times of stress can contribute to the loss of teeth.