Warning: This Article Contains Graphic Content
It’s usually the patient who feels traumatised as they sit back in the dentist’s chair, trying not to look at the huge steel appliances aimed straight at their teeth.
However, in this story, it’s the dentist who gets a fright. After having probably seen and tutted at over thousands of unkempt gnashers in their career, nothing could have prepared them for this!
A video has gone viral showing a dentist peeling back the lips of a patient – who is believed to be a woman from India – revealing a mass of writhing maggots making a home in the badly eroded gum tissue.
You can watch the grisly clip for yourself below:
Such a gory infestation would usually be seen in pieces of rotting meat, however, this is a living, breathing, human being.
The decayed, yellowing teeth and eroded gums, strongly suggest a serious dental hygiene issue.
An official diagnosis has not been given, however it’s believed the patient is suffering from oral myiasis – quite literally: fly disease.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Myiasis is infection with a fly larva, usually occurring in tropical and subtropical areas.
Maggots living in the gums. Brush your teeth, folks!
Oral myiasis is a rare condition that is associated with… https://t.co/xPncvHZWTj
— Spotted Portsmouth (@Spotted_Pompey) October 18, 2017
According to a study in the Journal for Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, oral myiasis is a more unusual type of myiasis:
Myiasis is a rare disease primarily caused by infestation of tissue by larvae of houseflies.
Oral myiasis is still more ‘rare’ and ‘unique’ owing to the fact that oral cavity rarely provides the necessary habitat conducive for a larval lifecycle.
The journal article cites some predisposing factors as being; ‘low socioeconomic status, immunocompromised state, debilitated, and unhygienic living conditions’.
Warm, humid climates, such as those in India, increase the risk of myiasis, which can prove fatal in cases of severe nose or ear infestations.
it was my first time seeing patient with oral myiasis. So scary tho ?
— mariam weber ☘ (@_nisabdh) October 23, 2017
Hopefully this patient will get the treatment they need to overcome this horrific condition.
Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.