A dentist examining a schoolgirl’s swollen gums was shocked to discover that the cause for her patient’s distress were more than a dozen maggots who had burrowed inside her mouth.
Ten-year-old Ana Cardoso, from Brazil’s capital, Brasilia, had been taken to the clinic after complaining of a tingling sensation in her gums and feeling things “moving around” inside.
The girl’s horrified mother Adriana said:
She had been saying for a few days that she felt something moving around in her mouth and at first I thought she was joking. I couldn’t see anything and she didn’t seem to be in pain.
The girl’s mother added:
But then it started getting worse and no matter how much we brushed her teeth she said she still felt something.
I know my daughter and she is not one to make up stories or lie, so eventually I took her to see a dentist.
The dentist diagnosed the girl with a rare form of oral myiasis — a fly lava maggot infection, which afflicts both humans and animals.
Ms. Cardoso said:
I couldn’t believe it when they said she had a disease and then started pulling the maggots out.
I thought I was going to be sick.
A spokesman for the dental office said:
There were 15 maggots in her mouth so we videoed the removal for our records as it is a rare occurrence.
We also wanted to show the girl’s family what had happened and warn others.
1. Ana Cardoso, 10, had been taken to the clinic in Brazil after complaining of a tingling sensation in her gums and things “moving around”.
The footage of the procedure captured Ana’s reaction as the dentist uses a pair of tweezers to take out one maggot after another.
The girl’s mother said:
She was actually very calm throughout the whole process but I suspect that was more out of helplessness.
I mean, what else could she do?
2. The dentist diagnosed the girl with a rare form of oral myiasis — a fly lava maggot infection, which afflicts both humans and animals — and removed 15 maggots from the patient’s gums.
Myiasis derives from the ancient Greek myia, meaning “fly”, and “iasis”, meaning disease.
The flies’ larvae can feed on their host’s living or dead tissue, as well as on liquid body substance or ingested food.
People most at risk of developing myiasis include those from poorer social backgrounds, as well as people with wounds or other injuries to the face.
The infestation is more common in regions with a warmer climate.
Myiasis of the nose and ears is particularly dangerous, due to the possibility of parasites penetrating the brain, in which case the fatality rate is 8 percent.
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