Tooth worms: yesteryear's explanation for cavities

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Tooth worm? Nonsense. Everyone knows about the tooth beaver. Well, Ren didn’t. He learned the hard way.


I thought that beaver was a fairy.

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Toothworms? Everybody knows that the Cavity Creeps are the cause…

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It would be interesting to see how widespread this notion was; for example, the Japanese word for “cavity” is mushiba (lit. “Bug tooth”).

I imagine it would be pretty common, given the fact that it fits with many other observable forms of decay.

A soi-distant relation of the butt-biting bug?

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Dr Ash has a cure for that!

And here I thought Yuck Mouth was the cause all along:


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Tooth worms aren’t real? If one searches YouTube, you just might become a believer.

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Now the next time I have that dream where all my teeth fall out they’ll be full of worms, too.

Thanks, BoingBoing!


Henbane is a hell of a drug!

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I really hope that the picture is of incredibly small scrimshaw carved from actual teeth.

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That was certainly interesting :grinning:

These aren’t technically ‘tooth’ worms, since they target the delicious soft tissue rather than the robust-and-not-terribly-nourishing teeth themselves; but if anyone feels up to another hit from the “Are tropical medicine case reports basically the exact opposite genre from theodicy? Yes, yes they are.” files, “oral myiasis” is…a thing.

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