What is Vagina Teeth?

While locker room banter often depicts a woman’s vulva as something that can grab, bite or devour, folkloric myths around the world have a different story to tell. Stories of the vagina dentata, or toothed vagina, are found in almost every culture. These tales may be based on teratomas, tumors that contain pluripotent cells that can form more than one type of tissue.

Swollen Gums

The vagina with teeth motif is an old myth that has appeared in folk tales and legends throughout history. These stories are often cautionary tales meant to warn men against rape and unconsensual penetration lest they be bitten and have their penises ripped off.

The toothed vagina also shows up in psychoanalysis as a metaphor for male fears of women’s sexuality. Misogynist psychologist Sigmund Freud used the concept in his work to represent what he called castration anxiety.

A few cases of real teeth in a woman’s vagina are believed to exist, although they are rarely reported. Mostly, these instances are chalked up to dermoid cysts — hard bumps that can form anywhere on the body and develop hair or teeth, though they are not able to bite.

During puberty, sex hormones can cause gums to become red and swollen. These hormonal changes can make the gums more sensitive to germs in the mouth, which may contribute to infection. Swollen gums that are painful and bleed easily should be checked by your dentist.

In the dark comedy Teeth, Jess Weixler plays Dawn a young girl who discovers that her nether-teeth are actually in her vulva and can reflexively bite and destroy anyone who comes near her crotch without her consent. While the film’s take on this odd anatomy does not mirror those of traditional vagina dentata myth, it represents a significant shift from stories that demonize female sexuality.

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Bleeding Gums

Bleeding gums can be a sign of a problem, such as gingivitis or other oral health issues. If you have bleeding gums, it is important to see a dentist as soon as possible to get it treated. If left untreated, gum disease can lead to tooth decay and bone loss, which can cause a number of problems. Bleeding gums can also be a sign of more serious problems, such as heart disease or diabetes.

In the mythology of several cultures, the female genitals have been depicted as having teeth. These stories were often told as warnings, using castration fears to discourage men from raping or having sex with women. They have also been used to justify the enslavement and mistreatment of women.

Sigmund Freud coined the term vagina dentata in 1900, but it is a trope that has been around for much longer. It is a symbol of phallocentric sexual theories that treat women’s bodies as in-house self-defense units.

The story of the vagina dentata is one that has popped up in various forms of media, including movies and video games. It is most commonly used in the rape revenge genre, wherein the protagonist uses her “toothed” genitals to wreak havoc on men who attempt to take advantage of her. The character Dawn from the movie Teeth, for example, has genital teeth that bite and emasculate men who enter her without consent.

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Gingivitis

Gingivitis is a common oral condition that affects women. It causes red, swollen gums that may bleed during brushing or for no reason at all. It’s more common in pregnant women, but it can affect anyone. It’s usually not dangerous but it can lead to periodontitis, which is much more serious and linked with preterm birth or low birth weight.

Stories of toothed vaginas (Latin: Vagina dentata) appear in cultures around the world. While some of these tales are merely cautionary for men to be careful where they put their penis during penetrative sex, others are more disturbing. Many of these legends are based on the fear that vagina owners have of being violently castrated by men who enter without consent. The story may also be a reference to ancient marriage laws that saw women as the property of men and still exist in some countries.

Fortunately, the myth of vagina teeth is just that — a myth. There is no evidence that gingivitis during pregnancy harms a fetus or leads to a miscarriage, but it’s important to see your dentist during this time. A dental hygienist can help treat the symptoms with antibiotics or a deep cleaning called scaling and root planing. Pregnant women can prevent gingivitis by brushing and flossing regularly, eating a healthy diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables and maintaining a good body weight.

Dental Health

The myth of vagina teeth has a long history, spanning many countries. This particular folklore trope has a number of wildly differing explanations, but it seems to express the fear that a woman’s orifice may have a mind of its own and be able to castrate men. One Muria story from central India, for example, tells of a tigress who changes into a woman to seduce and cut penises off during penetrative sex with men. Men must vanquish this monstrosity and, in most of these legends, the hero does so by removing the teeth from the toothed orifice.

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In actuality, it is incredibly unlikely to ever encounter a vagina with teeth. However, dermoid cysts can develop in the body resulting in hard bumps that resemble teeth and, in rare cases, hair or even a uterus. There is a dermoid cyst specimen at the University College London pathology collection that displays these features, but there have only been a few reported cases of this occurring.

The vagina dentata is a popular image for feminist art, particularly in surrealist or psychoanalytic work. Attempts have been made to reclaim this image as a symbol of women’s power. Modern fictional interpretations, like the movie Teeth, present a character with vagina teeth that cause men to be brutally emasculated if they enter her without consent. Physical prototypes that are designed to work as defensive rape prevention mechanisms have also been developed, but they have yet to reach the market.

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