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A mouth gag is any kind of device used to hold the mouth open or to keep the wearer from speaking. Mouth gags can vary widely in design and can be made of anything from rubber balls to stainless steel. They are used in dentistry and surgery in order to hold a patient's mouth open. A mouth gag may also be used in adult erotic play.
A mouth gag can assist in keeping a patient's mouth open if he has been sedated for painful dental work or surgery. It can also help patients who have difficulty keeping their mouth open for other reasons. When placed in the mouth, the mouth gag keeps the teeth apart while still allowing for a surgeon or dentist to work inside.
Dental mouth gags are usually made of stainless steel so that they can be easily cleaned and sterilized. They usually consist of a thick metal wire shaped into a rough oval, which is placed inside the mouth. Some other kinds of mouth gags resemble a pair of pliers, which can be locked in an open position to hold the mouth open on one side.
A surgical mouth gag is used to keep a patient's mouth open while they are sedated and unconscious. Some surgical mouth gags come with built-in steel tongue depressors in order to hold a patient's tongue in place. This allows for the surgeon to have easier access to the throat. Surgical mouth gags are used during operations on adenoids, tonsils, and other surgeries which require access to the throat.
Mouth gags used in erotic play have a different purpose than those used in dentistry or surgery. Instead of holding the mouth open, they are used to keep the wearer from speaking clearly. Though they seldom are made well enough to keep someone from making noise, they can provide a powerful visual in games of power exchange.
Erotic mouth gags are often made of materials that can be bitten into without harming the wearer. To this end, they often take the form of a soft rubber ball. The ball is held in the mouth by a strap that passes around the head. In some designs, the ball can be taken off the strap for easy sterilization.
These gags can also take the form of simple strips of tape or cloth which go over the mouth or between the teeth. To further block the mouth, a piece of cloth might be stuffed inside the mouth before putting the gag over the wearer. This kind of simple gag can usually be defeated by movements of the tongue, which can push the fabric out of the way.