Teenager Has At Least 232 Teeth Removed From his Jaw in 7-Hour Surgery

| by Lina Batarags

A boy with swelling in his right jaw was brought into the dental department of a Mumbai hospital, where doctors discovered that he had 232 tiny teeth growing in his jaw.

Ashik Gavai had been suffering for 18 months. After local doctors failed to identify the cause of the teenager’s problem, he travelled from his village into the city.

Ashik’s father, Suresh Gavai, said that he was “worried that it may turn out to be cancer so I brought him to Mumbai.”

The problem turned out to be of an entirely different nature.

As Dr. Sunanda Dhiware, head of Mumbai’s JJ Hospital’s dental department, said, “Ashik’s malaise was diagnosed as a complex composite odontoma where a single gum forms lots of teeth.”

“It’s a sort of benign tumour,” Dr. Dhiware added.

“He had a normal jawline, but one molar tooth in the lower jaw had given birth to hundreds of tiny teeth. There were clusters of tooth buds in his lower jaw,” she said.

After doctors identified the problem, they embarked on a seven-hour operation on Monday.

Dhiware said that they had to use a “basic chisel and hammer” to cut the teeth out at first.

“Once we opened it,” Dhiware went on, “little pearl-like teeth started coming out, one-by-one. Initially, we were collecting them, they were really like small white pearls. But then we started to get tired.”

In all, the doctors counted 232 teeth.

The surgery involved two surgeons and two assistants.

Dhiware noted that she had “not seen anything like this before in my 30-year career”, but said that she was “thrilled to get such an exciting case.”

Doctors have noted that the 17-year-old boy’s condition is not only very rare –it’s actually “a world record.”

Medical literature available on the condition states that the condition is known to “affect the upper jaw and a maximum of 37 teeth have been extracted from the tumor in the past.” In Ashik’s case, however, the tumor was found deep in the lower jaw and had “hundreds” of teeth.

Ashik now has 28 teeth.

Sources: BBC, The Indian Express

Photo Source: BBC