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Indian boy, seven, found with 526 teeth inside his mouth

Teeth sized between 0.1mm to 3mm discovered in lower jaw of boy during surgery in Chennai

Rebecca Ratcliffe in Delhi

Fri 2 Aug 2019 07.39 EDTFirst published on Fri 2 Aug 2019 05.56 EDT

A seven-year-old boy who had suffered occasional toothache was found to have 526 teeth inside his jaw, according to surgeons in India.

The hundreds of teeth were found inside a sac that was nestled in the molar region of his lower jaw, following surgery carried out at the Saveetha dental college and hospital in Chennai.

“The teeth were of variable sizes that ranged from smallest at 0.1mm to largest 3mm. They had a small crown, enamel and a small root,” said Pratibha Ramani, the head of the department of oral and maxillofacial pathology at the hospital.

“We had to drill down into the top [of the lower jaw], make a window and remove the sac,” said Ramani. “As it [the sac] was going deeper into the tissue the size of the teeth was becoming very small.”

Despite the large number of teeth inside his mouth, the boy was not in too much pain, she said. “The only thing which was bothering him was that the tooth on that side had not erupted, it was empty, and [he had] occasional pain, and there was slight swelling that was increasing in size.”

The boy suffered from compound composite odontoma, a benign tumour. It is not known whether the condition was caused by genetic or environmental factors, she added.

The condition is very rare, though in 2014, doctors in Mumbai extracted 232 teeth from the mouth of a 17-year-old boy following a seven-hour operation.

The surgery in Chennai lasted about two hours, but it took experts 10 days to analyse all of the teeth. They are hoping to study them further by carrying out genetic tests.

“We had to take a lot of counselling sessions with him for him to undergo surgery. We have a very good counselling team who have expertise in dealing with kids,” said Ramani.

The boy, who now has 21 teeth, was discharged after three days and is doing well.