Seven-year-old Ravindranath was a normal kid, except for a swollen lower right jaw. The swelling looked like a symptom of tooth decay to his parents. But little did they know that there were nearly 526 teeth tucked inside his tiny jaw.
He didn’t have all these teeth in his mouth, which would have otherwise, given him quite a smile. The abnormal teeth, embedded in the jaw bone, were not visible from outside the mouth. In a rare surgery, the doctors at Saveetha Dental College and Hospital, Chennai, has surgically removed all of them and retained his 21 normal teeth.
Doctors said it took only a few minutes for them to convince the boy’s parents that surgery was needed. But the doctors had to speak to the boy for several hours before he agreed to cooperate. Soon after he agreed, the doctors removed the abnormal teeth in a five-hours-long surgery.

The boy was suffering from a rare condition called compound composite odontoma. “The teeth were in different sizes that varied between 0.1 mm to 15mm,” said college head of maxillofacial pathologist Dr Prathibha Ramani. “They looked like pearls in an oyster. Even the smallest piece had a crown, root and an enamel coating like a tooth,” she added.
Though the reason for this abnormal growth is yet to find out, the doctors said it could be because of radiation from mobile towers and genetic causes.
The boy, Ravindranath, was three years old when his parents noticed a small swelling at the right lower jaw. They took him to a government hospital but could not convince him to sit down for tests. They let it go then. Later, when the swelling increased, he was referred to Saveetha Dental College.
“Surgery was inevitable. Instead of breaking open the bone from the sides and leaving a large hole, we drilled into it from the top. Luckily, he did not require any reconstruction of the jaw. There was a sack of tiny teeth that had to be carefully removed so that they didn’t chip and getaway. His healthy teeth were left behind,” said college’s head of the department of oral and maxillofacial surgery Dr Senthilnathan.
Doctors said like many boys of his age, permanent teeth were erupting in Ravindranath. “He may not have the two molars on his right lower jaw. But he can choose implants when he is 16 of 17 years,” said Dr Ramani. “Biopsy results showed it was just abnormal growth. There could be a strong genetic connect, but we cannot rule out environmental factors such as radiation from mobile towers,” she added.
Doctors claimed this was the first such case to be documented worldwide where 526 teeth were found in an individual. In 2014, a government hospital in Mumbai extracted 232 teeth from the upper jaw of a 17-year-old boy.

Source: Times Of India, The Hindu.

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