24 July 2014

Boy has 232 teeth surgically removed

During a 7-hour operation, Ashik Gavai had a record-breaking 232 teeth, almost eight times the normal amount, surgically removed.

A normal human has 32 teeth, 16 on top, 16 on the bottom. Throughout their lives people often have to have teeth removed for a range of reasons. Infection is a common, as is teeth putting too much pressure on those around them.

The problem with Ashik Gavai, though, is that he just had too many. Way too many. 200 to many, to be precise.

The reason for the 17-year old's hyperactive gums was, in fact, a kind of tumour. A very rare tumour that had stumped the local doctors in his village and was only diagnosed when the boy travelled to the Indian capital, Mumbai.

Read: "Vampire teeth" warning

There, doctors determined that he had been suffering for 18 months from a complex composite odontoma. In this case a single gum produces numerous teeth, instead of just the one it's supposed to.

While not life-threatening, the condition can be very painful as the excess teeth push against one another and the bones of the jaw.

The previous record was just 37 teeth, Gavai's 232 shattered this record. Most of the teeth were not fully formed, but small, pearl-like objects encapsulated in a pocket deep in the lower jaw.

The dentist in charge, Dr Sunanda Dhiware, was very excited by the case and claimed that she had not seen anything like it before in her 30-year career as a dentist. 

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