The pain of a tooth is a very common physical discomfort in the tooth or around it. Sometimes, a toothache can be very severe, to the point of being described as unbearable. Well, usually, a toothache is the result of tooth decay or only an infection.
But there are cases where this pain can be the result of other things. The moment Ravindranath, a seven-year-old Indian boy, complained of uncomfortable swelling in his mouth, his parents soon thought it might be oral cancer. They went to Saveetha Dental College in Chennai, India, where their theory was overturned.
This did not mean that the boy did not have a problem. Ravindranath had 526 teeth growing in his mouth. According to The Independence, doctors discovered a large, hard structure on the boy’s chin, and it weighed a pound.
They successfully removed this structure that caused the boy’s discomfort and opened it to inspect its contents. They discovered a variety of teeth that ranged from one to 15 millimeters in size after doing so. And interestingly, they were not just fragments of teeth. All were complete with a crown covered with enamel and a structure that looked like a root.
Pathologists at the hospital described the discovery as “resembling pearls in an oyster.” And Ravindranath’s parents were relieved when they saw that the cancer diagnosis, as they thought, had been ruled out.
The X-ray photos already show how disturbing the discovery was. “We opened the jaw after administering general anesthesia and saw a pouch inside it. The bag, weighing around 200 grams, was carefully removed and was later found to contain 526 teeth – small, medium, and large,” explained P. Senthilnathan, professor at Saveetha Dental College.
According to CNN, the professor and his team “pierced the jaw from the top. We didn’t break the bone on the sides, which means that reconstruction surgery was not necessary. The bag was removed. You can think of it as a kind of balloon with small pieces inside “.
This was not the first time that Ravindranath was hospitalized for his swollen jaw. In 2015, his parents took him for a check-up when he was three years old. At the time, the boy did not cooperate, and the family returned home without any diagnosis.
The procedure is now done with Ravindranath, which probably ended the boy’s dental problems forever. The doctor’s diagnosis was like “compound dentistry,” which is essentially a benign tumor that can occur during childhood teeth development..
In 2014, similar cases occurred in the region when doctors in Mumbai operated on a teenager who had 232 teeth. The operation took seven hours. According to Saveetha Dental College, this was the first time that so many teeth were found in a person’s mouth.
The Guinness world record for the largest number of teeth held in a mouth is that of a person with 37 normal-sized teeth in his mouth. After the surgery, Ravindranath left the hospital with his 21 normal teeth intact.
The cause of this rare condition is still not entirely clear. Pratibha Ramani, a professor at the college, said that genetics could be of great importance. Another factor that doctors are also interested in is radiation from mobile phone towers, which is a factor that could nurture this condition.
“Before, things like not so many dentists, lack of education, poverty meant that there was not so much awareness. These problems are still there. You can see that people in cities are much better aware, but people in rural areas are not.
“I am very happy now that my son is well. I am relieved. He is eating happily and leading a normal life,” concluded the boy’s father.