India doctors pull 232 teeth from teen's mouth

By Daniel Levine,

The tooth fairy will find a gold mine under one Indian boy’s pillow. Ashiq Gavai, 17, was brought into a Mumbai hospital only complaining about a swelling jaw. It turns out that he had far too many teeth.

Ashiq began complaining about the swelling over 18 months ago, but doctors in his village could not figure out what the problem was. His father told the Mumbai Mirror that his family thought he might have cancer, so they decided to take him to Mumbai.

He underwent surgery at JJ Hospital on Monday. Dr. Vandana Thorawade found that he had 232 teeth growing in his gums, so he and his team pulled out the extra teeth.

“Ashiq'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. Sunanda Dhiware told The BBC. “At first, we couldn't cut it out so we had to use the basic chisel and hammer to take it out.”

The issue was that the tumor had been growing far back in Ashiq’s mouth. They were able to pull most of them out and many were clumped together.

“While a few teeth were loose, others were in clumps which made it difficult to count. The tumour was an abnormal growth of the second molar which did not come out. It was also pressing on the wisdom tooth which we had to remove,” Dhiware told the Mirror.

Dhiware told the BBC that it was a “very rare” case and something she had never seen in her 30-year career. The hospital believes that it was a world record number of teeth pulled from a single mouth and are calling on Guinness World Records to certify the surgery.

As for Ashiq, he is now down to a more manageable 28 teeth.

image courtesy of BBCWorld

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