A 17-year-old boy, Ashiq Gavai of Buldhana, India, was experiencing tremendous pain in his jaw for eighteen months, and the local doctors from his village could not diagnose the problem. The persistent pain and swelling on the right side of his mouth led him to travel from his village to the city in search of medical help.
His father, fearing that his son was suffering from cancer, took him to JJ Hospital Mumbai. After a series of tests, doctors found an abnormal growth on the lower right side of his jaw, this was affecting the second molar.
What happened next was something they did not expect. Doctors described his condition as "very rare" and stated that they had created a world record. Sunanda Dhivare-Palwankar, head of the hospital's dental department explained that Ashiq was diagnosed with complex composite odontoma, which is a condition in which one single gum forms lots of teeth. "It's a sort of benign tumour," she said.
Initially, they were not clear as to what could be done, and so they decided to go in for surgery, Dhivare said. Describing the process to remove the ingrown teeth, she said that at first they began by removing the smaller-sized teeth from the abnormal molar. The teeth that caused the swelling were not of the same size, they differed, some being as small as a "grain of mustard" while some were "almost the size of a marble".
Dr Dhivare was assisted by two main surgeons and two assisting surgeons. They performed an intra oral procedure for a successful removal of the tumour. In the process, they removed a few loose teeth and some of it was in a cluster.
The end result of the seven-hour surgery was shocking to the doctors themselves. They had removed a lot of teeth from the molar and on counting it, they found out that the total number was 232. The doctor herself said, "The fact that it was coming from a single molar was very unique."
The tumour, she explained, was an abnormal growth of the second molar which did not come out, and since it was also pressing on the wisdom tooth, they had no choice but to remove it as well. The hospital has decided to take the case to the Guinness Book of Records for the most teeth extracted from one person.
"According to medical literature available on the condition, it is known to affect the upper jaw and a maximum of 37 teeth have been extracted from the tumour in the past. But in Ashik's case, the tumour was found deep in the lower jaw and it had hundreds of teeth," said Dhivare. She also confessed that she had not seen anything like that in her 30-year career.
Gavai now has 28 normal teeth and will go through follow up surgery to repair the hole. His family and the doctors are happy that the boy is now relieved and can eat and drink normally, without pain.
Pictures can be seen here.