A healthy adult human has 32 teeth, after having shed their ‘baby’ or primary teeth. A healthy child has only around 20 teeth. Unfortunately, for a 7 year-old boy in India, he had enough teeth for around 17 adults, 547 teeth to be exact.
The 7 year-old was being treated for jaw pain at Saveetha Dental Hospital when clinicians realized what they were actually dealing with. Surgeons discovered hundreds of teeth in a sac, nestled in the molar region of his lower jaw.
The extraction of 526 teeth took roughly two hours and analysis of the teeth took significantly longer, around 10 days.
The sac where the teeth were discovered was actually an odontoma which is a noncancerous growth that forms in some children. His parents had noticed the start of this growth when he was three, but unfortunately, he wouldn’t sit still long enough for an exam.
The size of these teeth varied in size, from the largest of the ‘extra’ teeth measuring around 3 millimeters and the smallest at just .01 millimeters. Most teeth appeared to have a crown, root and enamel (which protects the tooth).
Some people might argue that the size of these teeth may not actually be able to be considered real teeth, but they have the same chemical make-up as the regular teeth in your mouth, they just haven’t pushed through yet. Some experts have taken to calling them toothlets, microdonts, or denticles, though this latter term also refers to tooth-like projections on the skin of some animals (like sharks).
Whatever the experts have named them, the 7 year-old left his surgery with the 21 teeth he should have and is reported to be doing better with no pain.
Chances are you only have the normal number of teeth in your head, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore your or your child’s jaw pain. It is recommended that you bring your child to a dentist as early as 2 to ensure a healthy smile. Jaw pain could also be a warning sign of temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ), though these are more common among teens and adults.
If you do have crowded teeth, need a tooth extracted, or want to rearrange your smile, look no further than Dr. Hodges and the professionals at élan. Not only can they help you get the smile you deserve, but they know how to keep your smile at its purest form. They can design a smile makeover that preserves the best features of your natural smile while improving the ones that make you uncomfortable.
Tulsa cosmetic dentist Dr. Hodges is passionate about cosmetic dentistry and finding your perfect smile. To find out how she can help you, book an appointment today online, using the handy Request an Appointment button, or by calling (918) 528-3330.