Surgeons remove 232 ‘teeth’ from Indian teenager

Dentists display teeth removed from 17-year-old Ashik Gavai in a Mumbai hospital. Pic: STRDEL/AFP/Getty Images

Dental surgeons in India’s largest city say they have removed 232 small "tooth-like structures" from the mouth of a teenage boy with a rare medical condition.

They said the 17-year-old from a small village in western India had been suffering from jaw pain and swelling for more than 18 months.

Surgeon Dr Vandana Thoravade said Ashik Gavai suffered complex odontoma, a rare condition in which a tumour grows under a gum and creates smaller tooth-like growths called denticles.

He said the team of dental surgeons took seven hours to remove all the denticles in the operation earlier this week. It’s believed it may be the most ever in a case of odontoma.

The teen is recovering from what is now believed to be a world-record operation, with 37 being the highest record of denticles previously removed.

Head of dentistry Sunanda Dhivare-Palwankar said: “We operated on Monday and it took us almost seven hours. We thought it may be a simple surgery but once we opened it up, there were multiple pearl-like teeth inside the jaw bone.”

After removing those, they also found a larger “marble-like” structure which they struggled to shift and eventually had to “chisel out” and remove in fragments, she added.

The youngster’s father, Suresh Gavai, said that the family had been worried Ashik’s swelling was “a cancerous growth,” he told the Mumbai Mirror newspaper.

Dhivare-Palwankar said the literature they had come across on the condition showed a maximum of 37 teeth being removed in such a procedure, whereas she and her team had counted more than 232.


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