Indian Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Boy’s Mouth

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Ashik Gavai went to the doctor because of a swollen, puffy cheek, and came out with a world record. Several months ago, Gavai began experiencing pain and swelling in his jaw area. Eventually his parents realized Gavai would need to visit a doctor, and brought the 17-year-old to the state-run JJ Hospital in Mumbai, India.

In Mumbai, doctors diagnosed Gavai with a rare, though benign tumor. The tumor wasn’t cancerous — instead, it was an unlikely condition called composite odontoma. It’s a slow-growth tumor comprised of the same cells that make up teeth. Consequently, teeth-like structures often grow inside it.

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Gavai’s tumor was housed deep in his lower jaw, and bit its way to a new record with doctors removing 232 teeth.

Previously, as many as several dozen teeth had been found inside such a tumor, the largest tumor housing 37 teeth. This type of tumor usually affects the upper jaw. Gavai’s tumor, though, was housed deep in his lower jaw, and bit its way to a new record with doctors removing 232 teeth.

Sudanda Dhiware, head of the hospital’s dentistry department, was nothing short of excited to operate on Gavai. “I have never seen anything like it in all my years of practice,” she said in an interview with the Washington Post. “We were so excited by it. And it was really fun for us to be able to extract them all, one by one.”

The surgery took a total of six hours as surgeons removed each tooth. If any odontoma cells are left, there is a risk that the tumor will start forming once more. “It was a benign tumor and we have tried our best to take out everything. But you never know if there’s something microscopic left, and it could come back,” said Dhiware. For now, Gavai is back to having just 28 teeth, which is hopefully how his mouth will remain for a long time.

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