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232 teeth removed: Sink your teeth into this toothy story about teen in India

A boy’s 232 teeth were removed – all at once – in a tooth removal procedure that may just be a world-record operation. Now that's a mouthful! The Tooth Fairy will need to take out a loan to reimburse 17-year-old Indian teenager Ashik Gavai and his sack of teeth under his lumped-up pillow.

Dental surgeons in Mumbai identified that the teen was suffering from a condition known as complex odontoma – a mouth tumor comprised of the same components that make up one’s teeth.

After swelling on the right side of Gavai’s jaw became unbearable, tests and x-rays were done that revealed a mass of enamel, dentin, pulp and cementum – teeth of various shapes and sizes were growing atop one another in the teen’s jaw.

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

Dhivare-Palwankar described the operation:

“At first, we couldn't cut it out so we had to use the basic chisel and hammer to take it out,” she said. “Once we opened it, little pearl-like teeth started coming out, one-by-one. Initially, we were collecting them, they were really like small white pearls. But then we started to get tired. We counted 232 teeth.”

Gavai’s father Suresh was relieved that his son’s tumor was not cancerous, but was nevertheless amazed when he saw the pile of teeth extracted out of Ashik’s mouth.

“I was worried that it may turn out to be cancer so I brought him to Mumbai,” Gavai said.

Dhivare-Palwankar said the maximum amount of teeth she has ever known to be extracted at one time was 37.

“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 tumor in the past. But in Ashik's case, the tumor was found deep in the lower jaw and it had hundreds of teeth,” she said, adding: “I think it could be a world record.”

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