Baffled dental surgeons removed some 526 teeth from a fleshy sack that had grown inside the mouth of a seven-year-old boy who was living with a rare condition known as "compound composite ondontome".
This year, as the swelling in the jaw, had increased the parents got Ravindran medically examined by the Doctors at Chennai's Saveetha Dental College, Institute of Medical and Technical Science.
The Saveetha Dental College says this is the first case like this to be documented worldwide.
It took five hours of meticulous work to remove all of the tiny teeth from the mass.
Doctors said the child's parents had noticed the swelling when he was three years old and had taken him to a government hospital in the state. It was then that doctors found a "bag-like" tumor containing the extra teeth.
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While the surgery to remove the teeth took place last month, doctors needed time to individually examine each tooth before they could confirm their findings. "They were packed inside a small sac under the molar region of the jaw bone", said maxillofacial pathologist Dr Prathibha Ramani. Even the smallest piece had a crown, root and enamel.
In Ravindrath's case, all has turned out well; the boy now has a healthy count of 21 teeth, Dr. Senthilnathan said. All of the boy's other teeth are fine, according to his dentists, though the growth of his molars will be affected, requiring molar implants in his teens.
Dentists said it's unclear what caused the extreme growth in the boy's mouth, but they suggested that genetics or environmental hazards may have played a role. The teeth, which are not visible outside the mouth, had to be surgically removed.