An Indian boy appears to be doing fine after he had 536 "teeth" surgically removed after his parents noticed his right jaw was swollen.
The boy's parents thought the swelling was caused by a decayed tooth, but inside his lower jaw were 526 "teeth" that were not visible on the outside of the youngster's cheek, the Times of India reported.
The boy, known only as Ravindranath, underwent surgery, which was reportedly inevitable, on July 11. Doctors removed the "denticles," which are described as "abnormal teeth-like growths," from a tumor during a five-hour procedure at Chennai's Saveetha Dental College and Hospital. The head of the department of oral and maxillofacial surgery, Dr. Senthilnathan, said the "teeth" were contained in a tiny sac, which had to be removed carefully to ensure they did not break or chip.
"The teeth were in different sizes that varied between 0.1 mm to 15mm," said Prathibha Ramani, college head of maxillofacial pathology.
"They looked like pearls in an oyster. Even the smallest piece had a crown, root and an enamel coating like a tooth," she said.
Senthilnathan said the incident was an opportunity to improve pediatric dental care and raise awareness for better oral hygiene.
"We have never seen these many teeth in any one site," Ramani said of the 526 denticles removed from Ravindranath's jaw. The Times of India noted that some reports show that doctors removed 232 teeth from a Mumbai teenager's jaw in 2014.
The formation of denticles is a rare condition known as compound composite odontoma.
Doctors reportedly left the boy's healthy teeth in his mouth.
The founder of the hospital, N.M. Veeraiyan, said the surgery was free of cost.On Wednesday, Ravindranath appeared with his father and the doctors who conducted the surgery and said he felt no pain from the procedure.
Ramani said that the cause of the denticles was not clear.
"Biopsy results showed it was just abnormal growth. There could be a strong genetic connect, but we cannot rule out environmental factors such as radiation from mobile towers," she said.
Ramani added that the college screened more than 250 people living close to mobile towers, and at least 10 percent of them had "micronuclei changes in their cells." These types of cell changes can cause multiplication of cells and diseases, she said, adding that the college might have to conduct a larger study to prove if there is a link between mobile towers and micronuclei changes.