A 7-year-old boy in India arrived at a dental school hospital with a swollen jaw. Days later, he left with 526 fewer teeth, so to speak.
Surgeons at Saveetha Dental College in Chennai uncovered a “bag-like” growth inside the boy’s lower right jaw. And within that growth, they found something that surprised even them, they say: hundreds of tooth-like structures 1 to 15 millimeters in size.
Hundreds of tooth-like structures were inside the growth.
“It was reminiscent of pearls in an oyster,” a specialist who helped treat the boy says in a news release from Saveetha, which didn’t give the child’s name.
The boy’s surgeons say the tooth-filled growth they removed was a compound odontoma. That’s a type of tumor that isn’t cancer. Experts aren’t sure what causes it, but they think an injury, infection, or genes are a few things that might play roles.
Surgeons removed the boy’s tumor.
Compound odontomas tend to show up before you’re 20 years old, often growing within the upper jaw. Many don’t bring on symptoms, but some can cause swelling and pain or shift nearby teeth.
The boy in India had a large odontoma that made his lower jaw swell. It didn’t happen overnight. When his parents first noticed a bit of swelling 4 years ago, they took him to a hospital, Saveetha Dental College says in its news release. But the swelling slowly got worse until Saveetha diagnosed him, the release says.
News reports say his surgery went well. And videos posted online show the 7-year-old smiling in a loved one’s arms.