Doctors have discovered 526 miniature teeth in the mouth of a seven-year-old boy in India.
Chennai’s Saveetha Dental College and Hospital says the boy was brought to the institution complaining of swelling in his jaw.
During surgery, a large sac within his lower jaw containing “multiple hard structures” was removed from his mouth.
The sac, weighing 200 grams, was radiographed, revealing 526 “tooth-like structures” varying in size from 1 millimetre to 15mm.
The hospital said it took five hours to remove all the teeth from the sac, with each structure resembling teeth, with crown covered by enamel and root.
Describing the teeth as being “reminiscent of pearls in an oyster”, the hospital said in a statement that the rare lesion was known as “compound odontome”.
“This is the first-ever case to be documented worldwide, where so many minute teeth were found in a single individual,” the statement read.
“The surgeons’ discretion in removing the lesion in total without exploring it on the operating table [akin to opening a bag of worms] avoided a major mishap and saved the patient from being under general anaesthesia for a longer duration and the attendant complications.”
According to CNN the surgery took place last month, but doctors needed time to examine the teeth before they could report the findings.
The boy was released three days after surgery and is expected to make a full recovery, the head of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology at Saveetha Dental College and Hospital, Dr Prathiba Ramani, told CNN.
Dr Ramani said what caused the condition was unclear, but it could be genetic or the result of environmental factors such as radiation.
The hospital said the boy first complained of the swelling at three years old, but refused to co-operate with investigative procedures by doctors at a nearby hospital.
Doctors told CNN the boy now has a healthy 21 teeth remaining in his mouth.