Recently, dentists in south India had to surgically remove a whopping 526 teeth from a seven-year-old boy
The boy's parents first noticed a swelling in his right cheek four years ago
"We took him to a government hospital, but they could not convince him to sit down for tests. We also let it go as we thought he was just a small kid," said his father, S Prabudoss.
Over time, when the swelling became worse, Ravindranath's parents finally took him to the hospital.
Scans revealed that there were a lot of tiny undeveloped teeth in the boy's lower jaw
According to Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Professor P Senthilnathan, the doctors decided that surgery was "inevitable".
After the parents agreed to the surgery, the doctors began to remove the sack in a procedure that took five hours.
"We opened up the jaw after administering general anaesthesia and saw a bag/sack inside it. The sack, weighing about 200 grams, was carefully removed and was later found to contain 526 teeth -- small, medium and big sized," said the professor.
According to another professor, Head of Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Prabitha Ramani, the minute teeth looked like "pearls in an oyster" and that they were different in sizes, ranging from 0.1mm to 15mm.
The dentists claimed that this is the first case documented in the world in which an individual had a sack of teeth in his lower jaw
However, they are unable to determine the underlying cause of the abnormal growth.
"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," said Dr Ramani, adding that they have screened more than 250 people who lived nearby mobile towers, and 10% of them had micronuclei changes in their cells.
Dr Ramani said that they would have to carry out a larger study to prove the link between the cell changes and mobile towers.
According to India Times, hospital founder and chancellor N M Veeraiyan revealed that the surgery performed on Ravindranath was free of charge and that he has since recovered from the procedure.