Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Teen gets 232 "teeth" removed in Mumbai

By Sugam Pokharel and Zoe Li, CNN
updated 2:14 AM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
Ashik Gavai underwent a six-hour operation to remove abnormal dental growth from his mouth. Ashik Gavai underwent a six-hour operation to remove abnormal dental growth from his mouth.
HIDE CAPTION
More than 200 "teeth" extracted
More than 200 "teeth" extracted
More than 200 "teeth" extracted
More than 200 "teeth" extracted
<<
<
1
2
3
4
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • A benign tumor caused teeth-like growth in a teenager's jaw area
  • Four doctors operated for six hours on Ashik Gavai to remove 232 abnormal teeth
  • The "teeth" could grow back
  • A government program paid for the $4,000 surgery

(CNN) -- A teenager in India, who had more than 200 "teeth" growing in his mouth due to a benign dental tumor, has had them removed.

Ashik Gavai, a 17-year-old student from Buldhana, underwent the six-hour operation, which involved four doctors at Mumbai's J.J. Hospital on July 21.

The teen had 232 denticles -- abnormal teeth-like growth -- lodged in his mouth due to a complex composite odontoma, a benign dental tumor.

The abnormal teeth were embedded in the bone inside the lower right jaw and were not visible from outside the mouth. Surgeons say the surgery was "dangerous" and the patient's jawbone will take three to four months to heal.

Guess what people are tattooing now
What in the World? Teeth & SCOTUS

"It is very common for a person to have a (small) number of abnormal teeth, but this many is very rare," said Dr. Sunanda Dhiware, head of the Department of Dentistry at J.J. Hospital. She adds that she knows of cases where 40 to 50 teeth were removed.

Gavai's normal teeth are to remain in his mouth, although the doctors did help to remove a wisdom tooth.

The teen is currently recovering in the hospital and has been put on a liquid diet of mainly coconut water and milk.

According to Dr. Vandana Thoravade, surgeon in the ENT department at J.J. Hospital, the operation could have cost as much as 250,000 rupees (about $4,000), which the Gavai family could not afford. The teen's father is a farm laborer who earns 150-200 rupees ($2-3) a day.

The government's Rajiv Gandhi Jeevandayee Arogya Yojana program -- which supports low income patients -- took care of the bill.

Gavai's doctors said the denticles likely started to form when the patient was six years old, but Gavai did not notice the abnormal teeth until a month ago, when his mouth began to swell.

The village doctors near his home in Buldhana District, about 500 km from Mumbai, were unable to treat Gavai's condition, and referred him to the Mumbai hospital.

Doctors say denticles are likely to grow again in Gavai's mouth, but probably not in such a large number.

Dental screening that could save your life

Five ways to preserve your teeth as you age

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 12:46 PM EST, Sun December 21, 2014
The tragic killing of two cops could not have happened at a worse time for a city embroiled in a bitter public battle over police-community relations, Errol Louis says.
updated 8:27 AM EST, Mon December 22, 2014
North Korea warns the United States that U.S. "citadels" will be attacked, dwarfing the hacking attack on Sony that led to the cancellation of a comedy film's release.
updated 9:51 PM EST, Sun December 21, 2014
The gateway to Japan's capital, Tokyo Station, is celebrating its centennial this month -- and it's never looked better.
updated 11:21 AM EST, Sat December 20, 2014
More than 1.7 million children in conflict-torn areas of eastern Ukraine face an "extremely serious" situation, Unicef has warned.
updated 8:22 AM EST, Fri December 19, 2014
Boko Haram's latest abductions may meet a weary global reaction, Nigerian journalist Tolu Ogunlesi says.
updated 5:34 AM EST, Fri December 19, 2014
Drops, smudges, pools of blood are everywhere -- but in the computer room CNN's Nic Robertson reels from the true horror of the Peshawar school attack.
updated 9:43 PM EST, Wed December 17, 2014
The gunman behind the deadly siege in Sydney this week was not on a security watch list, and Australia's Prime Minister wants to know why.
updated 4:48 AM EST, Thu December 18, 2014
Bestselling author Marjorie Liu had set her sights on being a lawyer, but realized it wasn't what she wanted to do for the rest of her life.
updated 3:27 PM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
CNN's Matthew Chance looks into an HRW report saying Russia has "legalized discrimination against LGBT people."
updated 9:12 PM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
The Sydney siege has brought home some troubling truths to Australians. They are not immune to what are often called "lone-wolf" terror attacks.
Bill Cosby has kept quiet as sexual assault allegations mounted against him, but his wife, Camille, finally spoke out in defense of her husband.
updated 12:01 PM EST, Mon December 22, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT