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 8:01 AM EDT, Thu September 18, 2014
Put yourself in the shoes (and sixth-century black robes) of ISIS' Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the mysterious boss of the terror group.
updated 1:00 AM EDT, Thu September 18, 2014
China's Xi Jinping and India's Narendra Modi, leaders of the most populous nations face similar challenges. Can they learn from each other?
updated 6:36 PM EDT, Wed September 17, 2014
The U.S. is not returning combat troops to Iraq, President Barack Obama insists.
updated 8:38 PM EDT, Tue September 16, 2014
A man abducted alongside killed U.S. journalist Steven Sotloff tells CNN that no one from the U.S. government has tried to talk with him.
updated 11:08 AM EDT, Wed September 17, 2014
Mulatu Astatke is the founding father of ethio-jazz: a fusion of Ethiopian music with western jazz.
updated 9:11 AM EDT, Wed September 17, 2014
Have you been to these? The global museum list, released Tuesday, ranks 25 of the world's best museums.
updated 1:03 PM EDT, Wed September 17, 2014
iOS 8, the latest version of Apple's mobile operating system, comes with new features that you'll enjoy.
updated 5:27 AM EDT, Wed September 17, 2014
Psychedelic drugs are being researched as a potential treatment for conditions ranging from anxiety to tobacco and alcohol addiction.
updated 9:42 PM EDT, Wed September 17, 2014
It's a surfer's paradise -- but Diah Rahayu is out on her own when it comes to professional women's wave-riding in Bali.
updated 10:09 AM EDT, Thu September 18, 2014
Even death couldn't part two skeletons excavated from a lost chapel in an English county, found with their fingers entwined.
updated 12:20 PM EDT, Thu September 18, 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