Thursday, 24 July 2014

Pulling Teeth.

Teeth have always fascinated me. The little pearly chompers in our mouths help us to speak, chew, show our feelings and give structure to our faces. As we know, we are born with 2 sets of teeth: milk teeth which start to sprout at 6 months old and fall out around the age of 6/7 and are replaced by the adult teeth which we have for the rest of our lives.

On average, most adults have 32 teeth comprising of 8 incisors, 4 canines, 8 premolars, 12 molars and 4 wisdom teeth. I use the word average, as some people do not have wisdom teeth either through dental choice, or they just have not grown through.

picture of a skull with both
adult and baby teeth still intact.
Astonishingly a 17 year old boy called Ashik Gavai has had 232 teeth removed from his mouth this week. This is 7 times the amount of teeth found in the average adult mouth.  The 17 year old had a swelling on the right hand side of his face, in the area of his lower jaw.  He sought medical help and was referred to the JJ hospital where his condition was found to be complex odontoma (where there is a mass of dental tissue (e.g. enamel, dentin or cementum) found as little toothlets in the lower jaw), and he was operated upon. All of the odontoma was removed and there will be no permenant damage to the structure, shape or function of his lower jaw.

Explorer Fact: there are 2 types of odontoma: compound and complex.

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