‘Shark boy’ with ultra-rare condition had hundreds more teeth than a great white

A lad with twice as many teeth as a great white shark spent hours in the dentist's chair having them removed.

Ravindran, who was seven years old at the time, stunned medics with a mouth full of what could be the most gnashers ever found in a human mouth.

The operating team at Saveetha dental college and hospital in Chennai, India, counted a jaw-dropping total of 526 teeth inside Ravindran's mouth following the lengthy procedure first reported on August 1, 2019.

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By comparison, great white sharks – famed for their deadly set of chompers – typically have closer to 300 teeth.

Unlike the magnificent yet fearsome predators of the ocean, however, hundreds of the boy's teeth were bundled inside a fleshy sac which had grown over four years.

Ravindran was booked into seeing specialists after complaining of occasional toothache in the molar region of his lower jaw.

Once laid out on a table, it was clear that some teeth were larger than others, as pointed out by the hospital's head of oral and maxillofacial pathology Pratibha Ramani.

Ramani said: “The teeth were of variable sizes that ranged from smallest at 0.1mm to largest 3mm. They had a small crown, enamel and a small root.

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“We had to drill down into the top [of the lower jaw], make a window and remove the sac.

“As it [the sac] was going deeper into the tissue the size of the teeth was becoming very small.”

Despite the large number of teeth inside his mouth, the boy was not in too much pain, she said.

She added: “The only thing which was bothering him was that the tooth on that side had not erupted, it was empty, and [he had] occasional pain, and there was slight swelling that was increasing in size.”

The sac was diagnosed as a compound composite odontoma benign tumour, but what medics were unable to determine was how it formed.

Those at the hospital could not agree if the tumour was a genetic phenomenon or the result of environmental factors.

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It took around two hours for the surgery to be completed but a further 10 days for experts to analyse each tooth, leaving Ravindram with a set of just 21 teeth.

Ramani added: “We had to take a lot of counselling sessions with him for him to undergo surgery. We have a very good counselling team who have expertise in dealing with kids.”

Ravindram was released after three days and said to have recovered quickly.

The only similar condition seen previously in India was in 2014 at a Mumbai hospital where exactly 232 teeth were removed from the mouth of a 17-year-old boy.


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