An Indian woman's decision to not get extra teeth extracted helped her set an unusual record as she won the Guinness World Records title for having 38 teeth – six more than the average adult – in a person’s mouth.
Kalpana Balan, the 26-year-old mother of one, has four extra mandibular (lower jaw) teeth and two extra maxillary (upper jaw) teeth.
The male record holder is Evano Mellone (Canada), who has 41 teeth.
Kalpana’s supernumerary teeth began growing one by one during her teenage years.
They don’t cause her any pain, but they do pose an issue when she eats, as food often gets stuck in between them.
Kalpana revealed that her parents were “shocked” when they first saw her extra teeth coming through and told her to get them taken out.
However, Kalpana’s dentist suggested she wait until the teeth grow out more because they could not be easily removed.
Kalpana decided to keep the teeth though, even after they’d all fully grown out, as she feared going through with the procedure.
After achieving this world record, Kalpana says she’s pleased with her decision.
“I am so happy to get the Guinness World Records title,” she said. “It’s my lifetime achievement.”
And Kalpana could be able to extend her record in the future, as she has two more teeth that haven’t come through yet.
The medical term for the presence of excess teeth is hyperdontia or polydontia. Up to 3.8% of the world’s population have one or more supernumerary teeth.
Hyperdontia is the result of a malfunction in the tooth formation process, although its exact cause is unknown.
It is thought that supernumerary teeth develop from an extra tooth bud arising near a regular tooth bud, or possibly from the splitting of a regular tooth bud.
It also appears to be associated with several hereditary conditions, including Gardner syndrome, Fabry disease, cleidocranial dysostosis, and cleft lip.
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