For most people with a normal smile, the 32 teeth they are given are hard enough to keep healthy. But one boy in India had a whopping 80 teeth grow in, which he then had to get removed. The seven year old from Mumbai had the surgery on December 26th, 2014.
The boy was brought into Maharaja Yeshwantrao hospital to be treated for painful abscesses in his upper jaw. The father was initially worried it could be a cancerous tumor. When x-rays were performed the doctors noticed an excessive amount of dental tissue grown in the upper jaw, and they diagnosed the boy with odontoma. Odontoma is a rare but benign tumor made up of dental tissue growing in the gum or jaw. The International Business Times reported that the doctors ended up extracting 80 teeth from the boy's small 5x3.5cm abscess during a four hour operation. Truly a huge number, but not as many as a July 2014 operation which resulted in 232 teeth being taken out of 17 year old Ashik Gavai, who had the same condition.
Dr Dhivare-Palwankar, head of dentistry of JJ Hospital were Gavai was treated commented that the number of removed teeth could very well likely been a world record.
Wisdom teeth or "third molars" are up to 4 hind teeth that usually come in during the late teens or early twenties (age 17-25). Removing them is often a regular part of growing up. But more and more people are starting to question if its always necessary. Wisdom teeth grow through the gums only partially, because there usually is not enough room in the jaw so they are considered "impacted" and can thus decay and cause plaque problems. Those who oppose sometimes say watching and waiting is best to see if the incoming teeth will cause a problem. Consulting a professional for x rays is also advised. As sometimes the wisdom teeth do no damage to the surrounding teeth and gum tissue. Americans spend about $3 billion a year removing wisdom teeth according to the American Public Health Association. The biggest predictability of having the procedure done is the "availability of insurance" says an APHA survey. "When dentists recommended removal, 55% of participants adhered to this recommendation during follow-up, and the main reason was availability of insurance (88%)," the survey states. To extract the wisdom teeth, depending on procedure complexity, position and where you live insured people might pay $300-600 on average per tooth according to to Jay Friedman a Dentist and consultant in Los Angeles who analyzed a survey of fees from the American Dental Association. "A person with good dental insurance might have to pay 20% of the fee out-of-pocket, as much as $320 to $500 for four wisdom tooth extractions," Friedman also added. Based on research from 2014 about 80% of dental extractions were for wisdom teeth. As in every surgery, including the most routine, there are risks. When doing the procedure you should know the benefits. If the tooth is not diseased it may be okay to leave it in. Most widom teeth extraction are done with a local anesthetic, with which the patient is awake and able to communicate with the doctor. A general anesthetic, leaves the patient unconscious is used too often and costs more, according to Friedman. "They [oral surgeons] like to give general anesthetic. It's a big money maker. You're making a lot of money giving general anesthesia or I-V sedation, even though you don't need it," says Friedman, adding that he has often removed wisdom teeth with a local anesthetic, such as Novocain. He adds most surgeons prefer local anesthetic as it is easier to work with. The one risk, he says, is if the mouth opens to wide, causing damage. As well as the possibility of nerve injury. For those who keep wisdom teeth, it is advised to be monitored closely by your dentist and yourself. So why did humans develop wisdom teeth? Scientists theorize early humans once put their wisdom teeth to good use, their diet being mainly roots, tough meat and raw food. The hard to eat food meant the human jaw had to work much harder to break down foods to swallow. And extra teeth helped complete this task. Scientists also believe at one time the human jaw was larger, allowing the wisdom teeth to grow in without problem. Source: http://www.latimes.com/health/la-he-wisdom-teeth-20150103-story.html
Birds like anteaters, baleen whales and turtles don't have teeth. But this wasn't always the case. The common ancestor of all living birds sported a set of pearly whites 116 million years ago, a new study finds.
In the study, researchers looked at the mutated remains of tooth genes in modern birds to figure out when birds developed "edentulism" an absence of teeth. Ancient birds have left only a fragmented fossil record, but studying the genes of modern birds can help clarify how the bird lineage has changed over time. "DNA from the crypt is a powerful tool for unlocking secrets of evolutionary history," Mark Springer, a professor of biology at the University of California, Riverside and one of the study's lead researchers, said in a statement.
Modern birds have curved beaks and a hearty digestive tract that help them grind and process food. But the 1861 finding of the fossil bird Archaeopteryx in Germany suggested that birds descended from toothed reptile ancestors, Springer said. And scientists now know that birds evolved from theropod dinosaurs, carnivorous beasts such as Tyrannosaurus rex, which had a mouth full of sharp teeth. But no one knew exactly what happened to the teeth in the evolution of these animals from then until now.
"The history of tooth loss in the ancestry of modern birds has remained elusive for more than 150 years," Springer said. [8 Foods for Healthy Teeth] In the new study, the researchers wondered whether the bird lineage lost its teeth in a single event, meaning the common ancestor of all birds did not have teeth, or whether edentulism happened independently, in different lines of birds throughout history, the researchers said. To find out, they investigated the genes that govern tooth production. In vertebrates, tooth formation involves six genes that are crucial for the formation of enamel (the hard tissue that coats teeth) and dentin (the calcified stuff underneath it). The researchers looked for mutations that might inactivate these six genes in the genomes of 48 bird species, which represent almost every order of living birds. A mutation in dentin- and enamel-related genes that was shared among bird species would indicate that their common ancestor had lost the ability to form teeth, the researchers said. They found that all of the bird species had the same mutations in dentin- and enamel-related genes. "The presence of several inactivating mutations that are shared by all 48 bird species suggests that the outer enamel covering of teeth was lost around 116 million years ago," Springer said.
The researchers also found mutations in the in the enamel and dentin genes of other vertebrates that don't have teeth or enamel, including turtles, armadillos, sloths, aardvarks and pangolins, which look like scaly anteaters. The closest living modern reptile relative of birds is the alligator, Springer said. "All six genes are functional in the American alligator," Springer said.
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