NOV 01, 2017 3:12 PM PDT

Diagnosed: Woman Had a Tooth Growing in Her Nose

WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham

Image credit: AsiaWire via DailyMail.co.uk

For decades, a Chinese woman suffered from constant congestion and nosebleeds. When she finally sought medical help, doctors were amazed to find a fully grown tooth in her nasal cavity.

For the 57-year-old patient, identified only by her surname Xia, the persistent stuffy nose, congestion, and nosebleeds were just a way of life. She had dealt with these symptoms for decades, and had resigned to the idea that her nose was always inexplicably sick.

Could it be a severe case of non-allergic rhinitis, an inflammation of the mucus membranes inside the nose? Maybe she was suffering from a deviated septum, a condition where the thin wall separating the nostrils is not aligned properly, and can cause similar symptoms to what Xia described. Or perhaps she was perpetually fighting a nasty cold that seemed to linger forever.

At the Hunan Provincial People's Hospital, doctors did a scan to see if there were any obstructions. Indeed, the scan revealed a circular object sitting in her right nasal passageway.

“Scans showed a high-density shadow in her right nasal cavity. We thought it was a foreign object or some sort of stone,” said Zhou Jianpo, an ear, nose and throat specialist.

In surgery, the doctors were shocked to discover the object wasn’t a stone. Rather, it was a fully-formed tooth, complete with root and crown.

The condition is known as supernumerary teeth or hyperdontia, and occurs a person has extra teeth besides the normal set. While it sounds like science fiction, the condition is not all that unusual for dentists, as around 4 percent of the population can have extra teeth. In most cases, the extra teeth occur along the dental arch of the jawbone. However, as evidenced by Xia’s case, the extra teeth can also grow in other odd places, though the incidence of these are much more rare.  

While the cause of supernumerary teeth is not known, doctors on the case speculate that “causes of intranasal teeth include trauma, infection, anatomical malformations, and genetic factors.”

After the extra tooth was removed, Xia reported improvements on all nose-related symptoms. For the first time in decades, she found relief from the unending congestion, stuffiness, and nosebleeds – she can now truly breathe.

Additional sources: Daily Mail, Live Science

About the Author
  • I am a human geneticist, passionate about telling stories to make science more engaging and approachable. Find more of my writing at the Hopkins BioMedical Odyssey blog and at TheGeneTwist.com.
You May Also Like
NOV 07, 2019
Neuroscience
NOV 07, 2019
Reading, Hearing Language Connects Meaning to Same Region in the Brain
Scientists at the University of California Berkeley used improved functional MRI resolution to show that similar neural circuits in the same regions of the...
NOV 27, 2019
Health & Medicine
NOV 27, 2019
3D-printed cell traps catch cancer cells on the move
The early stages of metastasis, or the spread of cancer cells from the primary tumor site, are incredibly difficult to detect by analyzing blood samples. F...
NOV 12, 2019
Immunology
NOV 12, 2019
Allergy Shots May Work for Kids with Pollen Food Allergy Syndrome
It’s not common for young children to develop pollen food allergy syndrome (PFAS), but for those that do, there’s not too much parents can do o...
JAN 19, 2020
Immunology
JAN 19, 2020
Overactive Immune Gene May Cause Schizophrenia
A windy road links excessive activity of the “C4” gene to the development of schizophrenia. Researchers begin to study C4 activity as part of n...
FEB 07, 2020
Clinical & Molecular DX
FEB 07, 2020
New diagnostic technology uses levitating proteins
Intrinsic biophysical properties of proteins hold valuable clues about how they function and their role in disease. Take, for example, one of the most comm...
FEB 22, 2020
Clinical & Molecular DX
FEB 22, 2020
Harmful Algal Blooms
Algae is an essential plant-like organism. They contribute to the diet of some marine animals and supply necessary oxygen to bodies of water. Algae populat...
Loading Comments...