Having extra teeth, or hyperdontia, is nothing out of the ordinary. In fact, it’s estimated that up to 4% of people have more teeth than normal. These extra teeth are usually found in people’s mouths, funnily enough, which is why doctors were slightly surprised to discover a 22-year-old man sporting one in his nose. Yep, his nose.
This patient visited his doctor because he had been having frequent nosebleeds for 3 years. Recurrent nosebleeds are fairly common in children and young adults and are usually caused by infections or minor injuries to the tiny blood vessels lining the inside of your nose. This case, however, was found to be caused by a very different culprit: an unusual white bony mass coming out of the floor of the nose.
After inspecting the nose and its unusual inhabitant, the doctor consulted with dentists who concluded that this unusual white lump was a supernumerary (extra) tooth that had erupted inside his nose. According to the report, which has been published in the American Journal of Case Reports, the patient had a well aligned, full set of teeth in his mouth.
The patient was put under general anesthetic and the extra tooth, alongside surrounding tissue, was removed. 3 months later his nose was found to be completely healed and the man no longer suffered from nosebleeds.
According to dentist Dr. John Hellstein, who was not involved in the case, the patient likely had mesiodens which is a common type of extra tooth around the incisors. “About a third of those actually develop upside down, and they can get rerouted upward, towards the nose,” Hellstein told Live Science.
It’s been difficult to determine the prevalence of supernumerary teeth because they often remain undiagnosed if they don’t erupt. Furthermore, extra teeth are usually asymptomatic, even those found in the nose. Causes of these bizarre intranasal teeth include infection, trauma and genetic factors.