A 22-year-old Saudi Arabian man suffered from several nosebleeds each month for years. When he went to the doctor, they were surprised to find out why.
“Anterior rhinoscopy revealed [an] ivory white nasal mass antero-inferiorly in the left nasal cavity touching [a specific region of the nose]. There was no bleeding. Nasal endoscopy showed a white cylindrical bony mass 1 cm long arising from the floor of the nose, with no attachment to the nasal septum or the lateral wall of the nose,” the study authors said. “Examination of the right nasal cavity was unremarkable.”
“It’s an unusual case of an extra tooth — certainly, the most impressive intranasal photo I think I’ve ever seen of one. I’ve never seen the tooth actually in there,” Dr. John Hellstein, a dentist in Iowa who was not involved in the study, told Live Science.
The growth of a “supernumerary” tooth in the nose, while rare, isn’t unheard of. There have been several published studies that cite the growth of teeth in the nose. One such study published in the American Journal of Neuroradiology more than a decade ago noted three case reports of supernumerary teeth in the nasal cavity. According to this study, the phenomenon affects about 0.1 to 1 percent of the population, but the most common area for extra teeth to grow is in the upper incisor area.
The more recent study of the tooth in the young man’s nose, which was surgically removed, said the causes of intranasal tooth growth include “trauma, infection, anatomical malformations and genetic factors.”
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This story has been updated to correct a typo.