A 26-year-old Indian woman, Kalpana Balan, has recently set a Guinness World Record for the highest number of teeth in a female’s mouth. She now holds the record with a total of 38 teeth, including four extra mandibular (lower jaw) and two extra maxillary (upper jaw) teeth.
The discovery of her extra teeth was surprising to her parents, who recommended extraction. However, her dentist suggested waiting until the teeth grew out more before removing them due to their difficulty in removal. Although this caused some challenges with eating, Kalpana ultimately decided to keep the extra teeth and is proud of achieving the Guinness World Records title as a lifetime achievement.
Ms. Balan still has two unfilled teeth, which means she may have the potential to extend her record in the future. The medical term for having extra teeth is hyperdontia or polydontia, and it is reported that up to 3.8% of the world’s population have one or more supernumerary teeth. The exact cause of hyperdontia is not known, but it is thought to result from a malfunction in the tooth formation process.
In comparison to Ms. Balan’s female record holder status, Evano Mellone from Canada holds the male record for this title with 41 teeth. This achievement represents an interesting trend in news stories about unusual and remarkable individuals striving towards unique accomplishments and pushing boundaries beyond what is considered typical or average.