For one 4-month-old boy, his teeth came in a bit early —but they weren’t in his mouth.
In what can easily be described as a totally freakish medical discovery, doctors have found teeth inside a rare brain tumor the baby had, according to report published in the Feb. 27 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Signs of trouble with the boy arose when doctors noticed his head was growing faster than normal. Upon doing a brain scan (above), they noticed a tumor that contained what appeared to be teeth that would be found in a person’s lower jaw.
They were able to perform surgery to remove the tumor, along with its teeth. (Click here to see them, and yes, it’s graphic).
He is making good developmental progress, and as part of his follow-up, he currently undergoes routine MRI, the NEJM reports.
Doctors were able to determine the boy had craniopharyngioma, which is a rare, non-spreading tumor that can grow to be as large as a golf ball.
It’s not every day you see teeth in any type of tumor in the brain. In a craniopharyngioma, it’s unheard of, said Dr. Narlin Beaty, a neurosurgeon at the University of Maryland Medical Center.
The teeth were sent off to a pathologist to be studied, and Beaty said in cases like this, samples are saved for many years in the event they need to do further investigation at a later time.
So that’s the bad news. The boy’s going to have to wait a while for the Tooth Fairy to pay up.