In a freak incident, a 43-year-old woman and a resident of Ramapuram near the Valasaravakkam area of Chennai died earlier this week after she accidentally swallowed her artificial tooth while drinking water. Owing to dental issues, S Rajalakshmi (43), wife of Suresh (48) had replaced her teeth with three new artificial teeth at a private hospital in the Porur area. While drinking water, Rajalakshmi accidentally ended up swallowing one of her three artificial teeth, following which she vomited and felt nauseous. She was immediately rushed to a nearby private hospital. However, she was examined by the doctors and nothing was seen in the scanning report and hence was discharged.
However, Rajalakshmi fainted the next day at home and so was again rushed back to the hospital but died on the way. The doctors at a private hospital declared her brought dead. Royala Nagar police sent the body for autopsy.
A case was registered under Section 174 (unnatural death) of the Code of Criminal Procedure to probe the actual cause of death. Oral pathologists say that studies have often found that chances of death due to swallowing an artificial tooth is rare unless it reaches the air pipe inside the human body since the delicate tissues in the air pipe might get damaged and results in bleeding that may cause death.
In a separate incident, recently a teenager from Bihar had to undergo a 3-hour operation to remove 82 extra teeth from his mouth. A rare tumour of the jaw caused an unwanted growth of extra teeth in the mouth of 17-year-old Nitish Kumar.
Nitish who belongs to Bihar’s Arah district had been suffering from a rare jaw condition called complex odontoma, for the past 5 years. His condition deteriorated over the past few years because of the lack of treatment. He ran from hospital to hospital in hope of getting some relief before finally arriving at Patna’s Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences.