26-year-old Indian woman, Kalpana Balan, recently broke the 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) teeth and two extra maxillary (upper jaw) teeth.
Although her parents were initially surprised by the discovery of her extra teeth and recommended extraction, Kalpana’s dentist suggested waiting until they grew out more. Despite some challenges with eating due to food getting trapped between them, she ultimately decided to keep them. Her achievement has made her very happy and she feels proud to have earned the 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.
The male record holder for this title is Evano Mellone from Canada with 41 teeth. This achievement is part of a trend of many interesting news stories that highlight people who are breaking boundaries and achieving great things despite facing challenges along the way.