Dentists have been reflecting on an incredibly rare case, where a 38-year-old man was found to have a tooth growing in his nose. As a result, surgery was required, which led to its removal. Incredibly, the patient made a full recovery.

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Two dentists have been discussing a recent remarkable situation that involved an ectopic tooth growing through the nose of a 38-year-old man.

The man had been enduring breathing problems through one of his nostrils for several years. However, nothing had previously been spotted.

But after a close inspection of the nose, a tooth was found to be growing. This led to dentists attempting its extraction, which thankfully proved successful.

Ectopic teeth

Ectopic body parts are defined as body parts that grow in places where they would not normally grow. Therefore, ectopic body parts are rare. For example, statistics show that 0.1% of people have ectopic teeth [1].

For teeth, the most common ectopic case is when a canine tooth grows in the wrong direction in the upper jaw. Because ectopic teeth can disrupt the development of other teeth, ectopic teeth often result in crooked teeth or gaps developing [1].


Two dentists – Sagar Khanna and Michael Turner – recounted the events in the New England Journal of Medicine [2]. They discussed the tooth’s identification and then how it was treated.

When the 38-year-old man requested assistance, doctors decided to do a rhinoscopy [2]. A rhinoscopy is a minor procedure where a camera is placed in the nostril to get a closer look at the nose.

The doctors found a deviated septum [2]. The septum is the cartilage that separates the two nostrils. The doctors found an object that was protruding from the wall of the right nostril. As a result, doctors took an x-ray of the object and the area around it [2].

To their shock, the doctors found a tooth. The ectopic tooth had grown upward from the jaw, rather than down into the mouth, as is the usual situation [2].


Treatment was important. Because the patient had his oxygen flow restricted, it resulted in prolonged difficulties in breathing.

The tooth was 14mm in length [2]. Doctors decided that surgery was the best course of action to take [2]. The patient also agreed.

Dentists then extracted the tooth without any complication. The extraction was incredibly straightforward, and caused no pain for the patient [2].

Three months later, the patient returned for a follow-up. The wound had healed properly, there was no infection, nor had any re-growth taken place since the extraction [2].

While no complications were expected, there are always risks involved. Because of the outcome, the treatment was considered to be very successful. The patient was pleased to be able to breathe freely again.

The authors discussed the implications of the case. They noted that it is important for people with ectopic body parts to see a doctor [2]. They mentioned that failing to do so could result in damage to surrounding tissues [2].

Cases like this are rare, but they can happen. As a result, it is important to be fully aware of your overall physical health. For example, this involves checking for any irregularities, including teeth.

Fortunately, such cases usually have positive treatment outcomes. A more complex case involving ectopic teeth concerned an 8-year-old boy [3]. He had two ectopic teeth growing, which required multiple treatments [3]. Fortunately, the treatments proved successful.

Thinking points…

1) Do you know much about ectopic teeth? Remember that anyone can be affected by them. As a result, it is worth checking for irregularities in both yourself and any family members.

2) Are any of your teeth out of shape, look irregular or pointing in an unusual direction? If so, it is worth visiting your Calgary dentist. Consequently, your dentist will be able to advise if anything needs to be done.

3) Any oral problems, whether this is tooth, gum or even ectopic-based issues, will be able to be picked up at a regular check-up. Because of this, it is important to regularly attend check-ups. Consider booking a dental appointment soon!

What we offer at Taradale Dental

Taradale Dental is a dental clinic based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. We offer many services, including regular check-ups, cavity fillings, root canals and some cosmetic services.

It is important for dental problems to be addressed early. Any oral-based problems will be identified at check-ups. This helps to prevent the problem getting worse. If and when further treatment is needed after a check-up, our patients receive a clear treatment plan. 

The best way of avoiding extra treatment is to have strong oral hygiene. This includes brushing our teeth at least twice a day, flossing regularly, and getting a dental check-up at least twice a year. Avoiding sugary foods and drink and not smoking also helps.

Our Calgary-based dental clinic Taradale Dental also follows the Alberta Dental Fee Guide. This means our prices are competitive, transparent and affordable.

We would love you to visit us here at Taradale Dental soon! You can see more about us by visiting our website


[1] Yirka, B. (2021). Doctors find tooth growing inside a patient’s nose. Available: Last accessed: 11th December 2021.

[2] Khanna, S., & Turner, M. (2021). Ectopic Tooth in the Nose. The New England Journal of Medicine. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMicm2112363.

[3] Massaro, C., Janson, G., Yatabe, M., Resti Calil, L., Marchini Oliveira, T., & Garib, D. (2020). Dental anomaly pattern and multiple ectopic teeth. American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics. 158 (1): p102-113.