Intranasal tooth and associated rhinolith in a patient with cleft lip and palate

March 24, 2013
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We report the case of a 9-year-old girl who presented with a complaint of a malodorous bloody discharge from the left naris. The patient had previously undergone a complete repair of left-sided cleft lip and palate. Clinical examination revealed hyperplasia of the nasal mucosa on the left side. X-ray examination of the nasal cavity demonstrated a radiopaque structure that resembled a tooth and a radiopaque mass similar to an odontoma that was adherent to the root of the suspected tooth. With the patient under general anesthesia, the structure was removed. On gross inspection, the structure was identified as a tooth with a rhinolith attached to the surface of its root. Microscopic examination revealed normal dentin and pulp tissue. A nonspecific inflammatory infiltrate was observed around the rhinolith, and areas of regular and irregular mineralization were seen. Some mineralized areas exhibited melanin-like brownish pigmentation. Areas of mucus with deposits of mineral salts were also observed. Rare cases of an intranasal tooth associated with a rhinolith have been described in the literature. We believe that this case represents only the second published report of an intranasal tooth associated with a rhinolith in a patient with cleft lip and palate.


The ectopic development of teeth occurs in different areas in and around the oral cavity, as well as at distant sites. The literature contains reports of tooth development in the maxillary sinus, mandibular condyle, coronoid process, orbits, palate, mentum, and skin, as well as less common locations such as the ovaries, testes, anterior mediastinum, retroperitoneum, and presacral and coccygeal areas.1

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