Article Excerpt: Mouth ulcers are very common and can be due to a variety of reasons. Trauma from accidentally biting your tongue or lip is a common cause of ulcer. Drinking a hot cup of coffee too quickly can also result in an ulcer. Other causes include certain medications, stress, viral, bacterial or fungal infections and certain foods. The mouth is often the part of the body that gives us clues about the health of the entire body. As such, mouth ulcers can also be due to nutritional deficiencies such as deficiencies in Vitamin B12, folate and iron. Skin disorders (Lichen Planus), gastrointestinal disorder (Crohn’s disease) and immunological disorders (Bechet’s syndrome) can manifest as mouth ulcers. Among these many different causes, a persistent mouth ulcer can also be due to oral cancer which if not detected early enough can lead to significant spread to other areas of the head and neck requiring invasive treatment or result even in death.

From 2008 to 2012, about 500 people were diagnosed with oral cancer in Singapore, making up an average of 100 cases a year. In Singapore and other parts of the world, only half of the oral cancer patients managed to survive for more than five years after diagnosis and treatment. It gets more difficult to treat cancer if it is diagnosed later, and this is why it’s extremely important to look out for the warning signs and go for health checks regularly to detect the early signs.

What is Oral Cancer?

Oral cancer is cancer that develops in any of the parts that make up the mouth and throat such as lips, gums, tongue, the inside lining of the cheeks and the roof or floor of the mouth. The possible signs and symptoms of oral cancer are swelling, lumps or bumps, red or white patches in the mouth, a persistent ulcer that does not seem to heal after 3 weeks, a change in the way the teeth fit or dentures fit, difficulty chewing, and persistent sores, among others.

What-is-Oral-Cancer

Oral cancer or mouth cancer can be particularly dangerous as the early symptoms are usually painless or not easily noticeable. Hence, patients would either self-medicate or completely ignore the symptoms until the cancer has metastasized (spread) to another location—mostly the lymph nodes of the neck. Prognosis at this stage of discovery is significantly worse than when it is caught in the localized area in the mouth. This is because the cancer has not only spread, at the later stages, the primary tumour also has had time to invade deep into local structures, which may make it even harder to treat.

Oral cancers are also more frequent among men than women, especially the middle-aged and elderlies. However, in recent years, an increasing number of women are being diagnosed with oral cancer. This year, the American Cancer Society estimated around 10,750 deaths surrounding the oral cavity and oropharyngeal cancers in the United States. Nevertheless, there are ways to treat and control oral cancer, mainly with early detection. If cancer has spread to deeper areas of the face and jaw considerably, extensive surgery will be required to remove the cancerous growth and this often leaves the patient with some disfigurement of the face.

There are plenty of factors that lead to mouth cancer but the biggest risk factor is the consumption of alcohol and tobacco use—chewing tobacco or smoking cigarettes, cigars and pipes.

Canker Sore VS Oral Cancer

Canker-Sore-VS-Oral-Cancer

What differentiates between the two?

  • Canker Sore – Typically small, bubble-like ulcers that can be found inside the mouth, lip, cheeks or tongue. They can be painful at times but they are not contagious nor cancerous. Canker sore looks like an ulcer but the middle part may appear white, grey or yellow while the edges are red. You can self-medicate canker sore by applying medications, eating soft food or gargling with salt water, and it will go away in a matter of one to two weeks’ time.
  • Oral Cancer – In the early stages of oral cancer, it may look like an open canker sore (which explains the confusion) or it could also take the form of a discoloured lump on the edge of the lip. However, unlike canker sore, oral cancer does not heal or go away. It will stay in a concentrated spot before spreading more aggressively. So before it spreads, it is vital for you to get a quick check-up with your dentist for early detection.

How to reduce the risk of Oral Cancer

1. Do not smoke

Do-not-smoke

1. Do not smoke

If you are an avid smoker, refrain from using tobacco be it chewed or smoked. Tobacco exposes the cells in your mouth to dangerous chemicals that can lead to cancer. If you don’t use tobacco, great! And don’t start!

2. Drink alcohol in moderation

Drink-alcohol-in-moderation

2. Drink alcohol in moderation

High alcohol intake can irritate the cells in your mouth, making them vulnerable to cancer. You can drink, but try to do so in moderation. Healthy women can drink up to one glass (approx. 350ml) per day. As for adult men, one drink per day is recommended for those aged 65 and above, and two drinks (approx. 700ml) per day for those below the age of 65.

3. Avoid excessive sun

Avoid-excessive-sun

 3. Avoid excessive sun

Excessive exposure to the sun can cause lip cancer. Limit your sun exposure or use UVA/B-blocking sun-protective lotions on your skin and lips when going out.

4. See a dentist

See-a-dentist

4. See a dentist

Sometimes, dangerous lumps or spots in your mouth can appear very tiny and difficult to detect on your own. Therefore, it is advisable to seek professional help from your dentist. With regular dental checkups, we can detect any unusual signs early and suggest the next best step to you. So be sure to not skip your biennial dental appointment!

Are you due for a dental health check? Come book an appointment with us!

Have an interesting topic you would like us to cover? Just let us know!

References:

1. Facts about moderate drinking. (2019, December 30). Retrieved September 09, 2020, from https://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/moderate-drinking.htm

2. Fighting Oral Cancer with Drool //. (n.d.). Retrieved September 09, 2020, from https://www.ndcs.com.sg/giving/fighting-oral-cancer-with-drool

3. Friedman, M. (2019, October 10). Oral Cancer: Symptoms, Causes, Treatments, and More. Retrieved September 09, 2020, from https://www.webmd.com/oralhealth/guide/oral-cancer

4. Key Statistics for Oral Cavity and Oropharyngeal Cancers. (n.d.). Retrieved September 09, 2020, from https://www.cancer.org/cancer/oral-cavity-and-oropharyngealcancer/about/key-statistics.html

5. Mouth cancer. (2019, January 03). Retrieved September 09, 2020, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/mouth-cancer/symptoms-causes/syc20350997

6. Oral Cancer (Mouth Cancer). (n.d.). Retrieved September 09, 2020, from https://www.healthhub.sg/a-z/diseases-and-conditions/170/oral_disease_and_oral_cancer_nuh

For some children, brushing their teeth is more than just a good hygiene practice, it is also their “snack time.” Kid-friendly flavoured toothpastes were invented to encourage children to brush their teeth. They come in different fun colours (and sometimes glitter too!), packaging designs, candy-like scents and flavours. As more and more parents worry about their child’s dental hygiene, the best way to entice a child into regular, and thorough, brushing is finding a toothpaste they like.

“My child swallowed some toothpaste, should I be worried?”

Most toothpastes contain fluoride to help strengthen our teeth and prevent tooth decay. Even in most children’s toothpastes, there is fluoride but the concentration is much lower than adult’s. This special ingredient is what makes our teeth more resistant to acids found in food and beverages. Children can, however, get fluoride from other sources such as drinking water. Other natural sources of dietary fluoride include tea, fish, and vegetables such as spinach. Nevertheless, if your child is swallowing too much toothpaste, they may run the risk of developing ‘fluorosis’ on their permanent teeth. This may result in the change of colour and texture of your child’s teeth.

To prevent this, you can control the amount of toothpaste your child is using. For kids under 3, a smear of children’s toothpaste is enough; for kids between the ages of 3-6, use a pea-sized amount. In this case, if your child swallows their toothpaste, it is not as harmful. However, do note that if your little one accidentally swallowed a large amount of toothpaste, they may experience an upset stomach.

“My child won’t stop eating toothpaste, how do I stop it?”

#1 Do not leave your child
unattended when
brushing their teeth

Do not leave your child unattended when brushing their teeth

#1 Do not leave your
child unattended when
brushing their teeth

Firstly, you should not let your child brush their teeth without an adult’s supervision if you fear for their safety. While you’re watching, you can also take the opportunity to show them the correct way of brushing. After all, it is important to start young when inculcating healthy habits, and parents should lead by example.

#2 Apply the toothpaste for them

Apply the toothpaste for them

#2 Apply the toothpaste
for them

As mentioned earlier, one of the ways to prevent your little one from ingesting more toothpaste is to control their usage. Treat toothpastes like medicines—hide it away in a cabinet or somewhere out of their reach. This way, you can rest assured that your child is not consuming an excessive amount of toothpaste.

#3 Make sure they spit it out

Make sure they spit it out

#3 Make sure they spit it out

Show your child that toothpaste is not meant to be swallowed by making sure they spit it out after brushing. Then, teach them to rinse their mouth with water to ensure that there is no residual toothpaste. Your child will develop permanent front teeth at about 7-8 years old. So if they have been ingesting a high amount of fluoride at about 2 years of age, those permanent front teeth are at risk of fluorosis where white or brown spots will appear on the surface of the teeth.

#4 What about babies?

What about babies

#4 What about babies?

When brushing your baby’s teeth, angle their head slightly downward so that any extra toothpaste can dribble out of their mouth. Otherwise, you can use teeth and gum wipes meant for babies to remove any excess toothpaste. Same goes with toddlers. Although it is safe for them to consume a small amount of toothpaste, it is still better to be watchful of them. If your child is not capable of spitting out the toothpaste yet, opt for fluoride-free toothpaste for starters.

#5 Switch to a more minty toothpaste

Switch to a more minty toothpaste

#5 Switch to a more minty toothpaste

As your child gets a little older, you can start looking for a slightly mint-flavoured toothpaste. This is a good trick to deter them from eating toothpaste as it is not as enjoyable as the fruity ones they were used to. However, you need to be careful when buying mint-flavoured toothpaste. Since they are mainly catered to older children and adults, it might be too strong for your little one.

In general, children’s toothpastes contain a fluoride concentration of less than 600ppm (parts per million) while adult’s have a fluoride concentration of 1,000-2,500ppm. Children should, therefore, NOT use an adult’s toothpaste and only use toothpaste specifically made for them.

If your child (or you) is due for a dental checkup, come book an appointment with us!

Have a specific topic that you would like us to talk about? Just let us know!

Journal References:

1) American Dental Association Council on Scientific Affairs. (2014). Fluoride toothpaste use for young children. Journal of the American Dental Association (1939), 145(2), 190.

2) Pretty, I. A. (2016). High fluoride concentration toothpastes for children and adolescents. Caries Research, 50(Suppl. 1), 9-14.

3) Ismail, A. I., & Hasson, H. (2008). Fluoride supplements, dental caries and fluorosis: a systematic review. the Journal of the american Dental association, 139(11), 1457-1468.

4) Ammari, A. B., Bloch-Zupan, A., & Ashley, P. F. (2003). Systematic review of studies comparing the anti-caries efficacy of children’s toothpaste containing 600 ppm of fluoride or less with high fluoride toothpastes of 1,000 ppm or above. Caries research, 37(2), 85-92.

In commemoration of the World Humanitarian Day, we thank all the humanitarian workers that have fought, despite all odds, to protect us, and the people most in need. While we do our part and practice physical distancing to flatten the curve, our fellow frontliners have been working tirelessly to keep us safe, protected, and well-fed.

A big ‘Thank You’ to all the frontline essential workers. If not for their sacrifices, we would not have made it this far. And in this trying time, we believe that any small act of kindness can help brighten someone’s day. So, here we have shortlisted a few charity organisations which you can help support and give back to our frontline workers:

WHYQ Gift-a-Meal

why-meal
Credit: WhyQ

The WhyQ Gift-a-Meal initiatives let you sponsor meals for our healthcare heroes working at Singapore’s public general hospitals, and more recently, they started supporting migrant workers and nursing homes too. To donate, all you need to do is visit their website, choose how many meals you would like to donate, be it 1, 4,10, 50 or as many as you wish, and WhyQ will deliver it for you. Each meal only costs S$5 and will not be subjected to delivery charges and other fees.

“By gifting 1 meal, you have sponsored 1 Hero’s meal”, so let’s help our heroes do their job with a full stomach and an even fuller heart.

SGH Health Development Fund

safe_image
Credit: Melvin Lim

SGH Health Development Fund needs your help to continue supporting SGH healthcare workers to serve and care for the elderly and the more vulnerable. During this Covid-19 pandemic, the SGH healthcare workers have been doing home visits to help patients-inneed, especially those with severe or multiple health conditions. They provide services such as doctor visits, medical support to reduce readmissions, and nursing services.

To support this cause, you can donate to SGH Healthy Communities Fund via giving.sg. Your donations will be used to acquire necessary medical devices for these patients. A 250% tax deduction will be eligible for all donations until December 31, 2020.

Contribute.sg

contributesg
Credit: Contribute.sg

Donate any unused surgical masks, N95 masks or sanitising items that you don’t need to any of Contribute.sg’s drop-off points by courier service. Contribute.sg will give out your donations to those in the Voluntary Welfare Organisations, NGOs, and medical institutions within Singapore. Furthermore, Contribute.sg will also give out your donations to healthcare staff and drivers along with homebound patients and lowerincome families.

For hygiene reasons, remember to pack your unused masks in a zip lock bag or in the original box which it came with. You can find the drop-off points here and donate anytime from Monday to Friday, between 8am to 5pm.

Workout for Courage Singapore

Workout for Courage Singapore
Credit: Workout for Courage Singapore

Make a change to the communities around you and your lifestyle. Join Workout for Courage Singapore in giving back to those in need by working out. You read that right! Not only will your participation help fund the affected community, but you will also keep your health in check. Join any of the 400+ online fitness, yoga, and dance classes hosted by fitness leaders and celebrities for only $10 per 45-min workout session.

If you are a frontline worker reading, you can join for free too! All payments will be shared transparently daily on giving.sg, and 100% of the proceeds will go towards The Courage Fund. For more information, you can check their app WorkoutParty! or visit their website.

#HealthcareHeroes

HealthcareHeroes
Credit: Healthcare Heroes SG

Besides donating money, there is another way of showing your gratitude—that is, showcasing your artistic talent! Dedicate your artwork as a tribute to our #HealthcareHeroes.

#HealthcareHeroes compile and collate all artworks ranging from drawings, paintings, illustrations, animations, calligraphic arts and doodles that deliver the message of well wishes and gratitude to our frontliners. To share your love, all you need to do is visit their website and upload your artwork.

“No gesture is too small when done with gratitude.” —Oprah Winfrey

Over 80 per cent of Singaporeans have mild to moderate symptoms of periodontal (gum) disease, according to a 2003 report by the Health Promotion Board (HPB). 17 years later, the numbers have continued to rise and gum disease remains a big concern. When treated poorly, bacteria in the plaque can build up, harden and form “tartar” that normal brushing can’t properly clean. In advanced stages, it can cause an infection of the tissues that hold your teeth in place or worse.

It might be presumptuous to think that one small tooth problem can be that big of a deal. But severe gum disease has been linked to an increased risk of developing diabetes or pre-diabetes among dental patients. Higher blood sugar levels in diabetics lead to an exaggerated inflammatory response from the harmful bacteria in the gums leading to gum and bone loss known as Periodontitis. Diabetic patients with periodontal disease also have a higher chance of developing diabetic complications.

Additionally, periodontal disease is also a significant risk factor for a heart attack or stroke. Patients with severe periodontitis have a 3.5 times higher risk of dying from heart disease or kidney disease than from patients with mild or no periodontitis. Many pregnant women are predisposed to developing periodontal disease as well. During pregnancy, the hormonal changes in a woman will promote an inflammatory response, which increases the risk of developing gum disease. If not treated, it can be a risk factor in preterm delivery, preeclampsia, and low birth weight.

How can you tell if you have gum problems?

  • Gum that bleeds even with gentle brushing
  • Red and swollen gums
  • Persistent bad breath from your mouth
  • Receding gums from your teeth
  • Hypersensitive teeth
  • Gaps forming between your teeth as a result of teeth movement

Here are 5 common myths about gum disease we hear from our patients occasionally. Keep on reading to learn more about them and how you can keep your gums strong and healthy:

Myth 1: Teeth are more important than gums.

shiny-diamond-tooth-girl

Myth 1: Teeth are more
important than gums.

Both your teeth and gums are interconnected, so they are equally important. The gums are an important barrier to protect your teeth. If your gums are infected, your teeth may lose its support and this can lead to loosening of the tooth, eventually leading to tooth loss. The teeth, on the other hand, when it has defective fillings or cavities act as a source of bacteria accumulation resulting in inflammation of the gums, it eventually leads to bone loss

Myth 2: No cavities mean no gum disease.

habit-two-coco-colo

Myth 2: No cavities mean
no gum disease.

Just because you don’t have any cavities, it does not automatically rule you out of gum disease. For a majority of people, gum disease is painless and asymptomatic, so it is not noticeable until it further develops in the later stages.

In the earlier stages, while it’s still recognised as Gingivitis, you may notice red, swollen or tender gums. Why does this happen? If you do not practice good oral hygiene by daily brushing and flossing, it can cause a buildup of plaque along your gumline that will irritate your gum tissues. When it’s not treated early, it can lead to advanced stages of gum disease, which could result in the loss of teeth.

Myth 3: Children can’t get gum disease.

The-wet-icy-cold

Myth 3: Children can’t get
gum disease.

Gum disease is often associated with adults. However, it does not mean that children can’t get it too. As mentioned earlier, gum disease may not present obvious symptoms so it can be tricky for you to identify in your little one. The treatment also depends on the symptoms your child may be having, their age and overall health. Certain medications that your child may be taking may result in red and swollen gums too.

Myth 4: You can ignore the signs of bleeding gums.

Coast-Dental-Bleeding-gums

Myth 4: You can ignore the
signs of bleeding gums.

Do you find your gums bleed easily? This could be due to your aggressive brushing or flossing, or it could just be an early sign of gum disease. Many studies have proven the link between diabetes and gum disease can go both ways. In other words, you really should not be ignoring the bleeding signs.

For diabetic patients, dry mouth is a common symptom; when there is a lack of saliva, you are naturally more susceptible to infections like gum disease and cavities because saliva protects you against disease-causing bacteria. Furthermore, diabetic patients usually experience higher blood sugar levels and this can often make it harder for your body to heal, thereby making gum disease worse.

Myth 5: Poor oral hygiene is the cause of gum disease.

Coast-Dental-Girl-smoking

Myth 5: Poor oral hygiene is the
cause of gum disease.

While poor oral hygiene can cause gum disease, other factors could increase your risk of getting it too. For example, smokers and users of tobacco are two to six times more likely to develop gum disease. One of the many causes of this is that smoking affects your body’s natural defence mechanism to fight infections. Smokers also do not show clinical signs of gum disease as the bleeding in gums is reduced as Nicotine reduces the blood flow in the gums. Smokers may, therefore, have severe gum disease and not realise it as the usual signs of bleeding gums may be absent. This results in the destruction of gum and bone tissue. Smokers are also more likely to develop oral cancer.

Gum disease doesn’t just develop overnight, it happens gradually. The best way to prevent yourself from getting it is to visit your dentist regularly. If you’re due for a dental checkup or suspect you may have gum issues, come book an appointment with us here!

Have a specific topic that you would like us to talk about? Just let us know!

Everything begins in the mind, including habits. It happens when our behaviour goes into autopilot mode, and the decision-making part of our brains enters into a kind of default mode— which means less brainpower is needed to carry out an activity. Meanwhile, bad habits can potentially put your life at risk if you don’t break the unhealthy loop. At our clinic, we have patients who encounter dental problems caused by daily “harmless” habits which they’re not even aware of. So here are 7 common everyday habits that could be ruining your teeth:

Habit #1 Mouth breathing

baby-s-sleeping-on-a-man-s-shoulder

Habit #1 Mouth breathing

This habit affects at least 6 out of 10 children and adults, and it’s associated with dry mouth and dry lips. Now that wearing a mask is a must when we’re out in public, for those who are not used to it, you may find yourself starting to breathe through the mouth more than ever. When your mouth gets dry, the lack of saliva can result in a higher risk of tooth decay.

Meanwhile, mouth breathing in children is quite alarming as it affects the growth and development of the jaw, and this leads to crooked teeth. What’s more, if it’s left untreated for extended periods of time, it can set the stage for other health problems. Some signs of mouth breathing you can look out for are sleeping with the mouth open, the habit of drooling and snoring, and nighttime teeth grinding (look at habit #5).

Habit #2 Drinking soft drinks

habit-two-coco-colo

Habit #2 Drinking soft drinks

Soft drinks can be addictive and are also very harmful to our health. From diabetes to heart disease, you should really think twice before downing your next can of soft drink. Furthermore, the acids in these sugar-loaded drinks will wear away the enamel that is supposed to protect your precious teeth. As a result, it does not only change the appearance of your teeth, but also opens the door for bacteria which can cause cavities and infections. If you really cannot resist it, try drinking with a straw and then follow up with a water rinse.

Habit #3 Chewing on ice

The-wet-icy-cold

Habit #3 Chewing on ice

The best company on a hot and humid day—ice. In fact, some weight loss articles even promote ice munching as a healthier, zero-calorie “snack replacement”. From our standpoint, however, chewing on ice can damage your tooth enamel, and you may even risk cracking and chipping your teeth. Eventually, you may also find yourself extremely sensitive to the different temperature of food and drinks, which is not something you want to experience.

Habit #4 Using teeth as openers

Coast Dental Opening bottle

Habit #4 Using teeth as openers

Can’t find a blade/scissors/bottle opener? Use anything but your teeth. You only have a set of permanent teeth so please treat it kindly. When you use your teeth as openers, you run the risk of chipping your teeth, cutting your gums, tongue, or lips, among others. It’s really not worth it.

Habit #5 Grinding & clenching your teeth

An-angry-shirtless-boy

Habit #5 Grinding & clenching your teeth

Teeth grinding and clenching is a condition known as ‘bruxism’, and it usually occurs while you’re asleep. Here are some signs that you could be unconsciously grinding your teeth:

  • Wear marks in your teeth
  • Gum recession
  • Chipping of teeth
  • Sensitive teeth

While bruxism is a common condition, heavy grinding may result in teeth aching and loosening, teeth wear, and exposing the dentin (the layer under enamel) which increases the risks of sensitivity, decay, and discolouration. In fact, nighttime grinding can also be a cause for constant headaches, neck and shoulder aches, and tired jaw muscles. Imagine working out in the gym 7 days a week without giving your muscles a rest, and then keep doing it week after week, year after year. But this is where we step in—our dentists are able to spot the signs of your grinding habits during your check-up.

If you noticed your child has bruxism, there are usually 2 views on this: 1) It’s a natural development of synaptic pruning that occurs in the basal ganglia, typically among kids between age 3 to 10. Put it simply, it’s the natural rewiring of the brain; 2) It can be due to the lack of space in the jaw, resulting in tongue partially obstructing the airway. And this brings back habit #1.

Habit #6 Brushing too hard
or not brushing at all

Washing-teeth

Habit #6 Brushing too hard
or not brushing at all

It may appear that brushing your teeth harder with stiffer bristles will help remove plaque and stains off your teeth better. On the contrary, aggressively brushing your teeth can wear down and damage both your gums and teeth in the long run. So always remember to brush in gentle circular motions, and the ideal toothbrush for most people is one with a small head and medium-to-soft bristles. We also encourage simple massaging of the gums to gently remove plaque and this will keep your gums healthy too.

As for people who skip toothbrushing every now and then, the effects are more than just bad breath and a few cavities. Your mouth is the gateway to your body. This means that the health of your mouth can also affect your overall health.

Habit #7 Not going for dental check-ups regularly

Habit-7

In general, you should be visiting your dentist at least twice a year to ensure optimum oral and dental health. When you’re proactive, we’re able to help catch any potential issues early and offer you the best solution before it turns into a serious problem. Also, with regular checking and cleaning, you will grow more comfortable with these sessions as there’s less inflammation of the gums!

If you’re due for a dental check-up, come book an appointment with us!

Have a specific topic that you would like us to talk about? Just let us know!

It is perfectly normal for you to want a bright and white smile like a celebrity to boost your self-confidence.  Our teeth naturally become darker and yellowish as we age especially together with  lifestyle habits such as drinking coffee, tea, coke, red wine and smoking, which will result in more dull and yellowish discoloured teeth.

Porcelain  veneers, composite veneers, dental implants and whitening are some of the current options available to improve the colour and cosmetics of a smile. Teeth whitening is the most simple and least invasive procedure, and it is proven to be safe and an effective way to brighten up stained and discoloured teeth.

Can all teeth be whitened?

Teeth whitening CAN cover up the stains and discolouration from the followings Teeth whitening CANNOT whiten the discolouration from the followings
  • Food and drinks (Coffee, tea, red wines)
  • Tobacco
  • Natural ageing
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Dental restorations; fillings, crowns and bridges
  • As a result of Injury or trauma
  • As a side effect of health condition or medication (genetic disorder of enamel)

It is important to have healthy gums and teeth prior to whitening treatment. Therefore, it is crucial to have a full dental examination beforehand to check for any tooth decay, any leaking/faulty fillings or gum disease. If we detect any underlying problems causing your teeth to be darkened, this has to be treated beforehand.

Who is eligible?

Teeth whitening is not recommended for people under 16 years of age or women who are pregnant or lactating. Nonetheless, It is considered to be a safe treatment when it is carried out by a professional dentist.

The side effects of teeth whitening are minimal. These include temporary sensitivity to the teeth and possible irritation to the gums or lips. All these side effects disappear after a few days and topical creams are available to reduce these side effects if needed. It is known that these risks can be reduced considerably when you choose professional whitening (as opposed to commercially available kits) and follow your dentist’s instructions.

How long does teeth whitening last for?

Teeth whitening is not a permanent treatment but to keep your teeth white for longer it is recommended that;

  1. To avoid or reduce sources of stains such as coffee, tea, red wine and tobacco
  2. To keep good oral hygiene by every 6 month regular check up
  3. To use of take home whitening tray & gel

To find out if you are eligible for tooth whitening, please make an appointment with us. You can call us at +65 64404605 or email us at info@coastdental.com.sg  to make a no obligation consultation where your dentist will explain the different whitening options we offer and can answer any questions you have about teeth whitening cost and risks.

– Written by Dr Eunji Park

Do you have any missing teeth? If you have one or more missing teeth, it will not only affect your appearance but could also affect other healthy teeth as a result of the biting forces being spread over a lesser number of teeth. This can lead to cracking or fracture of other teeth resulting in further tooth loss.

When gaps are present from tooth loss, shifting of the surrounding teeth can also occur. This makes it harder to maintain good oral hygiene leading to a greater risk of having tooth decay and gum disease.

There are three main teeth replacement options. 1) Dental Implants, Bridges or Dentures. This article will focus on the Implant option.

What is a Dental Implant?

Dental implants are a fixed, permanent, long-term solution to replace missing teeth. They are the most functional tooth replacement option and will look, feel and perform just like a natural tooth.

A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that is securely placed into the jawbone and replaces the root of a missing natural tooth. A dental crown (artificial tooth) is then attached to the top of the implant to fill the gap of the missing tooth.

dental-view

Who is eligible for dental implants?

People who have lost one or more teeth as a result of an accident, gum disease or tooth decay can consider implant options. Dental implants are usually done for people above 18 years of age.

The jaw bone starts shrinking soon after the tooth is lost. When too much is bone is lost the implant procedure becomes more challenging as additional procedures such as bone grafting need to be carried out to artificially increase the amount of available bone.

It is therefore advisable to not wait too long before replacing the missing tooth with an implant. Good oral health condition has to be established before placing an implant, so it is best to get a full check-up done by the dentist beforehand.

 

How long is the procedure?

Dental-Implants

The entire process of getting dental implants can take anywhere between 3-6 months. Usually the treatment follows 3 steps:

  1. The implant is placed and eventually fuses with the jawbone. This usually takes between 3 to 6 months. Depending on your remaining amount of bone, bone graft may or may not be necessary.
  2. After the implant has fused with the bone, an extension called a dental abutment is attached to it. Once the gum has healed around the abutment it will act as the foundation for your tooth.
  3. Finally, your customised implant crown is made and will be attached to the abutment. Time to enjoy your brand new smile!

Make an appointment with us to find out if you are eligible for a dental implant. You can call us at +65 64404605 or email us at info@coastdental.com.sg for a no-obligation consultation to go through each option in detail to make a fully informed decision.

–  Written by Dr Park Eunji

The benefits of breathing through the nose is that the fine hairs present inside the nose acts as a filter to prevent unwanted particles from entering the lungs. Breathing through the nose also helps to warm and humidify the air which is inhaled. When breathing through the mouth, the benefits of nasal breathing is lost.

mouth-breathing-effects

mouth-view

Apart from not getting the benefits of nasal breathing, mouth breathing carries a large number of harmful effects. Craniofacial development (the development of the bones of the head and face) is greatly affected with mouth breathing. The tongue has a big role to play in this. During mouth breathing, the tongue adopts a low forward position rather than resting at the palate (roof of the mouth). The picture below shows where the tounge should rest during nasal breathing.

For some children, even as nasal breathers the tongue does not rest at the top of the mouth due to a presence of a tongue tie, poor muscle tone of the tongue or a change in resting posture of the tongue from the extended use of milk bottles and pacifiers during infancy. Breast-fed babies naturally adopt a good resting tongue posture and predominantly nasal breathers.

 

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Due to the low resting posture of the tongue, the upper jaw develops in a forward direction and becomes narrow. More vertical growth is seen in children who mouth breathe leading to long, narrow faces and gummy smiles. The lips which are meant to be together at rest fail to guide the developing teeth in good alignment which also contributes to crowding of teeth.

Apart from poor craniofacial development and crooked teeth, mouth breathing also affects quality of sleep, memory formation and may be contributing factor to learning disorders and neurological disorders. This will be discussed in detail on another post.

 

 

Keep Similing

Coast Dental
Written by Dr Nijamuddeen A. Latiff
BDS (Singapore)
FRACDS (Australia)

A filling is needed when bacteria in your mouth has caused a decay in your tooth. The decay is then removed and a filling is placed. However, a filling is only beneficial if it continues to protect the tooth. Over time some fillings may begin to have gaps in between and bacteria can easily get between the filling and the tooth and cause decay to occur underneath a ‘leaky’ filling.

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The picture above shows an example of a ‘leaky’ mercury filling where bacteria can get between the filling and the tooth. When the filling was removed tooth decay can be seen underneath the old filling

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As in most dental diseases there usually is no sign that there is decay underneath a filling. Most people do not feel any sensation of having tooth decay. The first sensation only occurs when the decay has reached the nerve of the tooth. At that point pain sets in and at times can be very severe. The tooth then would either have to be removed or need a root canal treatment.

Filling materials of today can look extremely natural. Composites or porcelain can be used to fabricate undetectable fillings which lasts a long time. These materials are also kinder to the tooth and do not place heavy stresses on the tooth structure.

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At Coast Dental we don’t simply ‘fill’ your teeth we restore it back to its natural strength and beauty. For this reason we prefer to use the word Restorations rather than Fillings.

Do get your existing fillings checked regularly and have them changed to beautiful restorations if needed to ensure that your teeth are well protected!

Your smile often says a lot about your personality. In today’s highly competitive world there is no saying how important a first impression can be. Whether you want to make a good first impression to ace your job interview, impress your clients or to turn that first date into a second date with that special someone….. a great smile will go a long way. A beautiful set of pearly whites can never replace strong values such as honesty, hardwork and humility but it sure can give you an added advantage.

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In his TED talk, Ron Gutman speaks about the power of smiling and shares research conducted on smiling. The research found the following benefits to smiling

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  • People who smiled more frequently were more successful in marriage, had more successful careers and earned more money
  • People with beaming smiles lived longer
  • Smiling stimulates the brain to produce chemicals which make us feel better. A study showed that a smile produces the same effect as eating 2000 bars of chocolate!!!
  • Smiling helps to reduce stress enhancing hormones such as cortisol, adrenaline and dopamine and increases the level of endorphins and has a overall effect of reducing blood pressure.
  • When you smile you appear to be more likeable, look better and more competent.

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But if you feel conscious about your smile then your smile may be reflecting qualities opposite to your true self.

Cosmetic dentistry can enhance and rejuvenate your smile. There are many types treatments available for cosmetic dentistry. Cosmetic dentistry can range from simple treatments that can be completed within 1-2 sessions as well as treatments that can take about 12-18 months to complete.

Cosmetic dentistry can be wallet friendly as well. Many people assume that cosmetic dentistry will cost several thousands of dollars. While there are treatments that may cost several thousand dollars, there are also treatments within a few hundred dollars which may be affordable to many.

Cosmetic dentistry should never compromise the health of your teeth and must always be minimally invasive. Invasive procedures will never give you lasting benefits. Make sure you have an in depth consultation with your dentist to find out the most conservative way to improve your smile without compromising the health of your teeth.

A Trial Smile is one of the best ways to get a sneak preview of your improved smile before any lasting treatment is done on your teeth. The best part of a trial smile is that it is completely reversible.

Visit us at Coast Dental and ask us for a trial smile and see what improvements you can make to your smile which will never go out of fashion.