Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 1, Issue 13, Tuesday August 26, 2003







Dental wise

Dr. Mahfujul Haq Khan BDS, DDS(Dhaka), PhD(Japan) Oral & Dental Surgeon BIRDEM Hospital

Q. I am 37 years old. My wife noticed that during sleeping I use to grind my teeth and its frequency is increasing day by day. Is it harmful? Should I consult any physician? What is the reason behind this grinding and how can I get read off this?

A. Tooth grinding (bruxism) is an oral habit, which involves clenching and grinding of the teeth. It is not uncommon in our society. Approximately 50% to 96% of adults experience mild to moderate bruxism. Most often, this habit goes by unnoticed by the person. Bruxism can occur during the day or night.

What causes bruxism?
This condition has no specific cause, but is believed to be a combination of many factors, such as:
emotional stress
personalities characterized as aggressive, controlling, precise, or who have time urgency and achievement compulsion tend to develop bruxism
malocclusion (teeth that are not aligned properly)
children whose parents brux are more likely to develop this habit than children whose parents do not brux
Signs of bruxism:
tooth wear, fractures of the teeth and fillings, especially on the front teeth
grinding noise noticed by a sleeping partner facial muscle pain and fatigue locking, cracking, and clicking of the jaws headaches tooth mobility sensitive teeth.
Treatment of bruxism:
your oral health professional can make you aware of the habit and suggest behavioral therapies to stop the bruxism stress reduction and coping techniques can be initiated to reduce the emotional stress you may be experiencing a removable intra-oral appliance can be made for you. The mouth-guard protects the teeth from the forces of clenching or grinding the teeth together. A mouth-guard or night-guard is more practical for treating the night bruxer than for those who have daytime clenching and grinding habits

If you think you may be experiencing this oral problem, see your oral health professional.

Q. I had one root filled (Root canal) tooth, which I did three years back, but recently I found that part of my tooth has broken. When I did the root canal treatment, my dentist suggested me to have a porcelain cap. What is cap? Do you think I really need that cap ? Please explain me about these.

A. Cap is dental restorations otherwise known as "Crown" which are coverings that fit over teeth. Crowns may be necessary because of broken down old fillings, fractured, chipped, root filled or sensitive teeth. Crowns are also used to improve the appearance of natural teeth that are malformed, malpositioned or discolored.

ÊCrowns are made of natural looking porcelain and are made to improve your overall smile or to blend in with your own teeth. Sometimes an underlying metal shell is used under the porcelain if additional strength is needed.
ÊSome of the indications for a crown are:

1. A previously filled tooth where there now exists more filling than tooth. The existing tooth structure becomes weakened and can no longer support the filling.

2. Extensive damage by decay.

3. Discolorations and compromised aesthetics.

4. Fractures

5. Root canal - After root canal, teeth tend to become brittle and are more apt to fracture. These teeth need to be protected by a crown.

6. Bridges - When missing teeth are replaced with a bridge, the adjacent teeth require crowns in order to support the replacement teeth.

Crowns strengthen and protect the remaining tooth structure and can improve the appearance of your teeth. Crowns can be made from different materials which include the full porcelain crown, the porcelain fused-to-metal crown and the all-metal crown. You and your dentist will decide which type is appropriate, depending upon the strength requirements and esthetic concerns of the tooth involved.

Fitting a crown requires at least two appointments. During your first visit, the tooth is prepared for the crown, an impression or mold is made of the tooth, and a temporary crown is placed over the prepared tooth. At the subsequent visit, the temporary crown is removed and the final crown is fitted and adjusted and cemented into place.

Beauty Talkc

Sadia Moyeen Beautician, La Belle

Q. Hi Sadia, I am 13 and my biggest problem is I have a sweaty face. After putting on any sort of cream or moisturizer, my face starts to sweat, especially around the lips and on my nose. Is it because of the moisturizer? Powder doesn't help.

Please keep in mind, I have dry skin and I am currently using Johnson's moisturizer. I am very much into sports and outdoor activities. Would you kindly suggest a sunscreen that will last at least 8 hrs? I am also 13 and I am having some problems with my hair. My hair is frizzy and curly and I want to know if there is anyway if I can keep my hair straight permanently.

Also, I have a lot of body hair but my mum is opposed to hair removal. I have chicken pox scars and I want them to be removed.

A. If you are sweating excessively on your face using just Johnson's lotion you probably don't have dry skin, its probably a normal to combination type. Wash your face with cold water 2-3 times a day and apply oil free moisturizer. Avoid rich cream based solutions.

Use any good brand of sunscreens as long as they are not too oily and have a SPF of 30 to 40. Yes, it's possible to permanently straighten hair using a chemical process. Make sure to go to a reputed salon using good quality products.

Waxing is a good option for hair removal. Regular waxing lessens the hair growth gradually Chicken pox marks unfortunately cannot be removed cosmetically.

Q. Hi Sadia,
I am 16 and have had an acne problem for a long time. I have quite a few spots on both my face and my back.
Moreover, I have scars left over from spots on my face, mainly on my cheeks right besides my nose. I also have a lot of scars on my back. How can I get rid of them? My hair is frizzy, thick and fluffy and is hard to manage because it has a lot of volume.

Can you suggest how I can tame it? I have to tie back my hair most of the time and am confused about what hairstyle will suit my long and oval face. I am 13 & I want to know what hairstyle will suit my round shaped face. I am also suffering from hair loss. Also, the area under my lower lip is darker than my natural complexion. This is a problem that has arisen recently and I have not had it before & as my skin is oily what should I use?

A. Acne during teen years is quite a common problem; the skin reacts to all the hormonal changes taking place in the body. First, switch to using anti-acne products for your skin case regime. Neutrogena, Clinique are now freely available in Dhaka. Let your pimples heal without breaking them or case they will leave scars. Avoid fatty food and drink lots of water. To lighten the acne marks make a pack with holud (1/4 tsp) ream paste ½
tsp, yoghurt 2 tsp and rose water and use every night before going to bed.

Straighten your hair permanently and cut it in a style where a does not fall forward onto you face or else your face will look longer.

Round faces usually look good with wisps of hair coming on to the cheeks, giving a slimmer look to the face. Regularly oil your hair while gently massing it. Make a pack with l egg, 1 tsp yoghurt and 1 tsp coconut oil, apply twice a week to arrest hair fall. Bleach only the lower hip once a month until it lightens substantially. Use Johnson's pH 5.5 face wash to wash your face and Johnson's baby lotion or Oil of Ulay as a moisturizer everyday.



Under A Different Sky

The Lost Lullabies

It's a Girl! Yet another friend is blessed with a little Angel making me feel older and not so much wiser. I know the routine by now. Hence I rush to the grocery store pick up some pink balloons, and bright girly roses, with basket of cookies (Just for show) for the new Mom, who is on a liquid diet. And off to the hospital.

I pace through the smell of raw cuts, wounds and drugs and the blank looks with wrinkled smiles, I avoid collisions with couple of empty wheel chairs, and direct myself to the Maternity section.

And there I am, between soft blankets wrapped around even softer babies wearing designated tags in their hands with newly given identities. I pass through feeling jealous thinking how their one day old identity is now so much stronger than the one I am carrying around which I have lost little by little here and there. I drop that thought, put on a huge smile and knock on my friend's door, and walk in.

She sat there, full of pain, with an achy body and an almost whiny broken voice. The baby sleeping on the Mother's side peacefully. I didn't know who to give attention to at first. Should I admire the baby or console the mother and congratulate her. So I do it all together, bringing my Bengali loud side out and making a small ruckus. After sharing few details of birth, labor and the baby we take a breath.

The father who was busy eating a half eaten sandwich now expresses his pain of not been able to sleep for two days and missing work where a big project is due. And how he also wishes someone would feed him, bath him and take him around in their lap, showing mock jealousy towards his newborn. My friend expressed some more agony of giving birth and looking so overweight. They called their families who are spread around the USA and Bangladesh but all absent at their joyous day at this half-dark room. Their busy work schedule and other priorities prevented them from coming to see the newborn. They have sent their love through electronic greetings, as if their raw/loud love is not sophisticated enough for today's baby.

The parents let me fill them in on television serials that they have missed due to having a baby, as they look distressed being away from the comfort of surround sound and cable TV. I laugh, smile, sympathize, show affection and leave, sorting out my feelings.

On my way back from the hospital I sink puzzled into my thoughts. I think of the time when my little brother was born, how crowded the hospital room was with well wishers and relatives. How my grandmothers from mother's side and father's fought over taking him in their laps. How many new hand made blankets where waiting to be wrapped around him with eager hands.

I know we reside now in a different land with different rules but we are still the same people. What happened between this generation and last that we have lost the pampering hands and the prayers of supari chewing grand mothers? And what happened to the world winning smiles I saw on my parents faces? My mother's face with few added wrinkles to accentuate her beautiful smile and my father's sleepless eyes full of pride? Today our technicalities have eaten up all that were overwhelmed emotions, we are down to lonely, self-centered parents with an extra chore.

I face the fact that living in this super organized country, we have learnt to prioritize everything, and the first priority is always me, myself. We have achieved our degrees, gotten married to the most compatible (financially and educationally, not always mentally), and climbed up the corporate ladder, always keeping in mind I am my first priority. And when the biological clock started ticking we decided it's time for a baby. But where does he/she fit in we didn't think that far, thinking it might be similar to getting adjusted to a new car or new breakfast cereal

Now I am scared. Scared of the self-seeking, competing, prioritizing, me-loving being that I have become. Scared that my motherly instincts were choked by my individualistic, liberating strong hands.

So nowadays I pray hard to all the unborn children from the land of Bengal to teach us again the sweet Bengali lullabies and the beauty of surrendering to the new.

By Iffat Nawaz



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