Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 2, Issue 22, Tuesday November 30, 2004






Interpreter of Maladies

Dr. Nighat Ara, Psychiatrist

Q. I am a person who is never afraid to speak straightforward to people. Some times I say things in the wrong place to wrong people. Sometimes I don't know when to stop or when to keep my mouth shut. This habit of mine is getting me into trouble in professional and personal life. Can you please help? How can I learn to keep my mouth shut? Thank you.

Ans: It seems that you have a mixed feeling about your ability to speak straightforward. You take pride in not being afraid or hiding your feeling. On the other hand, you are uncomfortable with the consequences of choosing always to be straightforward. Your confusion is probably when you are crossing the limit or starting to hurt others. It also sounds like an impulsive urge that doesn't really serve you well. You are probably not doing the necessary mental work prior to speaking up in front of others. It could be a habitual thing for you by now and happens so fast that you lose control over it. Unfortunately, truth is not always very pleasant to hear. It is also interesting to note that, being straightforward may also mean that you are clear about your feelings and reactions towards others. It can be an assertiveness skill to stand up for yourself. However, misuse of this quality can make you an aggressive person who crosses the boundaries of others. In different social set up, we have to be careful about the appropriate social behaviour and responses. Communication skill is very vital in professional and personal relationship. How you frame your sentence, your choice of words, expressions, tone everything plays important role in conveying the message to the other person. It seems that you have recently become aware of this habit and is thinking of changing it. Any habit takes some time to change. Self-awareness and decision to change are the most important steps towards it. If you are committed to change- take small steps at a time, don't expect radical change immediately, come up with a plan, monitor yourself, accept yourself for the mistakes you make without judging yourself too harshly, acknowledge and appreciate every small positive changes. etc. are helpful ways to bring positive changes in life. You are probably interested to benefit from your straight forwardness and not to be harmed by it. So, by trial and error find the subtle balance between the proper and excessive use of this quality. Allow your brain to work harder and practice taking time to process any information well enough before you decide to respond.

Dental wise

DR. Mahfujul Haq Khan BDS, DDS, FSDCE (USA), PhD (Japan), Post Doc. (Japan) Specialised: Crown and Bridge work, and Periodontal plastic
surgery (USA) Senior Medical Officer, Department of Dentistry, BIRDEM Hospital.

Q. Dear Dr.Khan,
I am diabetic patient. Last year you extracted one of my front teeth at BIRDEM. According to your advice I made a denture after one month from one of famous dental clinic in Dhaka. But I am really very unhappy about that denture as it moves when I eat some thing and I get bad smell coming from that denture. Will appreciate your comment! They advised me for making a bridge (Fixed). Can I do this bridge by you? I feel confidence as I am diabetic, you are working in diabetic hospital and you are specialized in crown and bridgework. Am I suitable for bridge? Are there any side effects? Please tell me some thing about bridge? Is it very costly? Harun, Dhanmondi

A. Dear Mr. Harun,
I am sorry for your dissatisfaction regarding your denture. Its real tough job for me to comment without examining your denture. But there are several reasons for moving your denture during eating. Ill fitted denture, laboratory error, excessive trimming during chair side adjustment, unhealthy surrounding teeth are the main reasons. Another important point you musk keep in your mind that you should wait 3-4 weeks after dental surgery/extraction before going to start for making denture/any prosthesis. We must give extra consideration and careful examination for a diabetic before making denture or any other prosthesis (Bridge, Implant). Yes you can do bridge by me after careful examination whether you are fit for fixed prosthesis or not. Unfortunately we don't have any facilities to do denture, crown and bridge work in BIRDEM hospital right now. Its my pleasure to inform you that in near future we are going to expand our department with the facilities of extensive specialized work (Crown and Bridge, Implant e t c ).

I will try to give you a brief idea about dental bridge:
A dental bridge is a false tooth, which is fused between two porcelain/metal crowns to fill in the area left by a missing tooth. The two crowns holding it in place that are attached onto your teeth on each side of the false tooth. This is known as a fixed bridge. This procedure is used to replace one or more missing teeth. Fixed bridges cannot be taken out of your mouth as you might do with removable partial dentures. If you have missing teeth and have good oral hygiene practices, you should discuss this procedure with your dentist. If spaces are left unfilled, they may cause the surrounding teeth to drift out of position. Additionally, spaces from missing teeth can cause your other teeth and your gums to become far more susceptible to tooth decay and gum disease. Bridges can reduce your risk of gum disease, help correct some bite issues and even improve your speech. Bridges require your commitment to serious oral hygiene, but will last as many ten years or more.

Is there any side effects?
There should not be any side effects if properly done.
Is it very costly?
Yes it is relatively expensive.

Q. Dear Dr.Khan
I am 20 years. My teeth have yellowish spot, which looks very bad while smiling. Besides this the rest of my teeth are getting discoloured and some of them became pale whitish. Earlier my dentist told me that it is just happening due to lack of calcium. As I started taking calcium tablet, it occurs hair falling. Then I stopped taking them and right now I am just taking vitamin tablets. I brush twice everyday. I desperately want to get rid of this. It makes a great disaster to my whole beauty and I feel very embarrassed. Please help me. Thanks. Anika

A. I think your dentist diagnosed correctly as it is because of lack of calcium. But there is no role of calcium at the age of 20 years because your teeth has already been calcified. There is no chance for further calcification. So its better to stop taking calcium tab. Calcium and other minerals deficiency (Age between 0-13 years) may cause yellowish spot/chalky or pale whitish discoloration. In this case tooth structure will become very brittle. Milk and milk products, small fish, liver and fruits contain lot of calcium and other minerals which can play vital role of your sound dental health.

Other tooth discoloration can be caused by staining, aging, or chemical damage to teeth. Some of the more common causes of tooth discoloration are medications, coffee, tea or cigarettes.Ê People who drink significant amounts of cola soft drinks can experience similar staining. Damage to the root may also contribute to discoloration.

Aside from staining, there are other factors that can affect the color of a tooth. Genetics can play a role. Some people have naturally brighter enamel than others. Disease can also be a factor and certain medications can cause a discoloration of a tooth.

For your case, I think its better to do bonding filling. The dental bonding procedure utilizes a composite resin and is used for a variety of structural as well as cosmetic purposes. One can draw a parallel between dental bonding materials and a sculptor's clay. By using dental composite resin bonding your dentist can restore chipped or broken teeth, fill in gaps and reshape or recolor your smile. But bonding filling will last about 5 to 6 years. Other permanent option is porcelain crown.

For more information visit Dr. Khan's website www.aikodental.com

We occasionally receive mails from our readers seeking appointment with Dr. Khan. For your convenience here is Dr.'s address, phone no and above you will find his web address.

How can I reach to your private clinic?
You can reach Dr. Khan at his office. Room No.258, Department of dentistry, BIRDEM Hospital. His phone number is 9661551-9, ext.2517.


Are you in an abusive relationship?

It starts with yelling and ignoring your needs then it turns to pushing or shoving, which inevitably leads to hitting. Name-calling is also a part of this abusive behaviour. These are common ways to dehumanising the person being abused.

If you are in an abusive relationship you will suffer from lowered self-esteem, internalised anger, which turns into depression and more than likely some anxiety (a feeling of always walking on egg shells). Do a comparison on how you felt before the relationship and how your partner has made you feel now. And just remember, if you made it before without him, you can make it again.







Friend Philosopher and Guide

When one steps in with his two suitcases and one carry-on in America leaving behind thousands alike wishing they were the "lucky" one, he instantly becomes of an altered eminence. As if, just by getting that Visa from the American embassy in Bangladesh he has all of a sudden acquired a new set of brain, and a better looking body and mind. And he naturally welcomes this new status with pride and excess joy. The joy lasts for months, until that one day when sitting in the foreign land bragging about killing "Hatis" and "Ghoras" he also realizes his "success" has made him a philosopher and guide to his friends, he is now someone who crossed a boundary which others secretly dream of crossing. Not because he is better-off but because he seems better-off. Since the grass is always greener on the other side of the river. And to some from Bangladesh the grass in USA is evergreen, like the color of never fading crisp notes. In no time the "lucky" one is called upon for recommendations, advises, "If I took the GRE do I need the SATs?" "Do the GEDs help?" "What sells best?" "What should one wear when going to seek Visa in the US embassy"…the questions come flowing, and at first the he answers all of these with new found wisdom but with time while America's sparkles become dimmer so does his enthusiasm as an advisor. Usually the richer Bangladeshis don't dream of coming to USA except for finishing their higher education and perhaps for shopping during some sunny summer weeks. Unless while finishing their university years in USA the indulged son/daughter of a Bangladeshi money machine gets accustomed to the "American ways" they mostly want to jet back home, to their 3000 square footage rooms and 1500 square footage toilets with imported tiles and Five-Star fresh towels…
America is not for rich Bangladeshis, America can only provide the rich ones financial satisfaction, the added attention and royal treatments due to class-bias is much easily achievable in Bangladesh. So it ends up with the Middle-class Bangladeshis and some of Upper-middles, the dreamers, the future, and the ones who want out. They are the one who wants to come out of the so-called-rut. The brilliant BUET students and the not-so-bright-but-ambitious ones, the ones who failed trying to do innovative businesses, the ones who are tired of their 9-5s and the ones who just want to come for a few years ogle and snuggle the money America has laid around and run back with full pockets. They never get a true picture of America, they only see pictures sent back of their friends who are in US, the ones who send back their slightly chubbier, name-brand-wearing-selves, standing confident in a busy street or in front of some American icon, so much promise in a 4"x3" still. Eventually tired of being the advisor and career counselor the "lucky" friend gives up. He tries to tell his friends back home how hard life is for him, how after attending classes he has to wait tables or fry onion-rings at some local restaurants, how he has got no home, just an over-priced apartment, and even after he graduates and gets a job he will spend most of his life trying to repay student loans and credit card bills. But the friends don't understand. How can they, the sparkling photograph of their privileged friend contradicts everything, and they think he is full of lies, they think he has become Americanized and therefore selfish, he no longer is their old helpful friend… so they slowly leave their good-for-nothing Americanized friend alone and relay on the next "lucky" one. One can't blame them for looking for guidance and direction from oceans apart; one can't blame them for wanting to leave the rut. How many Career centers are established in Bangladesh to guide our young generation towards a better future…in fact forget about all of Bangladesh, how many over-priced private universities in Dhaka which are great at following the steps of the west, charging in dollars and lecturing in English have built a career center where their students can learn about future career options…one… two? None??? I always thought Bangladeshis are great for giving free advises; it comes from anyone and everyone about anything and everything. A Bangladeshi gets a heavenly satisfaction when he/she can shed some light (darkness) in someone's life. Then why is our youth so hungry for direction? And why do all the paths laid out to them seem to lead to dead ends? Before America's fast food chains are taken over by Bengali employees please God let there be light, let there be opportunities, let there be a new path, a non-importable, non-exportable solution to this very Bangladeshi problem.


By Iffat Nawaz


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