Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 2, Issue 37, Tuesday March 22, 2005






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.

Hello Dr.Khan
I have all four of my wisdom teeth. They are not impacted and are healthy. Over the past two years I have been having occasional headaches accompanied by pain and tension in my jaw. Could these headaches be caused by my wisdom teeth?
Saima Ali Khan

A. Your dentist should evaluate the condition of your wisdom teeth. If there are no cavities, pericornitis (inflammation and/or infection of the gum around the teeth) or deep fillings...then there is no likelihood that they could be causing you to have headaches.

Most likely, your headaches are caused by a compressed TM Joint (This is the joint which holds the lower jaw located in front of your both ear), we call it TM joint dysfunction syndrome.

You must find a well-trained dentist who is capable of evaluating the position of your joints and determining if there is any compression. If you give me more info about your oral status I can help you determine what is happening a little more clearly.

Dear Dr. M. H. Khan
I am 17 years. Recently I noticed my wisdom teeth are starting to come out and it hurts a lot and my jaw is killing me. The sides of my head hurt. Is this because of the teeth??
Shoma, Zigatola

A. You should go see a dentist and request a pantographic x-ray because you think your wisdom teeth are coming in. You may need to have them out and the pain is often because of inflamed tissue in the area where the teeth are extruding into your mouth.

Sometimes this pain can be from pressure into the other teeth from the erupting wisdom teeth. At any rate, you should get a jaw x-ray to see the position of these teeth and most likely, have them removed.

Dr. Mahfuj
I just got my wisdom tooth pulled three days ago. And my throat is very sore, my lower jaw line is a little swollen, and I can barely open my mouth to eat. Also I have a little pain in the area my tooth was pulled. I am getting a little freaked out about it. So I could really use your advice about what you think could be going on. Thank you so very much.
Abdul Kader Choudhury, Dhanmondi

A. It is very normal for a patient to be sore and swollen a few days after having a wisdom tooth removed. Assuming this was a surgical removal (sutures placed to close the skin), you could be sore from the actual removal or even sutures placed.

The time to worry is if you get extremely swollen (lumps under your chin) or see active infection (pus) in the area. Also, if you feel feverish, this could mean you have an infection in the area and could need antibiotics. Please contact with your dentist if things worsen. Irrigation with warm salt water will help soothe the area also.

Dear Dr. Mahfujul Haq Khan
I have few questions about crown. My dentist advised me for making several crowns and I am in dilemma about crown, would you please explain those? What are Crowns? How is a crown placed? Will it look natural? What is the difference between a cap and a crown? How long do crowns last? How should I take care of my crowns?
Shirin Akhter

A: I believe your dentist can explain you more clearly by showing some study model. Anyway I will try my best to explain.

What are crown? A crown is a restoration that covers, or "caps," a tooth to restore it to its normal shape and size, strengthening and improving the appearance of a tooth. Crowns are necessary when a tooth is generally broken down and fillings won't solve the problem. After root canal treatment we usually advice for crown. If a tooth is cracked, a crown holds the tooth together to seal the cracks so the damage doesn't get worse. Crowns are also used to support a large filling when there isn't enough of the tooth remaining, attach a bridge, protect weak teeth from fracturing, restore fractured teeth, or cover badly shaped or discolored teeth.

How is a crown placed? To prepare the tooth for a crown, it is reduced so the crown can fit over it. An impression of teeth and gums is made and sent to the lab for the crown fabrication. On the next visit cements the permanent crown onto the tooth.

Will it look natural? Yes. The dentist's main goal is to create crowns that look like natural teeth. That is why dentists take an impression. To achieve a certain look, a number of factors are considered, such as the color, bite, shape, and length of your natural teeth. Any one of these factors alone can affect your appearance. If you have a certain cosmetic look in mind for your crown, discuss it with your dentist at your initial visit. When the procedure is complete, your teeth will not only be stronger, but they may be more attractive.

What is the difference between a cap and a crown? There is no difference between a cap and a crown.

How should I take care of my crowns? To prevent damaging or fracturing the crowns, avoid chewing hard foods, ice or other hard objects. You also want to avoid teeth grinding. Besides visiting your dentist and brushing twice a day, cleaning between your teeth is vital with crowns. Floss or interdental cleaners (specially shaped brushes and sticks) are important tools to remove plaque from the crown area where the gum meets the tooth. Plaque in that area can cause dental decay and gum disease.

How long do crowns last? It depends on your care and from where you did. But usually 10 to 20 years.

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

Interpreter Of Maladies

Dr. Nighat Ara, Psychiatrist

Q. Dear Dr.
Recently I realised that when I sleep I do not dream about anything. If I do dream I can't remember them. I wake up with the feeling that I had a dream. Why is that and is that a problem? What sort of mental status does it indicate? SP

Ans: Dreaming, not dreaming or not remembering the dream- all these are normal states of mind. Scientific research reveals that we dream every night (no matter whether we like it or not!). Sleep is just an altered state of mind that is essential for proper brain functioning. Whatever information our brain receives throughout the day it cannot process them all instantly, so it stores the information randomly and during sleep when input is less (because all five senses are not working), brain cells retrieve those information and try their best to process and rearrange these information and thereby unload the brain cells (our brain works 24hours 7days a week!) so that it is ready again to function in full swing the following day (brain can be compared with a computer in this respect). While processing that information from remote past or recent past during sleep, parts of it get captured again by memory cells and form memory, so we remember them after we wake up. Some people simply have better memories of their dreams than others. However, dreams usually takes a distorted, twisted and somewhat unrealistic form (because the primitive lower brain was dealing with them and the smart upper intellectual part was not involved) and sometimes doesn't make any sense at all. However, if someone wakes up after a normal night's sleep and can't remember the dream, it is usually the NREM (non rapid eye movement) dream that becomes hard to remember. According to electro encephalography studies, there is minimum electrical activity in the brain during NREM sleep (which ranges from light to deep sleep) whereas in REM (rapid eye movement) sleep brain electrical activity is very close to an alert state of mind (beta waves). Unlike REM dream, NREM dream do not produce vivid memories. This probably also explains why we remember some dreams and not all. Another explanation could be, if the person was in NREM sleep just before waking up then the person would not have much memory of the dream, it might feel like something vague was going on. Usually people have vivid memories of a dream if they wake up just after REM sleep, which happens more frequently towards the end of the sleep. The proportion of REM and NREM sleep in a normal night however changes in different mental illnesses and can be related to the perceived sleep disturbance or dissatisfaction with sleep. Sedatives, Hypnotics and narcotic medications influence this REM/NREM proportion of a night's sleep.

By The Way

Pressed powder tips

First of, never buy pressed powder at random, without testing the shade of it on your wrists fist. Dab a bit on your wrist from the tester, and see if it suits your skin tone. Next, rub it against the skin to see if it blends in well. If it doesn't your face will not have the desired smooth and even finish. As always, go for good, brand name products.



Bengali love

Does love follow traditions and nationality, does it follow cultural outlines and innuendoes? If it does, then is there such a thing called Bengali love…is Bengali love only bound by culture, is it reciting Tagore and Jibanondo and modern day Shumon Chottopadhoy or Gautam Haldar, and is Bengali love defined by "dole mono dole okarono horoshe" or "shesh porjonto tomake chai?" Does Bengali love borrow from Hindi movies, does it follow the formula of Uttam Kumar/Suchitra Shen? Does it demand slanted 'tana tana kajol kalo chok' and a hand full of glass bangles and semi shaved slim, manly faces with messy hair and a calm yet fiery look? Does Bengali love allow polygamy, does it allow extra-marital affairs and love triangles.

Does it justify everything with poetry and philosophy? Does it favour man over woman, or woman over man? Does it prefer young over old? Does it pick favourites? Does it force love when love is not in love? Does it make up an atmosphere just to falsify love? Does it demand certain colours and certain flavours? Like red and white with sour over sweet? Does it make promises and always leaves behind precious memories? How often does it end with marriage?

Bengali love doesn't allow a public show of affection, yet it does allow a public show of dependence and vulnerability. It doesn't allow forwardness, although it does welcome all indirect flirtations. It doesn't cherish a happy ending over a sad one; a broken tie wins over a successful knot. Why do some of us Bengali women go back to our good old Bengali men when we have options? Why do we wait for the "right" (or very often wrong) Bengali man to arrive in our life, whisper sweet Bengali nothings, buy us Bengali Tat and silks chosen with manly Bengali hands while we dream of gardenias and Bailey 'phools' on our non-existent 'khopas'?

Why do we give the excuse that at the end of the day we want to be able to communicate in Bangla with our Bengali men, for him to understand the difference of having 'maya' for someone as oppose to missing them, when in reality we rarely speak in Bangla to our Bengali other halves found in a non-Bengali land in a non-Bengali way. And why do we always stick to "I love you" over "ami tomake bhalobashi"? Why do we create a fake Bangladeshi shelter to protect our fake Bangladeshi husband/wife's rights to be virtuous and guilt-free even when no one is looking?

Why do we role play and adopt roles? What does a Bengali man have over any other man of any other race and colour? A similar background, language and set of ideas? And what does a Bengali man lack over other men? The same set of ideas that gives us a common ground to start a relationship, also gives us future troubles and repeated misfortune. But we still pick it up, as though choosing destiny before destiny chooses us. Why?

I can come up with a thousand answers and a thousand questions and arguments with rebuttals to support and contradict ideas of Bengali love with Bengali men…but the truth is, none of the conclusions will sound right, none of them will seem ample enough to accept or reject. This is a work in progress…a philosophy unsolved, love with limits and limits without love…


By Iffat Nawaz


home | Issues | The Daily Star Home

© 2003 The Daily Star