Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 4, Issue 10, Tuesday March 13 , 2007



Dental Wise

What you can do in case of a dental emergency

Knocked out or displaced tooth

Should you ever have a tooth knocked out or moved out of position, time is very important. The sooner the tooth is put back in place the better.

1. If the tooth is still in the socket but is displaced, leave it in the socket. These teeth can be repositioned rather easily if you are seen within an hour or so. Get to your dentist quickly.

2. If the tooth is knocked out of the socket completely, the tooth should be rinsed in tap water. Do not scrub or wipe the root. It should not be touched. Leave any tissue attached to the root where it is. Look at the root to see if it is broken or cracked.

3. Do not worry if the crown is cracked. If the root does not look cracked or broken, put the tooth back in the socket. Bite your back teeth together and hold the tooth in place with your fingers. If you cannot bring yourself to place the tooth in the socket, or if it has a cracked or broken root, put it in a glass of milk (or, in the absence of milk, cool water), and get to your dentist.

If the tooth is a baby tooth, it may just be the normal process of being lost so that it can be replaced by a permanent tooth. As a rule, baby teeth are not re-implanted.

Fractured Teeth

Small Tooth Fracture (when less than 1/4 of the tooth has broken):

Small fractures can be smoothed by your dentist with a sandpaper disc or repaired with composite restoration (bonding). In either case, you should treat the tooth with care and consult your dentist

The fractured tooth may be sensitive to temperature extremes or to biting. Keep the fractured area clean by gently brushing if you cannot get to your dentist right away. Severe pain is unusual with a small fracture.

Larger Tooth Fractures (when more than 1/4 of the tooth has broken):

The fractured tooth may be sensitive to temperature extremes, biting or it may ache.

1. The first thing concerning most patients is pain relief. Paracetamol or Ibuprofen are good pain relievers and should be tried first.

2. Keep the fractured area clean by rinsing the mouth with warm water and gently brushing the area.

3. Call your dentist.

Larger tooth fractures include damage to the enamel, dentin, and/or pulp. If the pulp is not permanently damaged, the tooth may be restored with a full permanent crown. If pulpal damage does occur, root canal therapy will be required.

Toothache/Oral Pain

If you are having pain it is usually an indication that something is wrong. It may be a tooth, the gums, the bone, the jaw joint or the muscles that move your jaw. Rinse the mouth with warm water. Floss to remove any food that might be trapped between the teeth. See your dentist as soon as possible.

Injuries to the Soft Tissues of the mouth (lips, cheek, tongue)

Injuries to the inside of the mouth include tears, puncture wounds and lacerations to the cheek, lips or tongue.

1. Clean dirt from the injured area with warm water.

2. Place a cold compress on the face near the injury to decrease swelling.

3. The injured person should be taken to the emergency room for the necessary suturing and wound repair.

Bleeding from a tongue laceration can be reduced by pulling the tongue forward and using gauze to place pressure on the wound area.

Possible Broken Jaw

Do not move the jaw. Secure the jaw in place by tying a scarf, handkerchief, necktie or towel around the jaw and over the top of the head.

Apply cold compresses to swollen areas. Go immediately to a hospital emergency room or call your dental surgeon.

Objects Caught Between Teeth

Do not attempt to remove the object with sharp or pointed instruments that could cut the gums. Instead, carefully guide dental floss between the teeth and rinse vigorously with warm water. If this doesn't work, consult your dentist.


Should any part of your mouth, jaw, lips or face start swelling due to a dental problem you should seek help as soon as possible, as this is often caused by infection.

If the swelling gets so bad that your eye starts to swell closed, you start having trouble swallowing, or you start running a fever, call your dentist immediately or go directly to a hospital emergency room.

Problems with Braces and Retainers

1. Cover the ends of irritating wires with a small cotton ball, beeswax or a piece of gauze until you can see your orthodontist.

2. Do not attempt to remove a wire that is stuck in your cheek, tongue or gum. Go to your orthodontist.

If an appliance becomes loose or a piece breaks off, take the appliance and piece to the orthodontist.

Please visit Dr. Khan's website (www.aikodental.com) for more information or call 01819249262

Letter To The Editor

Dear Editor,

I am among one of the many who appreciate your Lifestyle Magazine and look forward to reading it every Tuesday. This time, I could not help but write to you my comments about last week’s centrefold article, i.e. Spiralling Down the Unsafe Sex Road.

The article no doubt addresses a very important issue facing teenagers all over the world in this day and age. However, I am sorry to say that you have analysed the problem from a very western perspective. I was quite appalled to see that there was no emphasis on the idea that we are different from the west and the teenagers in this society should try and understand more about the values and customs not only taught by our culture and society but also by our religion which places immense importance on restraint in sexual conduct by all members of society, be it teenagers or married couples.

After reading the article, I was left with the feeling that it is ok and we condone teenagers having sex as long as it is protected. Though the idea of informing kids is fantastic and knowledge about this topic can only do good, but to encourage teenagers with the "go ahead" signal by creating awareness alone, does not solve the problem.

Living in the east today it seems is extremely challenging. We are bombarded daily, thanks to cable TV, with shows that promote western ideology which encourage living together, teenage sex etc. But to have a national weekly magazine do a cover story without emphasising the importance of our values instead of encouraging the opposite, we have proved once more that we are all trapped in the western culture web.

May I please request you that though covering of such subjects is of extreme importance, so is the method we use to analyse a problem . This is an issue which needs to be addressed, and it does no good to any member of the society to close their eyes or act like an ostrich.

However, do we not owe ourselves an analysis of this situation through more than just a mere acceptance? Do we not need to spread the message that 'no' , it is not ok for kids to go ahead with these practices based on some other format or cultural invasion. After all, the loss in this system, no matter where it is practiced in the world, results always in more problems than solutions. What starts off as fun with two teenagers has a vast impact on the society as a whole.

As conscientious citizens of the world and responsible adults in this society, I think we can do much more with the help of magazines like yours, instead of sitting and turning a blind eye to the problem which is bigger than just having unprotected sex.

Concerned Reader

Dear Reader

Thank you so much for reading Lifestyle. I appreciate your input on the story plus your pointing out the shortcomings of the article. However, under no circumstances did we want to say it's okay for teenagers to engage in pre-marital sexual activities, even with protection. While I got many letters like yours, I also got SOS calls in my office asking for help regarding problems such as those addressed in our article. This only comes to show how prevalent problems like this are in our society, despite cultural or religious restraints.

Teen sex took place in our times and in generations before us. Unwanted pregnancies, STDs, sexual abuse, molestation are all widely existent in our villages and cities. We cannot ignore them, instead we need to address the issue. What I am strongly against and the reason behind our story is the behaviour of our urbane, upstart teenagers who are perfectly aware that these activities are not acceptable in our society but still engage in such activities with a don't care attitude. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. While researching for the story, the horror of what this nihilistic attitude, combined with poor or incomplete knowledge leads teenagers to do made us doubly aware of the need to speak out.

Please continue reading Lifestyle and give us your support and if you feel we are wrong send us your opinion. After all, we thrive on your support.

Raffat Binte Rashid
Editor, Star Lifestyle

On A Different Note

Caribbean waltz

Varied and aplenty are the angles from which a World Cup 2007 article could be dealt with. For starters, it could pay homage to names that have, over yesteryears, been equated to cricket. Names that have literally come, played and conquered. And sadly, names that will bid the World Cup their goodbyes this year. Come April 28 2007, World Cup cricket will lose an entire galaxy of stars, understanding the magnitude of which asks merely for a listing of names.

From India alone we have three iconic names. To begin with, the face of one day cricket and a legend in all rights of the word, Sachin Tendulkar. For whatever length of time the game itself lasts, Tendulkar's name holds no fear of forgetting. From humble beginnings started off Sourav Ganguly but he rose to stardom all the same, only to fall flat in one drastic sweep. However, it is in the recurring patterns of rise and fall that the ex-Indian skipper's resilience comes to play; after looking all set to bow out of the game for good, he is back with all his force for one more World Cup. In summing up the blues, we have Rahul Dravid. Dravid for dependency and Dravid for durability. Close up behind India in terms of loss we have South Africa who will say farewell to two important pillars of their game, Shaun Pollock and Jaques Kallis. The former for his skill and discipline the latter for being an all rounder true to the definition of the term. Another man in dark green who will play his last this year is Inazamul Huq, etched in our memories for oh so many reasons. Be it for mastery of the game, his unmissable physique or his enduring ability to reach his ground a little too late, the Pakistani captain will need effort to forget. Still in the same sub-continent we have the man who revolutionised one day cricket and first gave meaning to exploiting 15 over restrictions. Sanath Jayasuriya no doubt, holds to his name the shaping of the game as we see it today. And in drawing an end to a complete generation of superheroes, we come to a man who took the world by storm and made us believe magic really does exist-Brian Lara, for the lack of any other way to put it.

Or the article could carry on about players the World Cup will miss this year. Players who are joys to watch for the sheer character they bring to the game and players who can be single-handedly be charged with drawing in the crowds. Players who have spectator eyes pinned on them with bated breath as they take impossibly long run-ups -players like Shoaib Akhtar (must start with him) for more than anything else, his charisma. Pace aside, wickets aside, runs given aside, this year, the tournament will have that bit of flair missing because of his supposed injury or offence. Alternatively, it could be about players who have none of the above. Those who shy largely in expression but speak or play rather, volumes in terms of the game. Another man in the customary moon and stars-Abdur Razzak. For the lost opportunity of marveling at his composure and his ability of seeing Pakistan through predictably messy situations as eleven men combined should have done, the least we can offer is one moment of silence. And of course, lest prejudice for one country should be alleged, it can be about players who have both of the above-game and style. To say the least, Brett Lee's absence this year will deprive the tournament of a livewire.

But perhaps it should be more about geography. The mystique that the venue itself will offer this year is adequate as fodder for area of concentration. For the first time in its 32 year history, the World Cup will be hosted in the Caribbean; the islands that are all the more appealing because of just how little the average viewer can relate to them. The nine exotic islands including the likes of Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados and Guyana (the other six even more unknown) are none as prevalent as everyday England or Australia and an important attraction this year will definitely be the locale each game is played in. As teams and players cross land and water alike, from one venue to another, we are promised a change of scenery and an assortment of cultures.

But it is in opting for optimum utilisation that the best possible use of column space should sum up the World Cup in all its entireties. Above and beyond all else, it promises to be a month long excuse for perpetual adrenaline (not taking into account the sentiments of non cricket fans), be it in watching the games at unearthly hours, celebrating victories and mourning losses, or in terms of the constant conversation that is going to revolve around one subject matter. For a good month and a half, the World Cup 2007 will be the basis of conversation, dispute, gaiety and media consumption. For a good month and a half, the World Cup is going to overwhelm us, mind and body.

Three cheers to temporary obsession!

By Subhi Shama Reehu


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