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A number of times I have received calls from a friend/relative or seen patients that are worried about their bleeding gum. Most often they have said it’s usually during brushing or flossing. While this may be a major pointer to your oral and systemic health, the most common causes are preventable and 100% reversible.

Gingivitis is the commonest cause of gum bleeding. It is a painless inflammation of the gums due to accumulation of tartar and cavity causing bacteria on your teeth causing bleeding during brushing and flossing. While the condition is often symptomless, it should not be ignored. Gingivitis if left untreated can progress to more critical oral conditions causing destruction of gum tissue and tooth loss. A thorough twice daily brushing and flossing with regular visit to the dentist for professional scaling and polishing can help keep this condition at bay.

Occasionally, one may injure the gums with coarse food but this would often not cause regular bleeding. Warm water and salt solution gaggle may help hasten the healing of  traumatized gum.

Inhaled smoke during smoking can cause accumulation of irritating toxins around the gum and teeth and aggravate the gums to bleed also leaving stains on the teeth. Smokers may also have compromised immune system to properly fight infections in the mouth thereby increasing susceptibility to bleeding and other gum diseases. Regular ultrasonic scaling of the teeth is needed to remove stains and the gums will thank you if you quit smoking.

Additionally, hormonal imbalance during pregnancy have been said to increase gum bleeding and swelling amidst pregnant mothers. If you think your bleeding gum  is as a result of pregnancy,ask your dentist on how to adjust your oral health routine.

Poor nutritional health and medications are other causes of bleeding gum. Though these may not be as common as the ones above, a regular visit at least once in 6 months can do a lot in identifying and correcting all of the causes and restore health.




So I assume you are one of those many Nigerians that wait until there is a toothache that doesn’t respond to over-the-counter medications before you see a dentist. But now as you anticipate a great wedding it is important not only to prepare for the wedding but also for the aftermath.

Preparing for the new level of intimacy that marriage brings must be priority. Intimacy is the bedrock of many successful marital relationship. As u prepare for your wedding ,it is also important that you prepare yourself for your spouse to be.A good oral hygiene is one way of doing so. A clean and odourless mouth suggests health and wellness.

These five checklist will show what areas you will benefit most from a dentist as you prepare for  marital bliss and new level of intimacy dentally.

1. Remove tartar/calculus: These are calcified brownish yellow stains that attach to the teeth. They are usually unsightly and cannot be removed by the toothbrush. They often cause the gums to bleed when you brush and cause bad breathe. They can however be removed by ultrasonic scaling and polishing.

2. Get rid of bad breathe : Bad breathe is often caused by local factors in the mouth e.g calculus, periodontal pockets(spaces inbetween the teeth that you pick after eating meat) and cavities, just to mention a few.It can also be caused by systemic diseases such as diabetes,sinusitis, bronchitis etc.The best approach to managing  bad breathe is to tackle the causes which are myriad and are best identified by a dentist. Mouthwashes only mask the breathe but do  not really tackle the cause. And they may also have adverse effect on the teeth after prolonged use.

3.Fill all Cavities: It’s your big day, you don’t want to be bother about the chunk of cake stuck in a hole in your tooth. Cavities are holes on the teeth and are best treated when they are spotted early.  A simple filling may be done when it is spotted early and the tooth is not painful. A more extensive filling is needed when the tooth starts giving spontaneous pain.  Cavities are best treated before wedding and pregnancy as treatment at certain stages of pregnancy may be difficult and stressful.

4. Whiten the teeth: Everyone wants a perfect big smile on a big day like this, a perfect smile is enhanced by whiter teeth. Touch up on the shade of your teeth by getting an in-office teeth whitening procedure. This is better done some weeks before the wedding to allow ample time for multiple visits.

5.General checkup: Everyone needs this. The dentist can help assess the overall health of your mouth and also counsel you. The mouth as a gateway to the body often reflects the general health status of a person. Systemic diseases like diabetes,syphilis, renal failure can often be diagnosed by merely looking into the mouth. Prevention is always better and cheaper than cure.



It is sad to know that  many dentists struggle to find their feet after graduation. For a profession that has been rated as one of the most paid especially in the developed world, one needs to pause and see what is it that we are not doing right in this part of the world as to be in such predicament.

Even in an average economy as ours there are still endless opportunities for doctors especially dentists depending on how you see the glass, whether half filled or half empty. The ratio of dentists to patients is nothing compared to the WHO standard. And patients are becoming more aware and needing more dental services than ever before.

These six keys are meant to stir you to a new level in your career and equip you with keys to stay relevant in a changing world of dental care and delivery. Life is indeed small but dentists live it large.

  1. Make a move: It is important to take the first step towards your future as soon as you graduate. By now you should have decided what path to take in realizing your dreams. The first few years are important to sink your roots into the profession. A few handy instruments or professional examinations may be all you need to announce your arrival. Never mind, every great venture starts with a first step.
  2. Have a mentor: Develop quality relationship with a mentor and you can have a jump start. Mentors may be at home or foreign but constant communication is key and transparency too. Never misuse relationships. Be focused and learn your way through.
  3. Attend scientific conferences: Conferences are opportunities to stay abreast of evidence based and technology driven dentistry. Avail yourself the opportunity of participating and sow the seed into your career. Conferences may bring several opportunities and expose you to great minds. Participate in international conferences and gain a global outlook.
  4. Equip yourself with hands on trainings: The skills you have acquired helps your bargaining power in the job market. Register for hands on trainings especially at conferences and arm yourself with the skills necessary for utmost patient care. You only continue to get referrals when your skills are good.
  5. Employ personal branding: Personal qualities of poise, neatness, good interpersonal relationship are essential to distinguish yourself and create a niche. Always seek to make a good first impression .
  6. Prioritize patients well being: Above and beyond personal gain, esteem patients care. Go the extra mile for your patients when there is need to, there’s no better way to keep a patient and build clientele.


It is no doubt that a bright smile improves self confidence and esteem.

Many patients seek teeth whitening for a number of reasons. However, a major setback has been the issue of teeth sensitivity after teeth whitening procedure.

A teeth whitening gel can be suitable for at home treatment or office application. The two differ in content composition and percentage. The whitening agent will usually display these composition and instructions for use.

The whitening agent works by reducing the high molecular weight organic content of the enamel into smaller molecules and thereby improves the shade of the teeth. It does not corrode the  teeth but some of the contents e.g peroxide may be caustic when used in excess .

Teeth sensitivity can be caused by teeth whitening but not in all cases. The teeth sensitivity caused by teeth whitening has been researched to last for an average of 24-48 hours after the procedure when it occurs. The theory most believed about sensitivity is the hydrodynamic theory that states that fluid flow in exposed dentinal tubules stimulate the pulpal ending of the tubule giving rise to a sharp and shocking pain/sensation when stimulated by breeze, touch, cold or hot drinks.

There are several other causes of teeth sensitivity e.g erosion of the teeth caused by over consumption of acidic foods and drinks, wear caused by vigorous and wrong brushing pattern and gingivae recession in the elderly to mention a few.

A good treatment protocol will enable a patient benefit most from a whitening procedure. Proper case selection ( to rule out presence of other risk factors that causes sensitivity), use of topical fluoride before and after the procedure and use of other desensitizing agents when there is sensitivity will increase the prognosis of treatment.

Reduction in quantity and time of exposure of whitening agent may be employed when a patient notices sensitivity in between treatment.

There has been a huge improvement in the content of whitening agent over the years and the fear of sensitivity should not stop you from getting your patients the smile they want.


Dos and don’ts for increasing production: Don’t neglect cosmetic services

By Roger P. Levin, DDS

In a tough economy, don’t neglect cosmetic services

Some dentists have been tempted to de-emphasize cosmetic dentistry in the belief that few people want it in a difficult economy. The truth is that many people place a high priority on an attractive smile and will pursue cosmetic dentistry if the practice promotes it.


Give the office a makeover. Appearance matters. If you want to improve your patients’ appearance through cosmetic dentistry, your office appearance should also be aesthetically pleasing. Dentists should update their office décor every few years. Look around your office, reception area, restrooms, and exterior. Does your office appearance convey that this is a place focused on beauty? Or is it time for a makeover?


Don’t offer inflexible financial options. In the new dental economy, patients need choices more than ever. The more financial options you provide, the greater the opportunity to increase cosmetic case acceptance. The right financial options, combined with other case presentation strategies, can make an attractive smile and enhanced appearance a reality for more patients.

Roger P. Levin, DDS, is the chairman and CEO of practice management consulting firm Levin Group.

This article  first  appeared  on

Upcoming Dental Conferences

Here is a directory of upcoming dental meetings and events. This is published for the convenience of conference participants,although we take  great care  to ensure the correctness of all entries posted here, however we cannot accept any liability that may arise from the presence, absence or incorrectness of any particular information on this website. Always check with conference organizers before making arrangements to participate in any event!

NADPH Conference : October 14, LASUTH, Ikeja. #5000. Enq; Nigeria Association  of Dental  Public  Health 08037227457

NAO Conference :October 8&9, Westown hotel, ikeja, lagos. Flat fee#10000 for  non-NAO dentists .Residents #15000,Consultants#20000 before Sept15. Nigeria association of Orthodontist 08052930439