It is often said that a smile is the most beautiful
curve in a woman’s body. It is like an outfit always
in fashion. A smile is reassuring, it gives hope and encourages.
But then imagine not being able to wear one not because you do not want to, but because there
is something hindering you from doing so. How
would u feel?
If you take time to look around you would notice
different kinds of smile. Some people don’t smile
ever, some smile halfheartedly (fake smile) & then there is that full smile; that kind of smile
that comes from deep within, one that is neither
self conscious nor worries if the gap or crack in the front teeth will show or if the brown teeth or mouth odour will be noticed. Wouldn’t you like to have this kind of smile? I’m talking about a smile
that is healthy; one that cannot be overlooked
and many a time it is returned in kind, it is word like a priceless jewel. it is a confident smile.
Let’s consider 3 different scenarios;
1. Just recently, a young lady walks into my
clinic & I noticed she was somewhat self
conscious. She complained that her front tooth
has been missing
for a while from a road traffic accident she had a
long time ago. She has apparently been unperturbed until recently when her friends began to make fun of her, she said she was feeling so bad & could not even smile again.
2. There was this young man who came to the
clinic, he was very jovial & we talked about all
what not until he opened up to me about his
mouth odour. He said it was so serious that he
could no longer talk in public, let alone smile. He
said he felt comfortable talking to me because
he knew I understood.
3. Lastly there was this young lady who came
with her dad. The father said she was very bright
but he noticed her academic performance has
not been as before. This young lady was feeling
so shy & lacked confidence because her teeth
were brown & not properly arranged. Her friends
have nicknamed her “brown teeth” & “vampire
These are just a few true instances of people
who had one issue or the other that prevented
them from proper expression & smiling
Without wasting time I will mention a few
conditions that can rob one of this priceless
confident smile. I’ll explain a few for the sake of time
These conditions include-
1. Missing teeth especially at the front of the
2. Broken teeth (half teeth).
3. Teeth which are not well arranged.
4. Mouth odour.
5. Discoloured teeth.
Mouth odour also called bad breath, oral malodor
or halitosis is a serious condition. It is one of the
commonest reasons why people present
themselves to the Dentist.
There are many causes of mouth odour. Some causes are from locations not related to the mouth, like respiratory tract infection, kidney disease, diabetes etc
The major causes are from the mouth e.g. a hole
in the tooth where food get trapped, starts
decaying and smells, bleeding gums (of course
blood smells), & in majority of cases from
accumulated debris called plaque & calculus.
As I was saying, mouth odour could also occur
from the type of food we eat. Highly pretentious
foods like suya and beans, those that also like
chewing onion & garlic.
There is a type of mouth odour that is said to be
psychogenic. That means it is only in the mind,
the person thinks he/she has it but he/she does
Discoloured teeth is also common. There are
different colours; I’ve seen brown to yellow to
green to almost black. Some are from our diet
e.g. from too much coffee, tea or chewing of
tobacco. However, most serious types are
genetic i.e. one is born with it. it has something
to do with drugs taken during pregnancy e.g.
tetracycline, drugs taken as a child (tetracycline
too) or if one was very sick during pregnancy or
as a young child. So take note: tetracycline
should be avoided in children & in pregnancy.
We can pass this message to our siblings &
Scattered teeth could be genetic i.e. it runs in
the family. It mostly occurs when they either
have small jaws with normal size teeth hence, no space; or from big teeth with normal jaw size
with same effect. For example, I have notice that my dad & brothers have this; probably from big teeth in a normal jaw. It can also result from oral
habits children engage in e.g. thumb sucking,
tongue sucking, tongue thrusting etc. These
effects are seen later on in life when “all the
teeth have entered the mouth”.
Also, as someone has mentioned, “ open teeth” is usually seen as a good thing, but I have seen
cases where it is too wide or there are many
open teeth round the mouth. This can be quite
Now to the “ kpim” (focus) of this discourse.
What can we do to avoid, prevent or treat these
issues in other to have a confident smile?
First of all, we need to have a change of attitude towards our health. I’m sure we all have at one
point or the other had one challenge with your
teeth before, be it pain, mouth odour, missing
teeth, gum pain. But in this part of the world we
often overlook our health. I’m sure we have used
different remedies probably suggested by
someone who knows someone with that same
issue from fuel to diesel to engine oil, “to touch
I had an elderly woman who had toothache &
was told to use fuel by someone. She came the
next day with burns on her lips, cheeks & gums.
In short, the issue at hand was no longer the
toothache but the burns. Or the lady who went
to the chemist to buy pain relief for her pain who
was given a combination of drugs, she had
stomach ulcer & one of the said drugs triggered
a severe bleeding. It was God that saved her
life. I can go on & on but if we take nothing
away today let’s be more conscious about our
general health first of all and dental health in
particular. Let’s not wait until “just like my mum
often says” “e don pass be careful” (it gets out
of hand) before we seek health attention. It is a
duty we must perform.
Secondly we need to develop good oral health
As it is often said, proper tooth brushing alone
can eliminate up to 60% of mouth issues.
a) Proper tooth brushing involves brushing twice
daily every day, after breakfast & last thing at
night. Yes I said after breakfast. I know we have
always known that you brush immediately you
wake up, but we have been giving it a wrong
approach all along. Let’s reason it together. If I
brush last thing before I sleep, my mouth is fresh
when I’m awake. I can just rinse with water, and
then have breakfast. Then I brush after breakfast
so I can properly remove all the soup or meat, be
able to talk & smile confidently. Or what do you think?
b) Then brush all teeth properly, from front to back.
c) Do not be in a hurry when doing it. Your tongue should not be left out too, because most month odour originates from there.
d) Also your brush is not for permanent use. It is
recommended to change it once the bristles
start to open. That’s like in every 3-4months. I
know many of us are guilty of this. The thing is
once a brush is beginning to open it doesn’t do
its job any longer.
e) Keep your brushes in an open place with lots of
air preferably in a cup or brush holder with the
handle downwards. Keeping the brush in a caused place doesn’t do any good. It helps breed
Bacteria. Instead of cleaning, it introduces
Bacteria into the mouth
f) Also use a good paste. One that contains
Fluoride. You can check the contents to be sure.
Try as much as possible to avoid herbal paste.
A medium strength brush is recommended. It is
usually written in the brush container. A hard
brush causes wear of teeth & leads to shocking
teeth. A soft brush is mainly for kids.
g) Let’s avoid use of toothpicks. Yes I know it could be very sweet when using it, but it causes
damage to the gums by opening space for food
to hide & causes mouth odours. Instead, let’s
make use of dental flosses to remove food stuck
in between our teeth.
QUESTION: Can one use smokers tooth brush?
Participant. That was what caused bleeding for
ANSWER: Exactly dear. The effectiveness of
cleaning is not by how hard the brush is but by
your technique. Even chewing stick can clean
properly if well used.
Another point is to visit your dentist regularly.
There is no dental problem without a solution.
For those that want white teeth; scaling,
polishing (that’s using our instruments to clean
your teeth) & tooth bleaching can be done. This
can solve most cases of discoloured teeth or a
type of thin filling called a veneer; can be placed
to make the teeth whiter.
QUESTION: How do we get dental flossess?
ANSWER: It is sold in most supermarkets or
dental clinics. Take note that it is the rope part
that is to be used not the pointed type. Gently
slide d robe part in between the teeth, move it
up and down then bring it out. You will see d
stuck food particles come out.
Also scattered teeth can be arranged by what we
call braces. All cases of pain can be treated
based on the causes.
In conclusion I will like to say that your oral
health is up to you, take charge of it, be happy, &
wear a confident smile always. It’s been a long
discourse but I’m sure we all have learnt a thing
QUESTION: People that wake up with mouth
odour, what’s the cause?
ANSWER: Yes, I almost forgot that the mouth is
not perfumed. Every mouth get “one kain odour”
especially when you wake up in the morning. For
some people, it’s worse, but if after you brush &
throughout the day there is no odour it’s just a
normal thing. If you have not talked for a while
also there is also a smell. You can combat this
by drinking plenty of water & chewing sugarless
gums e.g. orbits & Clorets.
QUESTION: My gum bleeds though my brush
PARTICIPANT: what causes bleeding gum by
itself even when you are not brushing, like
waking up with a bleeding gum
ANSWER: Bleeding gums is a sign of gum
disease. It is one of the earliest and common
signs. Usually there is an accumulation of debris.
If you look into the mirror, you might see some
yellowish or even greenish hard substances
surrounding the teeth. You need to see a dentist
for scaling & polishing.
QUESTION: Teeth that doesn’t have space how
can the floss be used?
ANSWER: Floss can be used for all teeth it is a
very thin rope so it can pass. For very tight
spaces, there is a special type of floss called
waxed floss. It is designed to pass through very
QUESTION: I’ve done scaling and used
antibiotics according to the dentist, but bleeding
reoccurred after three months again.
ANSWER: Bleeding gums occur usually as a
result of gum issues however there are other
causes not related to the mouth & we consider
them if after proper scaling it doesn’t resolve.
It’s nothing to worry about. Just relax & see your
Dentist again. It will be a matter of the past
For all of us professional scaling is not what you
do once in a lifetime. We advice you do it
QUESTION: what causes the pain that comes
from the pre-molars or molars once in a while
that you get swollen gum at the end and it’s as
though a salty fluid comes from it. It happens
one can hardly chew anything.
ANSWER: I think what you are describing here is
from a growing wisdom tooth. We call it
pericoronitis, but that’s just big oyibo. The
swelling & pain is periodic. Sometimes it could
be from a wisdom tooth that did not grow
properly. Usually, the wisdom tooth comes out
between ages 17-24. If u are within this age
range we treat it using drugs, warm water & salt
rinses. However after the age of 24, it’s a
different ball game which depends on a lot of
QUESTION: Is it good 2 use plenty of toothpaste
ANSWER: It’s not usually by how much
toothpaste you use dear. A pea-sized toothpaste
i.e. like a seed of beans is just enough. It is
more of the effort than the amount of paste.
Just like washing clothes; if you put plenty soap
but you don’t wash well it’s of no use.
I hope we all had a wonderful time.
May God bless you all richly & do have a
wonderful day. See you all at the TOP and
smiling confidently as we go.
CULLED FROM TOP TEEN WHATSHAPP PAGE
ANCHORED BY Dr Orhorhoro Enameguolo.
Dr Orhorhoro Enameguolo is a graduate of the prestigious University of Benin Dental School.
She is a Lover of God with a passion for young
people & health care Advancement in Nigeria.
She is an excellent wife, mother & Dentist. She is
multi-talented; loves cooking, baking, sewing &
reading. Dr Enameguolo was our guest on our active whatsapp group strictly for ladies. We had a really long session but we learnt alot.