Cavity and Sensitivity

Can sugar-free drinks such as diet soda, sparkling water, fresh fruit juices cause cavities?

It’s not just sugar that can get at your teeth. Anything that makes your mouth more acidic can cause havoc by dissolving the external layer of your teeth known as enamel.


That includes sodas, even diet ones. Carbonated water and juices are also acidic, which causes erosion to your teeth. Once erosion starts, it’s much easier for cavities to form.

Why are my teeth sensitive?

Sensitive teeth are typically the result of worn tooth enamel or exposed tooth roots. Some causes of sensitivity to cold/sweet/hot include:


  • Cavity or worn filling: usually sensitive to cold and sweet
  • Cracked tooth: usually sudden sharp pain to chewing
  • Gum disease/receding gums/toothbrush abrasion: exposed root surfaces are sensitive to cold and during brushing
  • Whitening: sometimes result in reversible sensitivity that feels sore
  • Thinning enamel: enamel can be worn down from acid in food, grinding teeth unconsciously at night, acid regurgitation, or even brushing too much, causing teeth to be sensitive over time
When should I see a dentist about my teeth sensitivity?

If a tooth is highly sensitive for more than three or four days and reacts to hot and cold temperatures, it’s best to get a diagnostic evaluation from your dentist to determine the extent of the problem. Before taking the situation into your own hands, an accurate diagnosis of tooth sensitivity is essential for effective treatment to eliminate pain. Because pain symptoms can be similar, some people might think that a tooth is sensitive, when instead, they actually have a cavity or abscess that’s not yet visible.

Can I Ever Brush "Too Much"?

In Dr Yao Xu’s post “3 Ways Your Brushing Might Be Doing More Harm than Good”, she explains that people tend to think of brushing their teeth as scrubbing away the plaque and polishing their teeth until they’re clean. As a result, many people tend to brush their teeth too hard. In reality, however, plaque sits on the surface of your teeth and can be gently wiped off your teeth. Brushing too hard can actually wear down the enamel of your teeth and hurt your gums. Dr Yao Xu always recommends using “soft” or “extra soft” toothbrushes, because even “medium” is usually too harsh on your enamel.

Toothache and Root Canal Treatments

How do I know if I have an abscessed tooth?

People who develop abscess usually suffer from pain and swelling. The swelling itself is pretty unpleasant. It is filled with pus, bacteria, and decaying white blood cells. Some other symptoms are: severe pain, redness and swelling of the gums, gum boil (a pimple-like appearance with pus), sensitivity of the teeth to cold or hot, pain when chewing, tenderness in gums, an open, draining sore on the side of the gum, fever.

Please reach out to your dentist or call Oasis Dental Centre care team at +65 62149149 if you need help with your teeth.

The doctor tells me my tooth is infected, but it doesn't even hurt. Can I avoid doing root canal?

Sometimes, the toothache will stop because the infection has destroyed the nerves in your tooth, or the antibiotic helped the body overcome the bacteria temporarily. However, this doesn’t mean that the infection is gone. If the source of the infection inside the tooth has not been treated, the bacteria will multiply rapidly to result in another wave of infection.

The bacteria infection may continue to spread to the rest of the body if left untreated even though you stopped having symptoms. The presence of an abscess is an indication that the infection has spread to the jawbone and surrounding tissues. Infection can also spread into your tissues like the face, the floor of the mouth and even the brain.

I hear that root canals are super painful!

This is the most common misconception, so you’re not alone! Remember that most patients get a root canal treatment because of pain in their teeth, and root canal treatment actually helps to relieve any pain by removing the infected tissue. This is all done under local anesthesia that numbs your tooth and surrounding gum. Please let us  know if you’re still experiencing pain, and we will do our best to relieve the pain first!

Why don't I just pull the tooth and save my time and money?
The success rate of root canal treatment is between 85-94%. With the right type of dental crown, the treated tooth may last for years. Removing the painful tooth will certainly relieve the pain, but it’s important to remember that there is nothing like your own teeth! Losing one tooth may affect the surrounding teeth, gum, and even change the shape of your jawbone, facial aesthetics, chewing and speech functions.
Will I feel pain after the procedure?

For the first few days after the treatment, your tooth may feel sensitive, especially if there was pain or infection before the procedure. We will prescribe strong painkillers to minimize your discomfort, we will check in with you after the root canal treatment to ensure you are doing well.

Your tooth may continue to feel slightly different from your other teeth for some time after your root canal treatment is completed. However, if you have severe pain or pressure or pain that lasts more than a few days, please give us a call at +65 62149149.

Wisdom Teeth

Why do my wisdom teeth area hurt?

If you are experiencing symptoms in the back of your mouth, such as persistent pain, stiffness and pain in your jaws, and/or tender gums, it may be related to the wisdom teeth. You may feel pain when you’re eating, brushing, or even throughout the day due to inflammation associated with eruption of the teeth or impaction of the wisdom teeth on other teeth. If the wisdom teeth are growing in sideways, the pain caused typically increases the longer you leave them untreated.

Is It Wise To Keep My Wisdom Teeth?

If you or your teen are asymptomatic, our dentists may still advise you to extract the wisdom teeth electively, usually due to existing or anticipated risks, such as gum disease or cavities related to misalignment of the teeth. As every individual is unique, the ultimate decision regarding the management of such teeth is best made by an expert dental health professional. And this decision should only then be made after clinical examination and review of factors such as your age, position of the tooth, anticipated difficulty of removal, and risks associated with the removal.

When Is The Right Time To Remove My Wisdom Teeth?

The most common time to have the procedure performed is 16-20 years of age. Although the range varies greatly due to the many reasons that someone will require wisdom teeth removal. The advantages of early wisdom teeth extraction include:


  1. Reduced risk – early removal of the tooth crown before root development is completed is usually quicker and easier. In other words, by predicting impaction and thus removing wisdom teeth as they are forming, it may make removal and healing easier with fewer complications for your teens.
  2. Avoid pain – elective removal of wisdom teeth can prevent future gum disease, inflammation of the gums, and/or cavities. This reduces discomfort for your teen, especially when wisdom teeth related pain tends to flare up under stress during exam periods.
  3. Convenience –  it may be more convenient as a patient to have the surgery scheduled electively when it fits best into your teen’s schedule, than to wait for an emergency situation that would be more disruptive to activities our patients are involved in (school, sports, extracurricular activities, etc.).
How Should I Prepare My Teen For Wisdom Teeth Extraction?
  1. Schedule a checkup – as with all areas of medicine, proper assessment and diagnosis of a situation is paramount to successful surgery. Let us build a rapport with your teen prior to the procedure.  
  2. Make necessary plans – make sure your teen’s wisdom teeth procedure is scheduled on an appropriate date, with ample time allowed for recovery.
  3.  Stock up on soft Foods – nutrition is a very important part of the wisdom teeth recovery process.
  4. Watch out for complications – while they are uncommon, complications can arise that delay the healing process. Only a very small percentage — about 2% to 5% of people, develop dry sockets after a wisdom tooth extraction. Please follow our instructions on caring for the socket, if the pain becomes intense after 3-4 days, it may be a sign of dry sockets. Please let our dentists know so we can help your teen through the healing process.

Kid’s Dentistry

How do I get my child to cooperate with teeth brushing?

In the post 5 Fun Ways To Help Your Kids Brush Their Teeth, Dr Yao Xu gave suggestions to turn brushing into a game, some examples include:

  • Beat a monster while brushing. The free app Pokémon Smile is a crowd favorite with Dr Yao’s kids patients! They get to unlock different Pokémon hats while brushing and usually can’t wait to show Dr Yao their newest achievements at the next visit!

Offer incentives. What kid doesn’t want to stay up a few minutes later at bedtime or be in charge of choosing the next movie for family night? Consider offering a simple reward or creating a rewards chart to encourage your little one to brush their pearly whites for two minutes. Don’t forget to praise them afterward for their amazing technique or super sparkly teeth.

How to check if my child has good oral hygiene?

Sit or stand behind your child in a brightly lit place, it’s easier to sit toddlers on your lap. Use your free hand to support your child’s chin. Ask him/her to open up and say ‘ah’.

  • Check for any signs of decay, such as a white or brown line on the teeth close to the gums.
  • Check for plaque build-up on teeth around the gum line.
  • Check for food trapped between teeth, and darkening of back teeth.
  • Take note of your child’s breath, is it clean and fresh, or does the breath smell bad?
  • Is his/her tongue pink throughout, or are there white/yellow stains on the tongue?
  • Are there bite marks or ulcers?
What to do when my child takes a fall in the face and knocks his/her tooth?
  1. Check your child for signs of concussion (confusion, nausea, head trauma).
  2. Find the tooth or tooth part!
  3. Determine if the tooth is a baby tooth (usually small and short), or adult tooth (usually bigger and yellower). If it is a baby tooth, you can leave it alone and bring your child to the dentist ASAP.
  4. If the tooth is a permanent tooth, please try to bring us the clean tooth or tooth part and we may be able to reimplant or cement the tooth segment back after determining the health of the injured tooth.

For information on how to handle a completed knocked out tooth (where you can see the full root), please refer to Dental Trauma – What to do when my child takes a fall in the face and knocks his/her tooth?

What Feeding Practice is Good for My Baby?

If you are breastfeeding, avoid nursing children to sleep or putting anything other than water in their bedtime bottle. Do not let your child fall asleep with a bottle of milk or sweetened liquid in his mouth. Both practices promote an aggressive form of decay called baby bottle tooth decay. Try to wean your baby off the night feed at the 5th or 6th month. If he/she is fretful in the middle of the night, give him/her plain water. Encourage your child to drink from a cup as they approach their first birthday. He/she should be weaned from the bottle at 12-14 months of age.

If my child gets a cavity in a baby tooth, should it still be filled?

Primary, or “baby,” teeth are important for many reasons. Not only do they help children speak clearly and chew naturally, they also aid in forming a path that permanent teeth can follow when they are ready to erupt. Some of them are necessary until a child is 12 years old or longer. Pain, infection of the gums and jaws, impairment of general health and premature loss of teeth are just a few of the problems that can happen when baby teeth are neglected. Also, because tooth decay is really an infection and will spread, decay on baby teeth can cause decay on permanent teeth. Proper care of baby teeth is instrumental in enhancing the health of your child.

Aesthetic and Implants

Will I Experience Sensitivity After Whitening?

The Singapore Dental Association recommends consumers to choose a whitening product only after consulting with their dentist. This is to minimise undesirable side effects such as tooth hypersensitivity, gum damage, as well as to treat the underlying causes of tooth discoloration by a professional.  Up to 2/3 of users experience transient mild to moderate tooth sensitivity during the early stages of bleaching treatment. This is because the sensitivity is closely related to the peroxide concentration of the material and the contact time. However, under the help of proper techniques, there is no record on long-term adverse outcome.

How to maintain teeth after whitening

While teeth will slowly darken over time, you can prolong the effect of teeth whitening through the following measures:

  • Good oral hygiene – brush your teeth at least twice a day and use dental floss to clean between teeth
  • Periodic use of take-home whitening kits
  • Return to the dentist for regular check-ups and teeth cleaning
  • Return for a short session of whitening periodically, especially if you consume lots of coffee, tea, or red wine. ​
When Should I Choose Veneers?

Veneers are thin tooth-coloured shells, custom made to fit over the front surface of teeth to improve the shape, size, colour, or alignment of the underlying teeth. Patients often choose veneers for their front teeth in the following situations:

    • Discolouration after previous root canal treatment, which is a common long-term outcome when the tooth no longer has pink, healthy, vital nerve
    • Discolouration due to intrinsic stains, such as natural defects on the teeth, medication-induced stains
    • Existing fillings which are non-aesthetic
    • Fractured teeth due to accidents
    • Small teeth with gaps
    • Worn down teeth
Will the crown or bridge that is connected to the implant get loose?

Loosening rarely happens as the final crown or bridge is usually attached firmly by a special device to tighten the connecting screw or by utilising a strong cement. If it does dislodge, keep the crown and bring it along with you to the clinic. The dentist will clean the crown and cement it back if possible. If it happens again, there is a need to review the design to check if the forces in the implant are excessive or if the post which joins it needs to be changed. An X-ray is advised to check if the loosening has caused any problems to the underlying implant fixture within bone.

How many implants are needed if we have lost all our teeth?

While some patients may choose to replace every missing tooth individually, dental implants are made from titanium, a very strong and lightweight material and 4 to 8 implants in each jaw may be sufficient to carry the load of the removable denture or fixed bridge, even when all your teeth have been lost. Your improved appearance and the ability to once again chew your food well will help you regain confidence and resume an active social life. Even if teeth have been lost for many years, it is still usually possible to rebuild the jawbone to place implants.

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