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4 ways your oral health affects your overall health

Poor oral health won’t just lead to a toothless grin. If you have poor oral health, it can have negative impacts on your overall health.

1. Gum disease can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke. because gum disease increases the inflammation throughout your body, which is known to lead to cardiovascular disease.

gum disease

Gum disease from extended bacterial exposure can lead to cardiovascular disease as it may increase the inflammation level throughout the body. Inflammation is a major risk factor for heart disease. Your dentist or hygienist should ask you about your heart health and family history of heart disease and conversely, cardiologists should examine your oral health. A problem in one area may signal trouble in the other.

poor oral health can lead to diabetes if left unchecked

2. Gum disease may be linked to diabetes

New studies suggest that serious gum disease may actually contribute to diabetes as it affects blood glucose control. Because periodontal disease is an infection, bacteria produce toxins that affect the carbohydrate metabolism in individual cells. It is also thought that the host response to periodontal bacteria can increase insulin resistance and, therefore, blood glucose levels.

3. Teeth grinding and joint health

Teeth grinding (or “Bruxism”) is bad for your teeth. Everyone knows that.


The habit can wear down your enamel, cause increased tooth sensitivity, and result in chipped or broken teeth. Not only that, bruxism can aggravate the joints in your lower jaw, also known as the temporomandibular joints, or TMJs. This can

lead to pain or tightness in the joint area, and even ear-aches and headaches.

4.  Tongue and germs

The surface of the tongue can harbour a lot of bacteria.

a healthy tongueTrapped germs on the tongue can lead to bad breath and affect your sense of taste, and the bacteria can travel to other parts of your mouth. Make it a habit to thoroughly clean your tongue every time you brush your teeth.

You can use a tongue cleaner, a small tool designed to scrape the tongue; it comes in various shapes and sizes. Your regular toothbrush will also do the job. Try to reach right to the back. If this triggers your gag reflex, keep trying. Eventually, your reflex will ease up. You might also find that a tongue cleaner doesn’t trigger the reflex as easily as a toothbrush does.

It is important that you check with your dentist if you have gum disease and whether you grind your teeth in your sleep and the state of your tongue. Maintaining good oral health should be part of the regimen for maintaining good overall health.

Greenlife Dental Team in Bago, Myanmar, for mission work

As part of an organisation called Humanitarian With Love, a team of 4 dentists and 3 assistants from Greenlife Dental Clinic went to Bago, Myanmar (30 March to 1st April 2018).

Dr Liew with young patient

Dr Liew Yuqin doing an extraction with Amanda assisting

Our Burmese patients were villagers who travelled long distances to our clinic and they braved the intense heat of summer for hours just to be seen.From the teenage girl who wanted to fix her discoloured front teeth, to the elderly man who was unable to sleep due to an infected tooth, to the anxious child with multiple decayed teeth – all were important to us, and we tried our best to address all their needs.

Serving together with the other teams (Eye/ TCM/ Medical), we managed to see, treat and help close to 5000 patients. Though this was not our first mission trip, it still left a lasting impact professionally and personally.

Every mission experience motivates us to further dedicate our skills, donate our time and contribute resources to global healthcare.

Dr Mok Liqian doing his 19th extraction that day

Dr Mok Liqian doing his 19th extraction that day

2018 Myanmar Mission - Dr Cai with patient

Dr AE with patient

Greenlife Team in Myanmar mission 2018

Watch the video here

Written by Dr Liew Yuqin

Dr Evelyn Yao

Dr Evelyn Yao

Dr Evelyn Yao

Dr Evelyn Yao chose dentistry as a career because she likes to work with people and help them. Dr Evelyn Yao is gentle, patient and meticulous with her work. She treats her patient with courtesy and able to offer a sympathetic ear to listen to the patients’  problems and identify their causes and then come up with customised treatment options that can best solve the problems. Seeing her cheerful face will also melt away any dentophobia (fear of dentists acquired at a young age) that you may have.

Dr Evelyn Yao’s background

Dr Evelyn Yao graduated from National University of Singapore with a Bachelor of Dental Surgery. During her government postings, she has the fortune of getting a varied attachment that gives her an all-rounded clinical training. She worked in Toa Payoh Polyclinic and got her first taste of general community dentistry, where she met patients from all walks of life. Next posting to the Health Promotion Board (HPB) allows her to treat children ranging from pre-schoolers to pre-U students where she learned the chairside behavioural management of preschoolers. Here she realised the importance of oral health education and how the attitude of the parent towards dental health has a tremendous impact on the children oral health.

Later posting to National Dental Center (NDC) and National University Hospital (NUH) exposed her to dental patients with complex medical conditions and dento-facial trauma cases while doing night calls at the Accident and Emergency (A&E) Department. She also have to manage private patients with challenging dental problems. Her last posting was Nee Soon Camp with the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) where she honed her skill in wisdom tooth surgeries and more complex dental treatments.

What she is really good at

Her affinity with children makes her a dentist whom children will want to come back to. Her sweet personality makes children immediately feel at ease with her.

Also, her stints in SAF and NDC made her become adept at wisdom tooth surgeries, among other simple and complex treatments.

What she does when she is not working

During her rest days, Dr Evelyn enjoys spending quality time with family and friends. She also like to explore the world through travelling.

IDEM 2016

Voluntary Mission Trip to Cambodia 2015

On 14th June 2015, a group of dentists, oral health therapists (OHTs), dental assistant and dental students set off from Singapore to Siem Reap, Cambodia for our now-annual dental mission trip. In total, there were 25 volunteers, with 16 dentists and 3 OHTs. The mission was held in conjunction with Republic Polytechnic’s(RP) Overseas Community Involvement Project(OCIP), where as part of their OCIP, the students will participate in our dental mission as volunteers.

On arrival at Siem Reap, we were warmly received by our host for the duration of the mission, Mr Bun Kao. Mr Bun Kao is a survivor of the Khmer Rogue regime, a period of genocide from 1975 to 1979. Educated Cambodians like scientists and doctors were targeted to suppress resistance. Effects from this period is still felt till now as the prosecution of educated citizens resulted in stagnation of progress in Cambodia. The official average monthly wage for a Cambodian is USD80 a month (a doctor earns USD100 a month, so imagine what a villager will make every month!) while the cost of an extraction in a rural village cost USD10.

As a result of his experience during the Khmer Rouge regime, Mr Bun Kao has endeavoured to better the lives of his fellow Cambodians, often participating in local mission work projects to villages as well as hosting and helping mission teams from overseas at his family-run guesthouse.

The following day, we set out at 6.30am in the morning for Village. This is the second time we visited the village since we started our mission work in Cambodia. We were informed that the villagers were very appreciative of our visit 3 years ago and requested for our presence once again.

Upon arrival, we were met by the RP team and we immediately got down to setting up our equipment and treatment area. Setting up is usually the most chaotic part of any mission trip, however, thanks to the presence of many well-practised old hands in our team, the setting up process, which can often result in angst and the odd harsh word, was smooth and efficient. Soon, we were welcoming the first patient of the mission.

Supper table neatly laid out

Supply table neatly laid out


The “polyclinic” where we worked at

For this mission, we were working in the “polyclinic” of the village. It was a standalone, one storied building the size of a basketball court, divided into a few rooms. We were informed that baby delivery was carried out there as well, at a cost of USD 0.30. One of our dentists was delighted upon hearing the price and enthusiastically climbed onto the delivery bed, keen to take advantage of the good exchange rate.

The other benefit of working in the local polyclinic, beside very affordable deliveries, was the participation of the local doctors and nurses. They were crucial to our triaging of patients, highlighting patients with medical conditions, as well as helping to attend to patients who experience anxiety and vertigo post treatment.

After registration and triaging, the patients were funnelled into the respective waiting areas for restoration and extractions. From previous experience, we expected a long queue and requested for a tentage to be set up so that the patients will not have to wait in the sun.

Patients waiting

Patients waiting in the shade of the tentage

At the restorative section, patients lay down on our made-shift “Kavos” and “Sironas”. We were fortunate to have portable rotary motors and handpieces as part of our mission equipment and hence, were able to perform restorative treatment just as if we were in a proper clinic in Singapore. Focus was mainly on preserving the teeth for function with our guru, Dr Vijayan, doing a few dentures for selected patients.

Restorative unit

One of our restorative units

Spot the denture

Spot the denture! Hint: #12 to #21

Extraction section was naturally the busier of the two treatment areas. Chairs were arranged in a row with one attending dentist to each chair. Cambodians are very tough and hardy people, and naturally, their teeth were just as tough to extract. Our dentists were sweating under their gowns in the hot weather trying to extract multi-rooted, badly carious, 8s and even doing surgeries to remove fractured roots.

Our team of OHTs, led by Dr Noeline Tan, were not to be outdone as well! Due to the language barrier, coaxing and voice control were of limited use and at times, the Cambodian kids proved to be as tough as their parents, fighting tooth and claw against the dentists and OHTs. However, the crying kids usually end up smiling at the end of their treatment under the very capable and caring hands of our pedo team.

And of course, no mission can be carried out without the all-important sterilization unit. The sterilization unit is akin to the engine room of the dental mission, critical to the success of the mission, has to be well-oiled and efficient, hot and stuffy, and often overlooked in favour of the more exciting extraction and restorative sections. Proper sterilization protocol was followed, with instrument washed and soaked in disinfectant before sterilization in pressure cookers.

Around 500 patients were seen over 3 working days. As always, even though we had to tough it out in the hot weather and less than ideal working conditions, all of us felt very satisfied and contented with our effort. Personally, this trip has served to remind me to be appreciative of all the simple things in our everyday lives which we often take for granted. As clinicians, we can do more than simply treating diseases. We can literally bring a smile to these impoverished villagers.

By: Dr Lee Bingwen Jon

Dr Lee

Community Project at Peace Connect

Tis the season for giving… Our Beach Road team and Dr Au Eong & family were happy to spread some festive cheer to the elderly folks at Peace Connect Seniors Activity Centre

Congratulations to Sheila and Umi!

From left: Sheila, Dr Au Eong and Umi

From left: Sheila, Dr Au Eong and Umi

Greenlife Dental congratulates our staff Sheila and Umi on their graduation! They are now certified with NITEC in Dental Assisting. They have benefitted tremendously from the course – having to juggle work duties, lessons and on-the-job training for the entire year. They have gained more insights into the realm of dental work and are more proficient in dental assisting. Besides, they had lots of fun along the way!

Dr Vijayan is their favourite lecturer!

Dr Vijayan is their favourite lecturer!