Ask a Dental Surgeon & Oral Maxillofacial Surgeon: Dr Chan Siew Luen from Mount Elizabeth Orchard Hospital Singapore

Ask a Doctor ForumCategory: Oral & Maxillo-Facial SurgeryAsk a Dental Surgeon & Oral Maxillofacial Surgeon: Dr Chan Siew Luen from Mount Elizabeth Orchard Hospital Singapore
Dr Chan Siew Luen asked 11 months ago
I am a Singapore Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon. I graduated from the National University of Singapore with a Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) in 1989.

I obtained my training in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery in the University in Hong Kong, where I graduated with a Master of Dental Surgery in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. Subsequently, I was admitted as a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons as well a Fellow of the Academy of Medicine, Singapore.

I have held leadership positions in various dental organisations in Singapore, including being President of the Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (Singapore), Chairman of the Singapore Regional Committee of the Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons and President of the College of Dental Surgeons of the Academy of Medicine, Singapore.

I have been appointed as a member of the Singapore Dental Council for twelve years during which time, I had chaired the Credentials Committee as well as the Aesthetic Facial Procedures Oversight Committee.

I practice a broad scope of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, with a special interest in reconstructive jaw surgery for dental implantology as well as corrective jaw surgery for dento-facial disharmonies.

I teach and lecture internationally and is devoted to the advancement of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. In addition to my private practice, I teach part time in the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, National University of Singapore.

Learn more about me here: https://patients.smarterhealth.sg/specialist-doctor/chan-siew-luen/

I am excited to be here to share/discuss Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery with everyone. I will be actively answering questions. Whether you’ve got questions about dental implants, reconstructive jaw surgery or corrective jaw surgery, ask me anything!

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17 Answers
Kelvin H. answered 11 months ago

I sometimes feel a loss of control when it comes to my jaw movements. There are also times when my jaw feels stiff and hurts, as though there’s an electric shock running through it. I have a history of grinding my teeth nightly. How do I know if my condition is serious?

Dr Chan Siew Luen
replied 11 months ago

Based on your description, there may be several possible explanation. The sensation of electric shock maybe due to trigeminal neuralgia, whereby the nerve responsible for sensation in the face became unstable and send pain sensation to the the brain in the absence of a painful stimulus. The cause of this instability of the nerve is unknown but is believed to be degenerative in nature. The jaw feeling stiff is likely related to your grinding of your teeth at night. The sleep grinding of your teeth is due to various factors including stress, unbalanced biting position of your teeth, sleep disorders, amongst others. This should be investigated to assess if it is serious. Excessive grinding may lead to premature wearing down of your teeth and in more severe cases, cause cracks in your teeth. They can also need to premature wear of the jaw joints, giving rise to pain the joints and muscles of mastication. In some cases, the sleep grinding may be a manifestation of sleep disorder which may lead to long term systemic problems such as high blood pressure. In short, do get it checked out professionally.

L. L answered 11 months ago

My teeth grew abnormally on the right side of my mouth, making it look like I am constantly chewing something. I found a lot of wearable products online that claim to help restructure the teeth. Do you think these kinds of products work, or should I see a specialist?

Dr Chan Siew Luen
replied 11 months ago

Asymmetry of the dento-facial structures is a developmental in nature. The cause of the asymmetry need to be diagnosed professionally prior to any form of treatment. Typical treatment include orthodontics and/or surgery. Weareable products that are not prescribed professionally may cause more harm. You should definitely see a specialist.

Whye Teck answered 11 months ago

My elderly father is complaining about his palate thickening. He says it makes him lose the ability to taste food properly. What condition is this – can it be treated?

Dr Chan Siew Luen
replied 11 months ago

The palate does not thicken normally. This will require a physical examination. Please bring your father to a dentist for a proper assessment.

Ryan answered 11 months ago

After removal of my wisdom teeth, I have been feeling constant pain whenever I drink or eat cold or hot food. Can someone suddenly have sensitive teeth after removal of his wisdom teeth? If no, is there treatment for this pain I’m feeling?

Dr Chan Siew Luen
replied 11 months ago

Most wisdom teeth that needs removal are impacted against the root of the tooth in front. Upon removal of an impacted wisdom tooth, the root of the tooth in front of the wisdom tooth becomes exposed and hence become more sensitive. This usually recovers with time, as the bone and gum grows back. If the sensitivity persists, it may be an indication that there is decay on the root of the tooth that the wisdom tooth was previously impacted against. In such cases, the tooth may require a filling or in some cases, root canal treatment.

Ang P.H answered 11 months ago

I lost two of my side teeth in an accident a few months ago. Two months ago, I decided to have implants to substitute the missing teeth. Everything has been fine until recently. I have had a toothache since a week ago around the implants. I have taken medicines but it doesn’t get better. Now I am worried this could be serious. Should I be concerned about this and have it examined or just keep taking my medicines, Doctor, since it has only been a week?

Dr Chan Siew Luen
replied 10 months ago

Unlike natural teeth, dental implants do not have nerves and should not have any sensation. If you feel pain around the implants, it may mean that there is an infection. Alternatively, it may not be the implants that is causing the pain but the teeth adjacent to the implants. Either way, you should see a dentist as soon as possible Early treatment of an infection of the dental implants may prevent bone loss and loosening of the implants. If the pain originates from the natural teeth, early treatment may limit the damage cause by dental decay or gum disease.

Cade answered 11 months ago

There seems to be a boil on my upper gums. It’s painful, and it’s red with blood in it. Whenever I brush my teeth it hurts and I’ve tried using a mouthwash but that’s just even more painful. Is the boil dangerous? Do i wait and see if it goes away on its own or should I see a dentist?

Dr Chan Siew Luen
replied 10 months ago

A gum boil is often an indication of an decayed tooth where the bacteria has entered the pulp of the tooth. Such an infection spreads down the root canal and out through the tip of the root into the bone and manifest as a boil on the gum. You need to see a dentist as soon as possible to prevent further spread of the infection. Other possible diagnosis include rarer conditions such as tumors or cysts. This is more likely if it has been there for a while and slowly growing in size. You should see a dentist to get it properly diagnosed and managed.

Chrissy answered 10 months ago

I hear a cracking sound from my jaw when I open my mouth. It doesn’t hurt but it feels weird. The sound started when I fell off my bicycle a few months ago and knocked my chin against a bench. However, back then, the pain subsided after a few days and I did not get any bruises or wounds. Do I need to worry about the sound?

Dr Chan Siew Luen
replied 10 months ago

Cracking sound from the jaw when opening your mouth is usually due to a displaced disc. This disc inside the jaw joint serves as a cushion and a lubricant for the smooth functioning of the joint. Each time the mouth is opened, the disc moves forward and when the mouth closes, the disc moves back. The cracking sound comes about when the disc is out of alignment and does not move forward and backward in tandem with the jaw joint. This can be a result of wear and tear over the years or in your case, from a single episode of trauma. In general, such symptoms do no present an urgent need for treatment. However, since yours is associated with a cycling injury, it is prudent to see a dentist to get it checked out.

Jess answered 10 months ago

I grind my teeth at night on a daily basis and also clench my jaw during the day. I get tension headaches very frequently because of that. It also feels like my jaw muscles are growing in size. I’ve read online that mouth guards are one possible solution, and that jaw botox is another. Will I be able to get botox from a dentist or do i need to go see an aesthetic doctor for that?

Dr Chan Siew Luen
replied 10 months ago

Grinding of teeth at night may be caused by physical factors such as malalignment of the teeth or psychological factors such as stress. It may also be a manifestation of a form of sleep disorder and may be related to obstructive sleep apnea. All these factors give rise to symptoms such as tension headaches, muscle aches, joint pains etc. A mouth guard or injection of neurotoxin such as Botox can help. However, a proper diagnosis is needed before deciding on the treatment. Dentists who manage tooth grinding also provide neurotoxin injections as part of the treatment options. As the objective of such treatment is not aesthetic in nature, it is not the domain of the aesthetic doctor.

Mark T answered 10 months ago

There was a boil on the right side of my mouth wall. I thought it was just a blister, so I left it and ate whatever I want still. But there was one day when I was chewing my food, I accidentally bit it and it burst. It tasted bitter. The next day, it turned into an open wound. Until today, it gives me pain in my gums and teeth. When I brush my teeth, or drink cold or hot beverages, or eat something sour, the pain is terrible, it even makes my head ache. Please give me your opinion, what condition is this?

Dr Chan Siew Luen
replied 10 months ago

From your description, I assume that by mouth wall, you are referring to the cheek. It appears that you may have a mucocele, which is a cyst that formed due to collection of saliva that leaked out from the minor salivary gland in the cheek mucosa, commonly caused by cheek biting. Such cyst expand gradually as more saliva is secreted into the confined bubble until it burst. When it burst, it breaks through the mucosa that has been enveloping it thereby leaving an ulcer. This will usually heal by itself after some time but once healed, it will trap the saliva again and the cycle is repeated. Treatment consist of an excision of the lesion and should be done by an oral maxillofacial surgeon.

Eunice answered 10 months ago

I want to fix my chin/jaw. It is too long for my liking and I feel like I have an overbite. Should I be consulting a plastic surgeon or an oral surgeon?

Dr Chan Siew Luen
replied 10 months ago

Anomalies of jaw size are usually done by oral maxillofacial surgeons. Such surgeries need to not just address the cosmetic aspects of the long jaw but must be able to achieve optimum biting efficiency. An orthodontist is usually needed as part of the team to align the teeth when the jaw has been repositioned into a cosmetically more pleasing position.

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