All posts by dentaladmin



Bluetooth technology? What does this have to do with teeth?

Ever wondered where the term Bluetooth comes from, and how it relates to technology and teeth? This is a thought that often crosses Griffith Street Family Dental’s Dr Rakesh Bhula’s mind as he wirelessly links his cellphone to his laptop.

Rakesh did a little research and learnt that Bluetooth was developed by Swedish telecommunications company Ericsson in 1994. Bluetooth was initially conceived to wirelessly transfer data over short distances using ultra high frequency radiowaves, making physical hard wire cabling unnecessary.

The name Bluetooth is a reference to a tenth century Scandinavian King Harald Gormsson. King Harald’s nickname was Bluetooth, with popular tradition maintaining that he was called Bluetooth in reference to a decayed/discoloured front tooth. King Harald united divergent Danish tribes into a single kingdom and introduced Christianity to the region. The idea of using this nickname for the wireless technology was proposed in 1997 by Jim Kardach of Intel. At the time of this proposal, Jim was reading Frans G. Bengtsson’s historical novel The Long Ships about Vikings and King Harald Bluetooth Gormsson. The implication here is that Bluetooth (technology) does the same with communications protocols, uniting them into one universal standard, just as King Harald did with the Danish tribes.

As an interesting aside, the Bluetooth logo  is a  combination of two letters of the runic alphabet (called a bind rune) merging the runes Hagall (ᚼ) and Bjarkan (ᛒ). These are King Harald’s initials.

blue tooth logo 2





Here at Griffith Street Family Dental, not only are we well versed in using Bluetooth technology when it comes to our low dose radiation digital x-rays and digital recordkeeping, we are also experienced in fixing peoples ‘blue teeth’. If you have stained, chipped, decayed or otherwise unsightly front teeth and would like to know your options contact the friendly team at Griffith Street Family Dental.

Dr Rakesh Bhula along with Dr Selvan Dass and oral health therapist Cheryll Dunn offer a wide range of treatment options to deal with discolouration- from scaling and polishing to bleaching to fillings to cosmetic rehabilitation with ceramic veneers and crowns. Call today.

blue tooth man


The Risks of Oral Cancer II



It was a case of déjà vu at Griffith Street Family Dental this week for Dr Rakesh Bhula. He said, “I came across a news article about a woman who sought treatment regarding what she thought was a dental abscess, which unfortunately turned out to be a very rare but very aggressive form of oral cancer.”

The patient, 21 year old Ceri Jones from Wales UK, was diagnosed as having adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC) – a cancer typically found in the salivary glands. Ceri underwent a 36 hour surgical procedure to remove the ACC. The cancer was so advanced that she needed to have her left eye and facial bones, the left side of the upper jaw, and teeth removed. As part of the reconstructive process titanium plating was used to replace the missing facial bones and skin and muscle was harvested from her right thigh to replace the soft tissue removed from inside the mouth. As a precautionary measure Ceri will undergo radiotherapy for the next few months.

Ceri Jones

Ceri Jones

Dr Rakesh Bhula commented, “Reading the article, the term adenoid cystic carcinoma rang a bell. Along with pleomorphic adenoma and mucoepidermoid carcinoma, I remembered studying about these during our oral pathology classes at the University of Otago’s School of Dentistry. I can recall sitting in a lab looking at slides under a microscope of these pathologies.”

Dr Rakesh Bhula added, “This case is a timely reminder of the importance of regular dental checkups. In fact this topic was discussed in a previous Griffith Street Family Dental blog entry regarding oral cancer published in late October last year (link here- Hopefully if these pathologies are detected early enough this will minimise the invasiveness of the treatment required and improve the overall prognosis for the patient.”

Here at Griffith Street Family Dental we treat our patients as a whole. That means we take a proactive approach with our dental examinations, checking not only the teeth, but also all the soft tissues in the mouth for any abnormalities. Along with oral health therapist Cheryll Dunn, Dr Selvan Dass and Dr Rakesh Bhula check the lips, tongue, cheeks, roof and floor of the mouth, gums and throat at every dental examination appointment. Patients can be rest assured they are in safe hands at Griffith Street Family Dental.

If you, or anyone you know has any concerns, please contact our friendly team at Griffith Street Family Dental to make a consultation appointment.

Tooth found by five-year-old could rewrite history

Tooth found by five-year-old could rewrite history


tooth 1




A tooth found by the five-year-old grandson of local amateur palaeontologist Petar Popdimitrov in Bulgaria in 2002, has raised interesting new questions regarding the evolutionary origins of humankind.
Currently the ‘Out of Africa’ theory of evolution, is the most widely accepted amongst the scientific community. This asserts that all modern humans stem from a single group of Homo sapiens who emigrated from Africa 2,000 generations ago, and spread throughout Eurasia over thousands of years. These settlers replaced other early humans (such as Neanderthals), rather than interbreeding with them.
Now, a team led by Professor Nikolai Spassov and Madelaine Boehme from Tuebingen University in Germany has put forward the idea that the tooth found by the boy matches a jawbone found near Athens in 1944. This jawbone was discovered by German soldiers digging a bunker during World War II.
Professor Spassov asserts that both items are from a creature called Graecopithecus, and that it was a hominin — the collective term for humans and our direct line of non-ape ancestors. Graecopithecus, the researchers propose, migrated to Africa only later. “Now we think that it was the Graecopithecus found in Greece and Bulgaria because our two finds are several hundred thousand years older,” he said. This discovery could be nothing short of momentous, potentially proving that humans diverged from apes not in Africa but in the eastern Mediterranean. This tooth found predates bones found in Africa by at least two hundred thousand years.

This means that the ‘Out of Africa’ theory may need to be renamed to ‘Into Africa.’

tooth 2






Describing the tooth found Mr Popdimitrov said, “The whole of it was of a blue-greyish colour. It looked very worn out, especially the chewing surface. We thought that it was an animal one…. but my son-in-law, who is a dentist, said in the evening that it might be human”.

Professor Spassov’s theory has been widely criticised in scientific circles for lack of proof, prompting him to search for more evidence. “That’s why we are here — to look for whatever part of a skeleton, preferably pelvis, hip, jaw or skull that will enable us to cement our theory and tell much more about our potential first ancestors.” Chronic lack of funding for scientific research and field trips in Bulgaria (the European Union’s poorest country), has limited his team’s excavations to just eight days this summer. However the team has unearthed hundreds of fossils that will be carefully cleaned and examined to see if they are parts of Graecopithecus. Excavations are also expected to start in neighbouring Greece and Macedonia in September this year.

Griffith Street Family Dental’s dentist, Dr Rakesh Bhula, said he was intrigued at the findings. “I remember studying about the ‘Out of Africa’ theory in high school biology classes. Now to find that it may have been incorrect is very surprising. I eagerly look forward to what these new bones found will reveal.”

Here at Griffith Street Family Dental, Dr Rakesh Bhula along with dentist Dr Selvan Dass and oral health therapist Cheryll Dunn are experienced at looking after ‘old teeth’. We are able to accommodate our senior patients needs with walker and wheelchair access throughout the entire surgery and waiting rooms. Dr Rakesh Bhula adds, “Elderly patients are frequently prone to medication induced dry mouth and gum recession. At Griffith Street Family Dental we have several strategies to manage this, ranging from dry mouth toothpastes and mouthrinses to aid mouth comfort, to fluoride treatments to strengthen the teeth, to root surface covering fillings to protect vulnerable teeth in the mouth. If you or a loved one are concerned about your teeth feel free to contact us to find out how we can help”.

Call the friendly team at Griffith Street Family Dental (07) 5599 4643 to arrange an appointment today.




Why should you chew gum after a C-section delivery?


Why should you chew gum after a C-section delivery?


An international meta-analysis of 17 studies recently published in the Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine, found that women who chew gum immediately after C-section surgery had a faster rate of recovery of gastrointestinal function than women who did not chew gum.

The researchers reported that gum chewing starting right after caesarean delivery three times a day for about 30 minutes each time, until the first flatus (passing wind), is associated with early recovery of bowel motility. In addition to this, the women who chewed gum reported appetites returning quicker and less nausea by comparison to the non-gum chewing women.

The researchers concluded, ‘As this is a simple, generally inexpensive intervention, providers should consider implementing post-operative care with chewing gum.’

Queensland obstetrician Dr Gino Pecoraro supports the findings of the study. He said a “simple, low-cost treatment, like the prescription of two Juicy Fruit every six hours”, made sense if it encouraged women back to normal activities as quickly as possible. He added “The savings to the health system of a shortened stay in hospital while waiting for bowels to work could be quite significant. These savings could open up funding for other areas currently not adequately funded, like post-natal mental health services.”

As Australia has one of the highest C-section rates in the world at 32 per cent, this research has the potential to help a large number of women. The wider implications of these findings have even greater potential as Dr Pecoraro observed, “There’s no reason why this can’t be extended to other types of abdominal surgery, like hysterectomy, appendectomy, gall bladder removal or even hernia repairs.”

Dr Rakesh Bhula of Griffith Street Family Dental added, “I was pleasantly surprised to learn of this new unexpected benefit of chewing gum for women who have recently undergone caesarean sections. As dentists we are already very familiar with the oral benefits of chewing gum, such as preventing tooth decay, freshening breath and helping to relieve dry mouth. I have read reports of chewing gum also helping to improve memory and concentration, so it seems that there may be more benefits to chewing gum than previously realised. The only advice I would add in regard to this would be to chew sugar free gum. This will help minimise the risk of tooth decay. Sugar free gum comes in a wide variety of long lasting flavours. Even Juicy Fruit chewing gum comes in a sugar free version these days.”

sugar free juicy fruit









Here at Griffith Street Family Dental, Dr Rakesh Bhula along with Dr Selvan Dass and oral health therapist Cheryll Dunn welcome all expecting mothers-to-be and their families to contact us for any of their dental needs. If necessary, we are able to perform emergency dental work as required on pregnant women in a safe manner. Call the friendly team at Griffith Street Family Dental today on (07) 5599 4643 to book your appointment.




Hollywood actress Demi Moore recently appeared on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon earlier this week. She was there mainly to promote her latest movie Rough Night, and shared an interesting story and picture regarding her teeth, or lack of, with the audience.

Demi Moore

As quoted from the interview Demi attributed the loss of both front teeth (the other missing one is not pictured) to stress related grinding. “I’d love to say it was skateboarding or something really kind of cool, but I think it’s something that’s important to share because I think it’s literally, probably after heart disease, one of the biggest killers in America, which is stress. Stress sheared off my front tooth” she said. Regarding her appearance on the Tonight Show she responded, “In an effort to get ready for you, I wanted to make sure my teeth were in. Thank God for modern dentistry. All of you who go out and practice modern dentistry — thank God!”

Here at Griffith Street Family Dental, we ensure that we have emergency dental appointments available every day, for situations such as these. If a patient calls early enough in the morning often they can be seen the same day. Dr Rakesh Bhula says, “I encounter situations like this all the time. There are a wide range of options available to us to fix the problem definitively, and in the meantime we can provide some sort of temporary solution at the emergency appointment so the patient is not walking around with a gap in their smile.”

Along with dentist Dr Selvan Dass and oral health therapist Cheryll Dunn, the team at Griffith Street Family Dental are well versed in dealing with all manner of dental emergencies in a prompt and efficient manner. Anything ranging from missing front teeth, to broken fillings to toothaches can be fixed.

We are also able to offer a number of treatment options if patients are concerned about tooth grinding affecting their smiles. It could be anything from stress management techniques and bite splint fabrication to filling work to repair minor wear, to comprehensive bite rehabilitation involving implant, crown and bridgework for extensive grinding damage.

Call the friendly team at Griffith Street Family Dental today for all your emergency dental and tooth grinding related needs. We practice modern dentistry with the latest equipment and technology!



Did U.S.A. President George Washington really wear wooden false teeth?



George Washington








With recent news events regarding current US President Donald Trump and former FBI director James Comey, Griffith Street Family Dental’s Dr Rakesh Bhula was reminded of an urban myth he came across as an undergraduate at the University of Otago’s Faculty of Dentistry. It concerned US founding father and President George Washington and the claim he wore wooden false teeth.

“I remember reading of this rumour several times during my studies and thought I would now take the time to investigate it more fully” he said. The findings surprised him.

President Washington did not wear wooden false teeth, but he did have several sets of dentures that were made of rather exotic materials including- elephant and hippopotamus ivory, bone, gold, brass, lead, cow and human teeth (Washington saved his own teeth after they were pulled out, as well as purchasing ‘Negro teeth’).

It appears that the rumour of wooden teeth stems from the fact that ivory and bone naturally have hairline cracks, and this coupled with President Washington’s fondness for dark wine, stained the cracks giving the dentures a wooden appearance.

President Washington found the dentures at the time very uncomfortable to wear and bulky. This may explain why in portraits he is seen unsmiling.

GW Dentures

A set of President Washington’s dentures

Here at Griffith Street Family Dental, Dr Rakesh Bhula along with Dr Selvan Dass and Oral Health Therapist Cheryll Dunn are committed to giving all patients happy, healthy, pain free smiles.

If you have a set of ill-fitting dentures call the team today and find out what can be done to fix this. It may be as simple and easy as a quick chairside adjustment to make the denture fit more securely. In fact Dr Rakesh Bhula reported seeing a new patient yesterday with an unrelated tooth problem which was addressed. “At the appointment after fixing the problem I noticed that the patient had a loose lower partial denture. I asked her about it and she found it difficult to wear and painful. After a simple clasp adjustment the patient found the denture more securely fitting and much easier to insert and remove and she was very happy with the result” he said.

Along with our trusted specialists we work alongside, Griffith Street Family Dental can explore all options ranging from simple denture adjustments, to relining and remaking dentures, to bridgework and dental implants which can replace the need for wearing dentures entirely. Call the friendly team today on (07) 5599 4643 to find out how we can help.





Dr Rakesh Bhula and Selvan Dass, along with Ms Cheryll Dunn at Griffith Street Family Dental strongly recommend regular six monthly check-ups and cleans to their valued patients. The main reason for this is because studies have shown that dental diseases such as tooth decay, gum disease and their pathologies like cysts and oral cancers can progress significantly during a six month period. If not treated accordingly, these can lead to the need for more costly and time consuming treatments in the future; and in the case of oral cancers, more debilitating treatments in the future.

During your regular dental check-up and clean appointment at Griffith Street Family Dental with Dr Rakesh Bhula, Dr Selvan Dass and Oral Health Therapist Cheryll Dunn, you will be receiving a full spectrum of diagnostic, preventative and educational services specifically designed for your individual needs.

According to research, approximately 20% of Australian adults have gum disease and do not realise it. If identified on time, the damage could be reversed, but, once the gums and teeth within begin to deteriorate, regular dental treatments will only limit the damage.

At Griffith Street Family Dental, the treatment of your gum disease will involve cleans with our Oral Health Therapist Cheryll Dunn at three or six monthly intervals. It is very important that you maintain these regular visits as bacteria that cause gum disease can repopulate around the gums and penetrate gum pockets within three months of a scale and clean.




A recent study completed in Australia, by the Colgate-Palmolive company, found that more than half of all young adult women (aged 24-35) failed to brush their teeth once a day, and admit to having poor oral health. Of the 1007 people surveyed, only eight percent said they had ‘excellent’ oral health.

This may explain in part why 22 per cent of all Australian adults have gum disease while up to 23 per cent have tooth decay, according to research published in 2015 by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

Griffith Street Family Dental’s resident oral health therapist Cheryll Dunn was “astounded by the outcome of this study.” She said, “If this is the case, I would encourage everyone to attend for regular check-up and cleans.”

Dr Rakesh Bhula, dentist at Griffith Street Family Dental adds, “I was also very surprised to read of the figures in this latest study by Colgate. I hope that this would serve as good incentive for everybody, not just adult females, to attend for regular check-up and clean appointments.”

Along with dentist Dr Selvan Dass, the team at Griffith Street Family Dental would like to encourage everyone to attend their check-up and clean appointments. New patients always welcome!




The Government is in the process of reviewing the CDBS, so what does this mean for you and your children?

At present the Australian federal government provides $1000 (over a 2 year period) towards dental treatment for eligible children and teenagers under the age of 18.   To receive the benefit you must meet certain government criteria.  If you do not use all of the benefit provided, it does not accumulate, it simply remains in the government pool.

As the scheme is under review and subject to a senate inquiry, this may mean that the government could close the scheme at any time.  This means that you will no longer be able to choose your child’s dentist at the government’s expense.  This, however, can be over turned by public support to save the scheme.  The best way to support the scheme is to use it.  As this year is drawing to an end,  you only have a few weeks to use the money provided by the government before it rolls over into next year.  By supporting the scheme this will send a clear message to the government that there is a need to continue the CDBS.

The Australian Dental Association is playing an important role in supporting the scheme and advising us, as dentists, to encourage our patients to do the same. “In the past there has been two government reviews of the CDBS which found the scheme to be effective and successful, but in need of better promotion.” says Dr Rick Olive,  President of the Australian Dental Association.

You can support the scheme by making an appointment and using your funds before the end of the 2016 calendar year, by contacting your local MP, or by signing the e-Petition on the ADA website (link provided for your convenience).

Cheryll Dunn  B.Oral.H (Qld)




A recent news article has highlighted the increase in rates of oral cancer among men in the United States. The report published by an independent non-profit health organisation called FAIR Health used data collected from 21 billion privately billed medical and dental claims.

The research found that the incidence of oral cancer in men has increased 61% from the years 2011 to 2015, with the highest rates of increase found in throat and tongue cancers. The results also showed a significant gender bias with the rate of oral cancer almost three times as high in men compared to women with a difference of 74% to 26% respectively.

Smoking is a leading risk factor for the incidence of mouth cancers. Despite falling smoking rates among both genders, the rate of oral cancer is still increasing and researchers have proposed that there may be a link between changing sexual practices, infection with the HPV (human papillomavirus) and oral cancer. US actor Michael Douglas was asked in an interview if he blamed his throat cancer to a lifetime of drinking and smoking, to which he replied “No, because without wanting to get too specific, this particular cancer is caused by HPV.”

Dr Selvan Dass and Dr Rakesh Bhula of Griffith Street Family Dental attended a continuing education evening earlier in the week, where they were both able to speak to a local oral and maxillofacial surgeon who told them that most oral cancers are painless. So it is possible for patients to have them and not be aware of it.

Rakesh, having worked as a maxillofacial house surgeon in Auckland NZ, at Greenlane hospital’s head and neck cancer clinic, has seen first had the devastating effects oral cancer can have on patients. “The patients I had helped to treat were on the severe end of the spectrum, usually requiring major surgery which involved cutting out parts of the neck, jaw, nose and roof of the mouth. Unfortunately this leads to a major decrease in the quality of life for the patients.”

Here at Griffith Street Family Dental we treat our patients as a whole. That means we take a proactive approach with our dental examinations, checking not only the teeth, but also all the soft tissues in the mouth for any abnormalities. Along with oral health therapist Cheryll Dunn, Dr Selvan Dass and Dr Rakesh Bhula check the lips, tongue, cheeks, roof and floor of the mouth, gums and throat at every dental examination appointment. Patients can be rest assured they are in safe hands at Griffith Street Family Dental.