Periodontal Associates of Memphis

Oral Cancer | Signs and Symptoms of Oral Cancer Pt. 2

Our past blog explored the two kinds of oral cancer screening options, OralCDx and Vizilite Plus. We want to switch gears and discuss some of the symptoms and signs that tend to be associated with oral cancer.

It’s important to know that oral cancer is fairly common in the US. In 2017, it was estimated that over 42,000 individuals will be diagnosed, according to the Oral Cancer Foundation. The best thing you can do to detect oral cancer is to have a screening completed, but you should still be aware of the signs that are linked to oral cancer.

Signs of oral cancer include:

Patches of red or white in your mouth
Unexpected shifts of your teeth
Throat or mouth irritation that does not go away
Pain in your mouth, lips or tongue
Difficulty talking, eating or chewing

Periodontist in Memphis, TN

The ADA states that if symptoms do not disappear within 2 weeks, make sure to schedule an appointment as soon as possible.

Concerned about the health of your gums?

Healthy gums are important to the health of your mouth and your general health. If you would like to keep your gums in good shape, be sure to schedule an appointment today.

Oral Health | How to Test for Oral Cancer Pt. 1

Although oral cancer is a deadly form of cancer, it can be treated. Oral cancer is actually one of the most curable forms of cancer when it is detected early enough. Unfortunately, many people do not take the time to receive an oral cancer screening and it is caught in later stages, meaning the success of the treatment is lowered.

To spot signs of oral cancer, the two common forms of screening include OralCDx and Vizilite Plus. OralCDx uses a brushing technique that detects abnormal cells in your mouth that have the risk of developing into cancer. Vizilite Plus operates by detecting any soft tissues in your mouth that can become oral cancer. These two screening options are widely available and are quick to complete.

If you have not had an oral cancer screening, we recommend you visit your dentist and talk to them about screening options. As we stated above, oral cancer is the most curable form of cancer when detected early enough.

Activities that can increase your risk of oral cancer are things such as tobacco use or alcohol, but they are not the only ones. Be sure to watch for our next blog where we will discuss some of the other warning signs of oral cancer.

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Are you concerned about the health of your gums?

Oral cancer can affect every area of your mouth, including your gums. There have been numerous studies on the association between periodontal health and your risk of cancer, you can find some of those studies here. If you are concerned about the health of your gums or show signs of periodontal disease, be sure to contact us at our office in Memphis, TN today!

Bad Breath? Is It Something Serious? – Part 2

Previously, we discussed common causes of bad breath and the importance of a proper dental hygiene routine. In our second part, we continue by taking a look at some serious health issues associated with bad breath.

If you are struggling with bad breath that does not seem to go away with proper dental hygiene, it could be a sign of something more serious.

There are both oral health and non-oral health issues that may cause bad breath.

Oral health issues may include:

  • Gum disease
  • Infected root canal
  • Throat or oral cancer
  • Cavities
  • Food stuck on tonsils

Non-oral health issues include:

  • Acid reflux
  • Lung disease
  • HIV
  • Diabetes
  • Lung infection
  • Liver disease

Bad Breath Memphis TN

Practice Good Dental Hygiene

You should brush and floss daily to help prevent bad breath. Not only is brushing and flossing your teeth important but brushing your gums, the roof of your mouth and tongue should not be ignored either. If you use mouthwash, it is important to know it is not a substitute for brushing and flossing.

Are you looking for a periodontist in the Memphis, TN area?

We are always accepting new patients to our practice in Memphis, TN and welcome anyone to contact us.

Bad Breath? A Reason to Floss – Part 1

Do you floss your teeth at least once a day? You should, and here’s the reason why:

Flossing each day helps remove the food particles and germs that support foul breath. That makes flossing one of the best approaches to avoid and stop bad breath.

Bad breath, or halitosis, is actually much more frequent than most people realize. Bad breath is an important oral health concern. Regardless of whether it’s your own or another person’s, it’s nothing to joke about. Bad breath is more than an uncomfortable social problem—it may be an indicator of disease or illness.

Your Friend Saliva

Your mouth is more susceptible to plaque buildup with less saliva. This may create an undesirable odor on your breath.

If you deal with halitosis, you should be aware of what can cause bad breath.

Bad Breath Memphis, TN

Common triggers include:

Early Mornings
You may be prone to bad breath in the morning since saliva quits flowing when you are sleeping. Mornings may be an ideal time for your daily dental flossing.

Hunger or Thirst
Due to the fact that there is very little saliva in your mouth when you’re dehydrated, this may amplify the build-up of bacteria that causes bad breath. Be sure you drink plenty of fluids and are eating properly. Chewing food boosts the saliva in your mouth, so, if you’re missing meals or, perhaps, dieting, you may develop bad breath. If you have to reduce your food intake and eat infrequently, drink plenty of water to help retain the amount of saliva in your mouth so as to help reduce the chances of bad breath.

Alcohol
Beverages that include alcohol may promote a dry mouth and result in bad breath. So before you get into bed after consuming alcohol, make sure you floss, regardless of how worn out you feel.

Are you in need of a periodontist in the Memphis, TN area?

Bad breath may be a sign of gum disease, which if left untreated can cause serious health issues. Be sure to contact us today!

Oral Health: Take Care of Your Tooth Enamel

Quick question: What is the hardest thing in the human body? No, it isn’t your skull. The hardest thing in the human body is actually our tooth enamel. Thank goodness it is protecting our teeth. However, your tooth enamel is just as fragile as it is hard. So, it is critical that you take good care of it.

You may be wondering what exactly causes damage to tooth enamel. Below are several habits, foods, and other things that can cause damage to your tooth enamel and expose your teeth to germs, bacteria, and sugar.

– Eating acidic food and having acidic beverages
– Chewing on your nails, pens, pencils, or other objects
– Chewing on ice
– Mouth piercings

Tooth Enamel Memphis

While there are many habits and foods that cause harm to your teeth, there are also medical reasons why your enamel becomes damaged. The most common medical condition that causes people to damage tooth enamel is bruxism. Bruxism is better known as frequently grinding your teeth while you sleep. Xerostomia, dry mouth, can also cause tooth enamel to damage as you are not producing enough saliva to maintain a healthy mouth.

Concerned about your oral health?

Remember, if your tooth enamel wears down, this is not good for your oral health. Insufficient tooth enamel can lead to cavities and eventually gum disease. If you are concerned about the development of gum disease, click here to schedule an appointment at our office in Memphis, TN.

Getting Rid of Bad Breath

Bad breath is something that affects millions of Americans every single day. But what causes bad breath, and how can we eliminate those things and ensure we have fresh breath?

First, let’s look at what is most likely causing bad breath. Most commonly, bad breath is the result of a lack of proper hygiene care. If you suffer from bad breath, this is a good hint that you need to put more focus on your home care. Proper oral hygiene should include brushing your tongue and flossing on a regular basis. If you are not doing those things, germs and bacteria will remain in your mouth and cause bad breath.

In addition to not exercising proper dental hygiene, bad breath might also be a result of xerostomia (dry mouth). The best thing you can do to combat xerostomia is to drink more fluoridated water, consume less caffeine and alcohol, and change your diet to include things that promote saliva production.

bad breath prevention memphis periodontist

Lastly, your routine dental checkups are critical in ensuring that you avoid bad breath. Routine dental checkups will help you remove any plaque and tartar that you missed while brushing and flossing.

Do you need to see a dentist or periodontist?

If you are concerned about your oral health, in particular, the health of your gums, we welcome you to contact us today at our office in Memphis.

The Relationship Between Sports Drinks and Oral Health

A study has found that 89% of kids between the ages of 12 and 14 drink sports drinks, and, from that group, 68% drink them from once a week to once per day. Sports drinks may be their favorite beverage, but it is hurting their oral health in a major way.

Most people drink sports drinks to rehydrate while exercising, but the better choice for this is fluoridated water. Water is not only good for your general health, but it is also good for your oral health. Sports drinks were created to replenish fluids, sugar, and electrolytes lost during exercise or physical activities. However, these drinks are filled with sugars and are acidic; a very bad combination for your teeth and gums.

Unfortunately for your oral health, with athlete endorsements and flashy ads, sports drinks are not going anywhere. On top of that, one-third of manufacturers who were surveyed for this study said that teenagers are their target market. This means we need to be extremely conscientious about how much of these drinks our teens are consuming. 

Oral Health

In the UK, tooth decay is actually the main cause of hospital admissions among young children. Tooth decay in kids is a problem, but there are very easy ways to help your child grow up with good oral health.

The first thing to do is make sure your kids are brushing and flossing twice per day. The next thing would be to limit the number of sugary foods and drinks they consume. If your child has a sports drink with their lunch or when they play sports, you can start replacing those drinks with water.

Concerned about your oral health in the Memphis, TN area?

The health of your gums is important to us. The team at Periodontal Associates of Memphis are always welcoming new patients. Be sure to schedule an appointment today at our office in Memphis, TN!

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Do Mouth Piercings Cause Gum Recession and Other Oral Health Issues?

You may not have guessed it (or you may have), but having a tongue or lip piercing can actually harm both your overall and oral health.

Beyond your general health, mouth piercings can negatively impact oral health by causing the following issues:

  • Swelling
  • Infections
  • Scarring
  • Gum recession
  • Airway obstruction
  • Hypersalivation
  • Chipped teeth
  • Bleeding

These issues are more common than you might think. A study found that between 40 and 50% of people with a lip piercing and 44% of people with a tongue piercing experience gum recession. In comparison, amongst adults without lip piercings, just 7% experience gum recession. The same study found that 26% of people with tongue piercings had some kind of damage to their teeth.

Gum Recession

If you experience gum recession, you might want to consider receiving a gum graft.

ALSO READ: Are You A Candidate For Dental Implants?

What if I currently have an oral piercing?

If you already have an oral piercing, there are ways that you can decrease the risk of oral health issues. Making a habit of good oral hygiene, such as brushing and flossing twice per day, brushing with toothpaste that includes fluoride and making sure your mouthwash is alcohol-free, are a couple of good tips.

Equally as important, is keeping the piercing site clean and being aware of any signs of possible concerns. Things like pain, swelling, unusual discharges or tenderness, are all signs to watch for.

Other than not getting an oral piercing, the best way to keep a healthy mouth is through good oral hygiene and routine trips to the dentist. For those who do have an oral piercing, your dentist can offer advice on the best way to care for it.

Below is an image from treatment of gum recession due to an oral piercing:

Oral Piercings

Looking for a periodontist in the Memphis, TN area?

If so, Drs. Godat and Craddock are always welcoming new patients. Feel free to schedule an appointment online at our office in the Memphis, TN area.

Can Your Dentist Help Treat Metabolic Syndrome?

You may have never thought of metabolic syndrome and dentistry as being connected, but, actually, dentists can assist individuals who endure this kind of ailment. Metabolic syndrome, which impacts 40% of US citizens who are 40 years or older, is a group of conditions that are associated with insulin resistance. This includes things such as diabetes, fatty liver disease, cardiovascular disease, as well as kidney disease. Patients that go without treatment have a greater threat of stroke, heart attack, sleep apnea and more.

So, what exactly could a dentist do to help with metabolic syndrome?

Your dentist can certainly locate any indications that you may be developing periodontal disease. This disease is an early indication of metabolic syndrome. If you find yourself in this situation, the dentist will be able to help alleviate the disease, lowering your chance of kidney and heart disease. A study discovered that individuals with unattended periodontal disease increased their likelihood of fatality from heart or kidney disease by as much as three times.

Luckily, your dentist will be able to provide aid for you if you happen to be someone who is currently struggling with metabolic syndrome. One of the problems associated with metabolic syndrome is sleep apnea. Your dentist can offer assistance by providing you with a mouthguard that enables you to breathe regularly over the course of the night. Routine teeth cleaning is something else that can help you as well. By getting your teeth cleaned every few months by a dentist, they manage to clean tough to reach spots and scrub away any plaque you may have missed. This will likely ensure that buildup does not become a problem

oral health memphis

Good overall health is linked to good oral health, by simply going to regular dental appointments and applying ideal oral care you are able to improve your overall health.

Do you need a periodontist in Memphis, TN?

Drs. Godat and Craddock welcome any new patients that would like to improve their oral health and smile. Feel free to contact our office and set up an appointment today!

Treatments for a Gummy Smile: Crown Lengthening

In our previous blog article, Dr. Godat commenced a discussion about “gummy smiles.” In this article, Dr. Godat discussed what factors play a role in making your smile appear gummy and what can cause those things to occur. Unfortunately, there are many, many, people who are dissatisfied with their smile due to excessive gingival display.

Luckily, for people who suffer from having a gummy smile, there are cosmetic procedures available that will help to reduce how much of your gums will show when you smile. These cosmetic procedures can help to restore confidence in your smile!

Crown Lengthening

The most common procedure that we utilize at Periodontal Associates of Memphis to eliminate a gummy smile is crown lengthening. Esthetic crown lengthening, or a “Gum Lift,” will correct the issue of your gum appearing gummy, by uncovering enamel that is covered by excess gums and bone tissue. In some cases, a gum lift will require a restoration to take place. A restoration will be necessary if your tooth is cracked or worn down. In addition to improving the appearance of your smile, this type of procedure will also improve the functionality of your smile. 

If you are interested in undergoing an esthetic crown lengthening procedure, you should know what the procedure is like. Typically, these types of procedures will utilize a VersaWave Laser in order to ease the procedure and healing process. When you undergo this procedure, your gums and bone tissue will have their shape altered in order to reveal enamel and natural tooth that are buried underneath the gum line.

Under normal circumstances, an crown lengthening procedure will take between one and two hours to complete. No matter if your procedure is for cosmetic or functional purposes, Drs. Godat and Craddock will utilize dissolvable sutures and a bandage to protect the area of the procedure, and ensure a healthy gum-to-tooth relationship. After your initial procedure, you will be required to schedule a follow up appointment to remove remaining sutures, and determine the success of your procedure and healing.

Interested in learning more about crown lengthening in Memphis, TN?

You can click here to learn more about crown lengthening. If you would like to schedule a visit to our office in Memphis, TN then contact us today to schedule an appointment.