Periodontal Associates of Memphis

What is a Periodontist Trained to Do?

Periodontists are dentists who specialize in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of periodontal diseases. Their main focus is gums, bones, and connective tissue supporting the teeth. For those reasons, periodontists must receive comprehensive training focused on treating the above with a thorough understanding of oral health and overall health.


After a formal 4 year dental education, the periodontist spends an additional 2 to 3 years training in a residency program that is accredited by the American Dental Association. After successful completion of the accredited training program in periodontics and dental implants, periodontists may earn national board certification from the American Board of Periodontology (ABP) by passing comprehensive written and oral examinations covering all phases of periodontal disease and treatment.

A periodontist must be licensed as a dentist as well as a periodontist. They also have hospital-based training on sedation and have a license for that to maintain patient comfort. Periodontists can work in dental schools, hospitals, the business sector, and state, national and international agencies. They can also focus on research opportunities, such as testing emerging therapies and studying the interrelationships between periodontal and systemic diseases.


These diseases have the same outcome: loss of attachment of the gum to the tooth, loss of connecting tissue and bone to your teeth. A periodontist is skilled in many types of periodontal procedures. In the early stages of gum disease, normally referred to as gingivitis, general dentists are trained and educated to treat the problem but if the problem worsens the dentist will recommend you see a periodontist for more advanced periodontal procedures to obtain health and save teeth. This will especially occur if the disease progresses and involves both a gum and bone infection, called periodontitis. This may involve cleaning the surfaces of the root to remove tartar, plaque and bacterial toxins from the gum pockets. This may also involve non-surgical periodontal treatment or a gingivectomy or gingivoplasty with a laser.

In many cases after this extensive cleaning, if the patient flosses and brushes daily, they will have successful results. In more extreme cases of periodontal infections, a periodontist is skilled in regeneration (bone regrowing). Today this doesn’t have to involve folding the gum tissue back to remove bacteria and infection but instead may involve using a laser along with bone grafts to regrow the bone in a kinder and more gentle manner. This procedure is called the Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure (LANAP).

Membranes (filters), bone grafts or tissue-stimulating proteins are used to encourage your body’s natural ability to regenerate bone and tissue.


If you have an exposed root, a periodontist can regrow the gum over the root to save your teeth so you can smile and eat with confidence again. This procedure is referred to as connective tissue grafting. This will reduce your sensitivity and even out your gum line. Some patients may have excess gum showing, so a crown lengthening procedure can be performed to enhance the beauty of the smile. This is where the bone tissue and the gum excess is reshaped to show more of the natural tooth.


This procedure is used to correct gum and jawbone indentations (holes in the gum and bone from infection and tooth loss). It is also used to recapture the natural contour of your jaw and gum, so it appears that tooth replacements are growing naturally out of the tissue of the gum.


If you have lost a tooth through periodontal disease, decay, a fracture, or some other situation the periodontist will perform a dental implant. Dental implants are replacement tooth roots. Implants provide a strong foundation for fixed (permanent) or removable replacement teeth that are made to match your natural teeth. During the procedure, an artificial root post is placed in your jaw, after an initial healing period an artificial tooth will be attached to the post. In some situations, teeth may be able to be placed the same day as dental implant placement.

If you are concerned that you may have advanced periodontal disease or you already have a systemic disease such as diabetes or cardiovascular disease or a missing tooth/teeth, you may consider seeing a periodontist right away before the problems worsen. Normally, if you are having any of these issues, your dentist will recommend you see a periodontist. Upon that first visit, you will be evaluated and a medical history will be taken. The periodontist will examine your mouth, throat, teeth, gums and jaw joints. After this X-rays will be taken and the periodontist will discuss and develop a treatment plan.

Good Dental Habits Should Start Early

We all know dental health is important to our overall health as adults, but what about children?

Oral health is also very important in children and starting healthy habits at an early age can make all the difference!

Children’s teeth need to be brushed once they arrive. As soon as a child’s teeth come in, they should be care for and brushed. Most parents are unaware of this and over 60% do not start this early. Flossing should also be started once teeth arrive and are touching each other.

Poor dental habits can contribute to cavities and other tooth decay as children age.

To help build proper dental routines, children should visit their dentist at about 3 years of age, or earlier, if parents suspect there is a reason for concern.

If you have questions about how much toothpaste to use or what types of toothbrushes are safe, please contact us and we can help you find the answers!

Protect Your Mouth This Summer Part 2

Dental health is an essential part of living a healthy life.

It can be especially easy to forget about your dental health when you have friends and family over. Below, the team at Periodontal Associates of Memphis, TN goes over some ways you can enjoy your company and also make sure dental health is not forgotten.

  • Trade in the sugary snacks and drinks for things that are more mouth-friendly.
  • Fill a cooler with ice to keep drinks cool rather than placing ice cubes in drinks. Chewing on ice cubes is a common habit and can do severe damage to our teeth.
  • Swap out toothpicks for dental picks; they are much safer than pocking around with a toothpick.
  • Make sure everyone is drinking plenty of water. Water helps wash away harmful bacteria from our mouth and is especially important when you’re outside in the summer heat.

If you’re in the Memphis, TN area and need to visit a periodontist have any questions about the health of your gums, we welcome you to schedule an appointment with us today!

Why Mouthguards Are So Important

If you’re a parent of a child who plays football, hockey or basketball, you’re probably aware of how important mouthguards are.

It would benefit most athletes to wear a mouthguard, regardless of their sport. These guards protect more than just teeth, they also protect:

  • Jaws
  • Tongues
  • Faces
  • Lips

If your child is participating in sports this upcoming school year, one of the best things you can do is invest in a mouthguard. They can protect your child from serious injury and help keep their smile healthy!

Safety should be a top priority when your children are playing sports. Popular sports that be played with a mouthguard include basketball, football, hockey, lacrosse, boxing, martial arts, skiing and snowboarding, rugby, soccer and more.

Protect Your Mouth This Summer Part 1

Germs and bacteria never take a vacation. This summer, be sure to remember these simple tips to keep a healthy mouth.

Your Children’s Dental Health
If your child is staying home during their summer break, be sure they have plenty of mouth-healthy snacks to eat during the day.

Don’t let your routine slip
Going on vacations or trips can throw your daily routine off, but it is essential to continue brushing and flossing every day. If you are going on vacation be sure to take any dental health products that you need, especially any prescribed dental products that you would not be able to purchase at a store.

Visit the dentist
For anyone planning a vacation, it may be a good idea to schedule an appointment to see your dentist before your trip.

If your dentist has recommended visiting a periodontist, feel free to schedule an appointment with us today. We are always welcoming new patients to our practice in Memphis, TN.

Keep Your Gums Healthy with Simple Hygiene

Following simple dental hygiene tips can help keep your mouth protected from some serious dental health issues.

Gum disease does not happen overnight. Gingivitis occurs during the early stages of periodontal (gum) disease when plaque gets underneath the gum line and becomes tartar, causing your gums to become inflamed. Luckily, protecting your mouth from gingivitis is easy!

Make Sure You Brush
You are probably aware that you need to brush your teeth twice per day. Make sure you follow these tips when brushing:

  • Brush the whole tooth, including the inner, outer and chewing areas
  • Don’t brush too hard
  • Buy toothbrushes with soft bristles
  • Don’t forget to brush your tongue

Are You Flossing?
Besides brushing your teeth, make sure you floss each day as well. Your toothbrush can only reach so much of the tooth and gums.

Keep a Healthy Diet
Eating healthy does not just benefit your overall health, but your dental health will benefit from a well-balanced diet also.

Visit Your Dentist
Although your at-home hygiene is important, visiting the dentist on a regular basis for exams and cleanings is also necessary. Your dentist will be able to thoroughly clean your teeth and check for any issues that are occurring in your mouth.

periodontist in Memphis TN gingivitis protection

By doing these simple things, your chances of having dental health issues, such as gingivitis, greatly decrease.

If you show any signs of gingivitis or your dentist has recommended visiting a periodontist, feel free to schedule an appointment Dr. Cradock or Dr. Godat from the Periodontal Associates of Memphis in Memphis, TN.

Can Receding Gums Grow Back?

Gum recession occurs when your gums begin to pull away from the teeth, making your teeth appear longer than they should.

There is no one reason as to why gums begin receding, but if you or your dentist notice your gums receding it is important to treat it as soon as you can.

But is it possible for receding gums to grow back?

If there is only minimal recession, you may just need to modify your at-home hygiene. When your gums recede past 3 millimeters, this is where treatment will likely be necessary. At our practice, we treat gum recession using a soft tissue graft. Soft tissue grafts involve taking tissue and grafting it to create a healthy band around the tooth as well as cover the root of the exposed tooth. Healthy gum tissue can be taken from three areas:

  • The roof of the mouth
  • The extra tissue around the top wisdom teeth
  • Gum tissue from adjacent areas

periodontist in Memphis TN, gum recession

A special material called Alloderm can also be used instead of your own tissue.

Another treatment option is the Chao Pinhole Surgical Technique. Chao Pinhole treatment involves the periodontist using a special tool to gently move the gums into the proper position around the tooth. This treatment option does not involve using other tissue and tends to be a more comfortable option.

If your dentist notices that your gums are receding, feel free to schedule an appointment with our practice today to discuss what can be done to treat this issue.

Why Is Soda Bad for Our Dental Health?

Soda is a popular drink, and, although much has been discussed about the negative health effects of soda consumption, do you know what soda does to your dental health?

The acid and sugar content found in soda is what makes this drink especially bad for our teeth. Sugar, as we know, increases your chances of cavities and gum disease. So what about sugar-free soda? Even if it’s sugar-free, the soda still contains acid that wears away tooth enamel. To quench your thirst and, at the same time, keep your mouth healthy, your best bet is to drink water. The best water has fluoride to help prevent decay. If you do have the occasional soda, be sure to rinse your mouth with water to help neutralize the acid. Additionally, it is best to wait 30 minutes to allow the mouth to neutralize the acid before brushing and flossing your teeth. If you brush when the mouth is acidic, you will wear away more enamel.

Parents should also be extra careful about their child’s soda consumption. Children and teens are the most at risk of developing tooth decay because their tooth enamel is not fully developed.

dental health and soda Memphis TN periodontist

If you have any questions or concerns about the health of your gums, schedule an appointment with us today!

Why is Flossing Important?

Flossing is a crucial part of your dental health routine that many people overlook.


Flossing has been shown to be very effective at reducing plaque between teeth. This helps to reduce the risk of cavities as well as periodontal disease. The latter is especially important given the negative effect of periodontal disease on your overall health. In fact, the American Medical Association and a myriad of medical journals report patients who have healthy mouths live at least seven years longer. So if you want to keep your smile and be able to chew, and be healthy then you only need to floss the teeth (and body) you want to.

the importance of flossing periodontist in Memphis TN

If you are concerned about the health of your gums, or your dentist has recommended seeing a periodontist, be sure to schedule an appointment with us today. To make sure you are flossing correctly, click here.

Don’t Ignore Gum Disease

Gum disease is a major dental health issue that, unfortunately, many people do not know a lot about.

Gum disease is an infection that affects the health of your gums. Plaque builds up underneath the gums, forming tartar. When tartar appears, only a deep cleaning can remove it. If this issue is left untreated your gums can begin to recede and eventually your gums will not be able to support your tooth, leading to tooth loss. Many people do not know if they have gum disease since it is something that occurs below your gum line.

Gum Disease Impacts More Than Your Teeth

Besides the dental health issues that occur, the risk of many non-dental health issues increases as well. Diabetes, cancer, stroke, heart disease and Alzheimer’s all have connections to gum disease.


Gum disease treatment has become much less invasive than previous treatment options. People may be hesitant about receiving treatment because they think that it will be painful or they heard that it is painful. Luckily, our team at Periodontal Associates of Memphis use lasers to treat gum disease. Lasers reduce pain, healing time and sensitivity.

If you experience any of the signs of periodontal disease, do not ignore it. Be sure to contact our practice to discuss treatment options and what you can do to keep your gums healthy.