Periodontal Associates of Memphis

What is Maxillofacial Trauma?

Have you ever noticed that one of our initial reactions to a possible trauma is the immediate effort to protect our face and head?

When someone throws a punch or if we get into an automotive accident, our arms and hands fly up to our face to make an effort to protect ourselves from any serious damage. Much of the time, we do not even consider the response of covering our face–we just do this instantly.

Maxillofacial trauma is injuries that are a threat for being quickly neglected, and this carelessness can cause harmful problems and inconvenience later on if they are not addressed in a prompt manner. This form of facial trauma can lead to soft tissue damage, nasal, mandibular, and orbital fractures, and other issues. Any harm that is sustained to the maxillofacial area needs specialized treatment and observation because many of our essential sensory systems and fundamental structures are established in the neck, face, and head.

Mandibular fractures, also known as jaw fractures, are the second most frequent skeletal facial injury only after nasal fractures. Furthermore, it is estimated that mandibular fractures represent as high as 70% of maxillofacial injuries. This is because of the way our jaws naturally protrude and since the chin has a lot less support from the cranium than other areas of the face. The mandibular is a mobile U-shaped bone that connects on either side of the mandible. The range of motion of this bone enables us to move our jaw and it also houses our teeth. Some of the most frequent sources of jaw fractures consist of:

▪ Automotive Accidents
▪ Falls
▪ Physical Assault
▪ Physical Activities

Warnings of a Fracture

Commonly, the jaw will crack in two regions: at the site of the direct collision and also in the place directly opposite of the original area. Any kind of injury sustained to the mandible bone ought to be seen by a doctor within 24 hours of the accident. The key symptoms of mandibular fractures involve redness, ache, swelling, and loss of functionality specifically breathing, talking, and chewing. Also, bruising and tingling of the neck and face might come with these bone fractures. If a patient believes that they have injured the jaw, it is crucial to seek medical attention immediately. A broken jaw may potentially obstruct the respiratory tract, cutting off the capability to breathe.

Trauma to the Teeth

Considering that the jaw bone holds all of our teeth, tooth injury is an issue when taking care of these kinds of wounds. Malocclusion is the failure to correctly line up the teeth due to trauma. It can manifest in just about any combination of places including the mandibular and maxillary arch, and the anterior and posterior sections. Additional things to pay close attention to include tooth and root fractures, and cracked or missing teeth. Treatment techniques consist of corrective dentistry, orthodontics, soft tissue repair, temporomandibular joint operations, and additional procedures depending on the type and severity of the injury.

Oral Specialists

When a medical professional has identified the issue, they will typically refer the patient to an oral or maxillofacial surgeon for further care. Basically, oral and maxillofacial surgeons provide services for the medical diagnosis and treatment of injuries involving the facial location. These specialists have been trained in both medical and dental areas to make sure that they are capable of
addressing a variety of common oral surgical conditions such as:

▪ Salivary Gland Issues
▪ Oral Cancer
▪ Face Harm
▪ Temporomandibular Joint Disorders

Remedies and Recovery

Orthognathic surgery, also called corrective jaw surgery, is executed by the OMS–the oral and maxillofacial surgeon–when they have established that this method is suitable for the degree of trauma that the patient is experiencing. When the mandible has been repositioned or reshaped, the operating surgeon will choose various methods to secure the mandible in the new position while it recovers. Medical gadgets like rubber bands, screws, wires, and surgical plates will be set up in the jaw during the operation. Maxillofacial damages and the resulting oral harm call for more than one medical professional to help the patient in therapy and recovery. As an example, endodontists can carry out root canal procedures and restorative dentists can address broken and cracked teeth.

For those who need surgery to correct their damages, the recuperation procedure can take up to six weeks. A soft food diet is vital during the course of this period since tougher types of foods can lead the medical plates to crack. Furthermore, a great oral health routine at the time of the first few weeks immediately after the operation will let the surgery site to fight any type of disease. As stated by the King’s College Hospital, the patient needs to cleanse their mouth out with warm salt water or mouthwash approximately 3 times a day for a week promptly following surgical operation. A small soft-bristled toothbrush, similar to a kid’s, is suitable to maintain the teeth near the stitches. The King’s College Hospital also recommends that patients do not smoke at the time of the recovery process as it might enhance the likelihood of infection.

A maxillofacial injury may be triggered by a variety of experiences. It is essential for the patient to seek medical attention immediately if they suspect that they might just have suffered an affliction to the face region, or if they experience any of the problems that have been listed above.

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Cleft Lip, Cleft Palate—What’s The Difference?

Orofacial clefts, additionally called cleft lip or cleft palate, are just one of the most common birth defects in the United States.

Actually, it is approximated that about 2,650 children are born with a cleft palate annually in the US, and up to 4,440 are born with a cleft lip. A cleft occurs during early pregnancy while the baby’s face is growing. When the parts of the face neglect to join together while the mother is pregnant, it causes a cleft.

Cleft During the Past

Cleft lips have actually been recorded in case history as early as 390 B.C. Furthermore, during this time, the initial successful cleft lip surgery occurred in China. Wey Young-Chi was the first individual to undertake surgical treatment to fix his cleft lip when he was 18 years of age. Afterward, he joined the imperial army where he found success as well as recognition. He was even recorded as saying that he never would have achieved a lot if it had not been for the surgical procedure that fixed his cleft.

Cleft Lip Abnormalities

A cleft lip happens when the cells that create the lips do not join together before birth, and this leads to a gap in the top lip. The size of this opening can vary between a small slit to a large hole that expands from the lip to the nose. There are three kinds of cleft lip: total (meaning that the slit begins at the lip and goes up into the nose), unilateral (happens on one side), or bilateral (occurs on both sides)).

Cleft Palate Abnormalities

Comparable to a cleft lip, a cleft palate occurs when the tissue that composes the roof of the mouth does not connect during pregnancy, leading to a void. A child’s palate can be disrupted in the soft palate–the location in the back of the mouth–or in the hard palate– the area nearest to the lips– and also in many cases, some babies have gaps in both locations.


The CDC has actually shared their results on some variables that could raise the likelihood that a mom will give birth to an infant with orofacial slits. But it ought to be noted that the causes of this deformity are greatly unknown, and slits can take place for issues that are out of the person’s control.

People that smoke throughout their pregnancy, contract diabetic issues before becoming pregnant, or take medications to treat epilepsy within the initial three months of pregnancy are at a greater threat of giving birth to a baby with a cleft lip and/or palate contrasted to people that do not prescribe to any of these aspects. Various other reasons can consist of family history, obesity, as well as alcohol use.

Negative Side Effects

Even though orofacial slits have the ability to be fixed, the presence of these divides and gaps creates specific problems for the child. For example, among one of the most concerning obstacles when dealing with an infant with a cleft palate is difficult feedings. Since the split happens in the palate for some babies, it can trigger problems in the infant’s ability to nurse and swallow. A cleft palate can likewise place the baby in jeopardy for developing hearing loss and fluid in the ear, in addition to interrupting the growth of a typical speech pattern, causing the child to have a nasally voice. Other complications include disrupted oral advancement and also social, emotional, and behavioral issues.

Medical Diagnosis and Therapy

Orofacial slits can be detected and identified during pregnancy by use of a standard ultrasound. But cleft palates, on the other hand, are normally identified only after birth. Surgery to repair clefts is suggested to happen within the first 18 months of life.

In terms of cleft lip surgical treatments, the medical professional will make incisions on each side of the slit. With the flaps of skin, muscle, and intraoral cells, the physician stitches them together to shut the cleft. With the split closed, the lip and nose composition can be fashioned in a more regular structure and function.

A slit palate calls for the physician to reconstruct the roof of the mouth. Similar to a slit lip surgery, the physician will make lacerations on either side of the cleft. The tissues of the hard a soft palate are then rearranged and the laceration is stitched back together.

Children born with a cleft typically need to receive additional care following the initial surgical treatment to close the cleft. These additional treatments will help the child construct stronger speech and language advancement, in addition to improving their hearing and breathing. They could also need speech treatment or special dental care. Regardless of the surgical procedures and additional aid, the majority of children with orofacial slits often tend to lead regular and also healthy lives.

Do you want to read more articles that the professionals at PerioMem has written? You can find all kinds of specific topics concerning dental practices and useful patient information on our blog.

Honest Smiles

No matter what language we speak, a smile is a universal sign of joy and dependability in regards to non-verbal interaction.

You might nearly say that receiving a genuine, wholehearted smile from someone is even better than receiving cash, a study performed in 2005 claims. “The powerful emotions triggered when someone important in our lives smiles at us and we smile back changes our brain chemistry. It creates what is termed a ‘halo’ effect that helps us remember other happy events more vividly, feel more optimistic, more positive, and more motivated,” psychologist Dr. David Lewis, who evaluated these findings, reported.

Additionally, the act of smiling has the power to lower stress through releasing endorphins and a stress-managing hormone called Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor. Smiling also conveys confidence, friendliness, and sincerity. This is the reason why companies are most likely to work with those who present bright, sincere smiles throughout the interview process than potential employees whose smiles don’t convey sincerity.

How can you tell if a smile is sincere? The majority of people will pick up on the difference when interacting with others. When a person forces a smile, there often is noticeable tension around the mouth and it usually fails to reach their eyes. A genuine smile is referred to as a Duchenne smile. This is when the mouth’s corners lift, moving our cheeks upwards and causing crow’s feet to form at the corners of our eyes.

It’s pretty fascinating; something so simple like a smile can create a lot of positive impact on each of our lives. However, for some people, smiling is easier said than done. Those who struggle with dental complications, like tooth decay, missing teeth, or other problems, may be somewhat reserved when it comes to showing their smiles. For this reason, these people run the risk of being mislabeled as mean, unapproachable, and incompetent when that isn’t the case.

Dr. Craddock and Dr. Godat want to ensure that all of their patients feel confident and secure in their smiles. You can visit their website to schedule your next exam with them.

Research Into Why Dental Fillings Can Fail

A research paper published in Frontiers in Medicine explored amalgam and composite fillings as well as a few of the circumstances that can lead them to fail.

Among the factors considered were age, sex, alcohol consumption, smoking, diabetes, periodontal health, and genes. The dental histories of 4,856 patients from 5 years were examined for this study.

Below are some of the findings from the study:

Both Amalgam and composite fillings performed almost equally, with composite fillings doing slightly better

Composite fillings are the newer, white fillings, while amalgam are the familiar silver-colored dental fillings that have been used by dentists for over 150 years. Over the duration of the study, the researchers found that the rate of failure for amalgam and composite filings were almost identical, with the newer composite fillings performing a little better (about 2.05% better at the 5-year mark).

Dental fillings are more likely to fail for men who smoke and people who drink regularly

Smoking and drinking were found to have the most prominent correlation with the failing of dental fillings of the lifestyle variables looked at. 2 years after having fillings, the rate of failure was greatest for men who were smokers and in those who were regular drinkers.

An individual’s genes might be involved for failed dental fillings

A gene for an enzyme which is found in teeth called matrix metalloproteinase (MMP2) was looked into by the study. Matrix metalloproteinase (MMP2) may degrade the attachment between the teeth and fillings, the researchers claimed. The team suggested that a patient’s genetic background could one day be more important in dentistry. “…genetic information may be used to personalize dental treatments and enhance treatment outcomes,” said Alexandre Vieira, a member of the team.

The outcome of the study further enforces the idea that composite dental fillings can be a great alternative to the silver amalgam fillings. Dental patients might like to keep in mind the links between drinking and smoking and dental filling failure also.

If you’re concerned about your dental fillings, be sure to contact your dentist. For periodontal concerns, get in touch with Dr. Godat and Dr. Craddock at Periodontal Associates of Memphis.

Canker Sores Explained

Approximately 1 in 5 people in the population have had canker sores.

Differing from cold sores, aphthous ulcers (canker sores) only appear in the inside of the mouth, and are not contagious.

This type of sore can often be recognized by their oval shape with a red border. They usually have a gray, white or yellow center. Though very painful, most canker sores will disappear on their own (without treatment) in a day or weeks.

Possible causes of canker sores

Though doctors aren’t totally certain what causes canker sores to appear, heredity is believed to be a factor. Women are affected almost twice as much as men by these sores and they tend to afflict those who are 10–20 years old. They often show up at the location of mouth injuries, and connections have been identified between canker sores and stress. Links have been discovered between canker sores and sodium lauryl sulfate, an ingredient found in some types of toothpaste, as well. Finally, canker sores might be an indicator of an immune system issue.

Canker sores come in three types. While the majority of occurrences are minor canker sores, there are also major and herpetiform canker sores. The Mayo Clinic has more to read about these types on their page on canker sores.

Treatment options

No medical treatment is typically required if you are suffering from a minor canker sore. There are a couple of actions you can take to reduce additional pain, though.
– Refrain from eating spicy foods as well as those that might be scratchy or hard. These will irritate the wound.
– Don’t brush the wound with your toothbrush, and use a toothpaste that doesn’t have SLS.

How to avoid getting a canker sore

– Keep away from types of foods that irritate your mouth.
– Be sure to get proper nutrition—avoid vitamin deficiency
– Defend your mouth against injury and orthodontic wax can help with braces.
– Reduce stress.

If you’re suffering from a canker sore that hasn’t healed after a long time or is unusually large or especially painful, call Dr. Godat, Dr. Craddock, or your doctor.

Middle Age Tooth Loss Tied to Cardiovascular Disease

The research world has been more of a gift to humankind through its revelations as the years go by, as it gives information on crucial matters that have been a burden to many for a long time.

During the American Heart Association’s (AHA) 2018 scientific sessions on Epidemiology and Prevention/ Lifestyle and Cardio Metabolic Health conference, researchers presented information from a recent study illustrating how the loss of two or more teeth among the middle-aged can lead to an increase in the chances of developing cardiovascular disease.

The findings of the research are yet one more reason why the dental health of a patient is vital, as it can lead to more health problems if left unattended to.

The researchers chose an eight-year duration to do their research and gather information. The study focused on middle-aged individuals, ages 45 to 69. The participants reported on their dental health during the eight-year period, with the researches recording any tooth loss in addition to the remaining number of natural teeth. None of the participants had cardiovascular disease at the outset of the study.

The study found a significant increase in the chances of heart disease for all participants who lost two or more teeth during the eight years.

• Those who started with 25 to 32 teeth saw a 23% increased risk

• Those with less than 17 teeth at the start had a 25% higher risk

The research found that the risk factor was the same, regardless of whether or not the participant exercised regularly, had healthy eating habits, and low body fat. On average, those who lost two or more teeth saw a 16% increase in their risk factor, while those who lost one or fewer teeth had no noticeable risk change.

The findings of this research have given us yet another reason to urge everyone to take care of their teeth. It’s another major health factor when it comes to preventing disease, along with eating habits, blood sugar levels, cholesterol levels, and smoking.

Worried about periodontal disease? We can help! Get in touch with us online or call us at 901-761-3770.

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Bigger Gum Tissue In Children Could Be An Indication Of Leukemia

A case study that was recently published found that over-sized gums in children could be a possible indicator of Acute Myeloid Leukemia.

Occasionally as a dental practitioner, it can be tough to appropriately diagnose a patient solely based on what is taking place in their mouth. For this reason, when diagnosing a concern, dental practitioners should look into more than just the individual’s mouth. They should also be sure to look into the health background of their patient and the patient’s family members when making a diagnosis.

What is Leukemia?

Leukemia is a type of cancer that affects blood cells and impairs your body’s capability of fighting infections. Leukemia causes the blood-forming tissues of the body to build a large amount of irregular white blood cells which do not behave correctly and reduce the amount of the blood cells which are used to convey oxygen or allow blood clotting. leukemia can result in death as a result of the body’s inability to stop wounds from bleeding or from infection.

An article by Dentistry today indicated that dentists are often the ones who initiate the diagnosis of 33% of individuals with myelomonocytic leukemia in addition to 25% who have myelogenous leukemia.

Should parents be concerned?

Typically the first signs of leukemia include gingivitis, bleeding or swelling gums. The gum tissue can actually enlarge enough to where the gums to overlap the enamel in severe cases. Unexplained weight loss and a feeling of weakness are other symptoms to be aware of.

Treatment options

Chemotherapy is still considered to be the most productive way of combating leukemia, in addition to bone marrow transplants and blood transfusions. Those treatments can help with the enlarged gums as well.

Here are tips for caring for your mouth for people with leukemia on Everyday Health.

When looking for causal reasons, while having enlarged gums doesn’t instantly indicate your child has leukemia, it is important to be mindful of the possibility. Enlarged gums could likewise be the outcome of other factors such as puberty-based gingivitis, menstruation cycle-associated gingivitis, Crohn’s disease, lymphoma, ascorbic acid deficiency, neurofibromatosis, and so far more.

If your child looks to have abnormally large gums, give Periodontal Associates of Memphis a call or reach out to your doctor so an appropriate diagnosis can be provided.

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Those Flavored E-Cigarettes Could Be The Reason You Have Cavities

The sweet tastes in e-cigarettes can spell the same kind of trouble for teeth that candy does.

E-cigarettes may cause cavitiesHow can smoking cigarettes e-cigarettes cause tooth cavities? You don’t eat them; you smoke them. While it’s true that you don’t eat e-cigarettes, you still do ingest them to some degree. A study just recently reported by the ADA Foundation Volpe Research Center discovered that sweet e-cigarettes increase the threat of tooth decay because of their ingredients.

The study found that due to the components found in e-cigarettes along with the viscosity of the liquids they contain, using sweet-flavored e-cigarettes led to an increased chance of cavities. The researchers discovered that these e-cigarettes had many of the same qualities of sugary candies and acidic drinks when it comes to the potential for tooth decay.

Thomas Hart, DDS, PhD, and senior director of the ADA Foundation Volpe Research Center stated this on the study: “This study will give dentists further information to help educate patients that using e-cigarettes can have detrimental effects on their mouths.”

Click here to review the research “Cariogenic Prospective of Sweet Flavors in Electronic-Cigarette Liquids,” released by PloS One.

E-cigarettes don’t simply posture a danger to your lungs as formerly believed. This study reveals info on the concept that e-cigarettes can be equally as damaging to your mouth and also aren’t as great of a replacement to typical cigarettes as some would suggest.

Questions about the health of your gums? Get in touch with us!

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NYMC Discovers Link Between Gum Disease and Obesity

Research performed at New York Medical College believes to have discovered a connection between periodontitis and obesity.

Obesity linked with Periodontal DiseaseAs explained by Nader G. Abraham, PhD, DrHC, one of the researchers and a professor of medicine and pharmacology, this is the first time ever that scientists have confirmed that the bacteria in our mouth can influence our fat tissue.

Researchers have found that fat cells can have an inflammatory reaction when under attack by bacteria or viruses (and sometimes even when no infection is present). In obese people, this inflammation may lead to type 2 diabetes. The investigators at NYMC performed their investigation on mice, giving them Porphyromonas gingivalis, a variety of bacterium responsible for gum disease. They then measured the resulting tissue inflammation. They noted that the bacteria had an influence on the operation of the fat tissue inside of the mice.

Also, the investigation found that Kavain, which is extracted from the kava plant, was able to counter inflammation in obese people. Salomon Amar, DDS, PhD of NYMC proposed that good oral hygiene could potentially be employed in addition to the anti-inflammatory attributes of Kavain to help lessen the health consequences of obesity.

Abraham brought up the recognized connection between oral health and cardiovascular disorders and advised that the relationship with obesity is yet another reason why everybody should make certain to brush and floss their teeth regularly, as well as to schedule routine dental cleanings and exams.

If you suffer from gum disease, we can help. Contact us today!

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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.