My Blog

Posts for: March, 2015

By Charles L. Sours, Jr. D.D.S.
March 25, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
LeAnnRimesDentalDramaEmergencyRootCanal

Singer LeAnn Rimes was forced to cancel a string of performances recently, as a more pressing engagement came up: a late-night meeting with her endodontist. It turned out that the country-pop star needed some emergency dental work performed while she was on tour. But her die-hard fans needn't have felt left out — Rimes faithfully tweeted each stage of her dental treatment.

The trouble began before she was scheduled to play a show in Ohio. “Waiting on the endodontist to meet me and do a nighttime root canal,” she informed her twitter followers. Instead of performing, Rimes was advised to spend the next few days resting after the emergency treatment. “Happy Friday! I'll be spending mine in bed,” she tweeted after the previous evening's procedure. The following Monday, Rimes returned to the dentist's chair for follow-up treatment.

It turned out that the singer had been battling dental pain for months. “I am so disappointed that I can't make it to my fans tonight.” Rimes explained in a statement. “I had wanted to give them the show they deserved and only wish this tooth pain held out a little longer.”

If there's a moral to this story, it's this: If you have tooth pain, don't wait to see a dentist. Call us right away!

A feeling of constant pain and pressure in your mouth is a clear indication that you may need a root canal. Another telltale symptom is sharp pain when you bite down on food, or lingering pain after eating something hot or cold. Not every symptom is as clear-cut, however — the only way to know for sure whether you need treatment is to come in for an evaluation.

Pain in your teeth or gums may be a symptom of a serious condition. Even if the pain goes away temporarily, an underlying infection generally does not. If a treatment such as root canal therapy is needed, the sooner it is obtained, the better you'll feel. And remember, root canal treatment doesn't cause tooth pain — it relieves it!

If you have any concerns about tooth pain, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “I'd Rather Have a Root Canal” and “Signs and Symptoms of a Future Root Canal.”


By Charles L. Sours, Jr. D.D.S.
March 10, 2015
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral health  
ChronicBitingHabitsCanLeadtoLooseTeeth

Periodontal (gum) disease is the most likely cause of a loose, permanent tooth. This progressive infection causes damage to the gums and bone tissues that hold teeth in place, leading to looseness and ultimately tooth loss.

Gum disease, however, isn’t the only cause: although not as common, excessive biting forces over time may also lead to loose teeth. The excessive force stretches the periodontal ligaments that hold teeth in place, causing the teeth to become loose.

This condition is called occlusal trauma. In its primary form, the patient habitually grinds or clenches their teeth, or bites or chews on hard objects like pencils or nails. Generating 20-30 times the normal biting force, these habits can cause considerable damage. It can also be a factor when gum disease is present — supporting bone becomes so weakened by the disease, even normal biting forces can cause mobility.

If you recognize the early signs of grinding or clenching, particularly jaw soreness in the morning (since many instances of teeth grinding occur while we sleep), it’s important to seek treatment before teeth become loose. The symptoms are usually treated directly with muscle relaxants, an occlusal guard worn to soften the force when teeth bite down, or stress management, a major trigger for teeth grinding. The sooner you address the habit, the more likely you’ll avoid its consequences.

If, however, you’re already noticing a loose tooth, treatment must then focus on preserving the tooth. Initially, the tooth may need to be splinted, physically joined to adjacent teeth to hold it in place while damaged tissues heal. In some cases, minute amounts of enamel may need to be removed from the tooth’s biting surfaces to help the tooth better absorb biting forces. Other treatments, including orthodontics and gum disease treatment, may also be included in your treatment plan.

If you notice a loose tooth, it’s critical you contact us as soon as possible for an evaluation — if you delay you increase the chances of eventually losing it. The earlier you address it, the better your chances of preserving your tooth.

If you would like more information on loose teeth, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Loose Teeth.”


By Charles L. Sours, Jr. D.D.S.
March 04, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Tooth Extraction  

Find out when your Woodbridge dentist might recommend getting a tooth extraction.

While we don’t often like thinking about it, there may come a time in which we have to consider getting a permanent tooth extracted. As a child, we couldn’t wait for our teeth to fall out so we could get monetary gifts from the tooth fairy. But now that we’re grown up, losing a tooth doesn’t come with the same whimsical benefits that it once did. However, there are times in which a tooth extraction is necessary to preserve the health of your smile. Find out when your Woodbridge dentist might recommend getting a tooth extraction.

Overcrowding: Sometimes your Woodbridge dentist decides it’s necessary to pull a tooth in order to prepare your mouth for wearing braces. The purpose of braces is to shift teeth into better alignment; however, if you are dealing with too many teeth for your mouth, getting the proper alignment might not be possible unless we pull a tooth. Also, if a tooth isn’t able to fully erupt through the gums—as is often the case with wisdom teeth—we may also need to pull the wisdom tooth to prevent further issues.

Tooth infection: If you experience decay that spreads to the inner structure of the tooth, known as the pulp, this can cause an infection within the tooth. While a root canal is often the best option, if the infection has caused enough damage or it is severe enough a root canal might not be enough. In order to prevent the infection from spreading even further we will need to extract the tooth.

Gum disease: Severe forms of gum disease can cause the gums to pull away from the teeth, which leads to bone loss and loosening of teeth. If the tooth is loose enough, the best option may be to pull it.

If you are experiencing any of these problems then you may need to seriously consider how a tooth extraction could actually improve your oral health. Talk to your Woodbridge dentist, Dr. Charles L. Sours, Jr. today to find out more.