My Blog

Posts for tag: periodontal disease

By Charles L. Sours, Jr. D.D.S.
September 10, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures


Periodontal Disease

What your dentist in Woodbridge, Virginia wants you to know

If you brush and floss regularly, and see your dentist and hygienist, chances are you may not need periodontal disease therapy. However, if you are one of the many people who don’t practice excellent oral hygiene and only visit your dentist and hygienist when you have a problem, you may need periodontal disease therapy. Dr. Charles Sours in Woodbridge, Virginia wants to share the facts about periodontal disease therapy and how it can help you.

Periodontal disease is caused by bacteria contained in the plaque which clings to your teeth. Initially, the bacteria cause gum disease, resulting in bleeding and painful gums. Gum disease can be reversed by good oral hygiene, regular dental cleanings and exams.

If gum disease goes untreated and your oral hygiene regimen isn’t as good as it should be, the bacteria can begin to destroy your gums, and the bone supporting your teeth. When the bone and supporting ligaments become infected, you now have periodontal disease.

Periodontal disease can’t be cured; it can only be managed. That’s where periodontal disease therapy comes in. Dr. Sours will do a complete dental exam, including x-rays to determine the level of bone loss and measure the soft tissue attachment of your gums to your teeth. He will develop a customized treatment plan to manage your periodontal disease.

The treatment plan of periodontal disease therapy includes more intensive, deeper cleanings performed every 3 to 4 months. The goal of periodontal disease therapy is to form a healthy tissue-to-tooth attachment and stabilize and prevent losing more bone.

In addition to deep, intensive cleanings, your dentist may also recommend periodontal surgery to reposition the gums, making your mouth easier to keep clean. Grafts of soft tissue or bone may also be suggested to help you regain attachment.

Periodontal disease therapy can save your smile, but early diagnosis and treatment is essential to a good outcome. Make an appointment today for a thorough exam and cleaning to determine if you need periodontal disease therapy. Just call Dr. Charles Sours in Woodbridge, Virginia today to get started!

By Charles L. Sours, Jr. D.D.S.
May 11, 2015
Category: Oral Health

If you have recently noticed swelling, bleeding or pain in your gums, you may have developed a gum abscess. It's the result of periodontal disease, an infection in the gum tissue caused by bacterial plaque that has adhered to the teeth. It's important in the short term to treat the abscess, and in the long-term the underlying gum disease for the survival of the affected tooth and your overall health.

A gum abscess is a sac filled with infection that has developed between the tooth and gum. Besides swelling, you may also notice tenderness when you bite down on a tooth or feel that the tooth is loose. If the abscess originates from a root canal infection it tends to be much more painful, and the pain will seem generalized rather than from a specific tooth.

The first step in treatment is to drain the abscess. We would numb the area with a local anesthetic and then allow the infection to drain. After drainage we would clean and irrigate the infected root surfaces to remove any noticeable bacterial plaque, and possibly prescribe antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medication to reduce swelling and pain. The drained abscess should heal in a few days to a week.

The next step is to treat the underlying cause of the abscess. Depending on what we find in our examination, this can include root planing and scaling (deep plaque and tartar removal), or a root canal treatment where the infected pulp within the root canal is removed, and the canal is then cleaned, filled and sealed.

It's also a good idea for patients with gum disease to have a thorough health checkup. It's possible that other general health conditions such as diabetes or heart disease may be contributing to the gum disease, and vice-versa.

Treating a gum abscess and the underlying cause is about more than relieving pain or discomfort — you're also protecting your dental and general health.

If you would like more information on the treatment of abscesses or gum disease, 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 “Periodontal (Gum) Abscesses.”

By Charles L. Sours, Jr. D.D.S.
August 25, 2014
Category: Oral Health

Advanced periodontal (gum) disease is a chronic, progressive condition characterized by bacterial infection and inflammation. Without proactive treatment, gum disease can cause extensive damage to the various tissues that hold teeth in place, and lead eventually to tooth loss.

As every war has its tactics, so the war against advanced gum disease is no different. Here’s a few of the approaches and treatments we use to stop the disease and promote healing to damaged tissues.

A Change in Behavior. Regardless of other risk factors, a film of bacterial plaque on tooth surfaces caused by a neglect of proper oral hygiene is the main culprit behind progressive gum disease. Your first step is to form new hygiene habits — brushing and flossing — that will need to be performed daily to be effective. It’s also time to end some old habits like smoking that are contributing to your gum disease.

Total Plaque Removal. Although your renewed efforts at oral hygiene are essential, it’s just as important for us to use our expertise to remove the hard deposits of plaque (known as calculus) you can’t reach with brushing and flossing. Clinging stubbornly below the gum line, these deposits will continue to be sources of infection until they’re removed. Using techniques known as scaling or root planing, we employ ultrasonic or manual instruments to access and remove as much of the offending deposits as possible. This essential step may require more than one visit to give time for inflammation to subside, and may be followed with antibiotic therapy as well.

Surgical Treatments. Although quite effective in most cases of gum disease, scaling or root planing may not be adequate in more severe cases. We still have other weapons in our arsenal, though — there are a number of surgical procedures we can use to eliminate hidden pockets of infection, or repair and regenerate damaged tissues and bone. These procedures not only help restore you to better oral health and function, but also establish a more conducive environment for maintaining future care.

Using these and other techniques, we can reduce the infection and inflammation associated with gum disease. This sets the stage for healing and renewed health, both for your mouth and your entire body.

If you would like more information on treatment for periodontal gum disease, 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 “Understanding Periodontal Disease.”