My Blog

Posts for: July, 2017

By Charles L. Sours, Jr. D.D.S.
July 18, 2017
Category: Oral Health

When you’re among the top players in your field, you need every advantage to help you stay competitive: Not just the best equipment, but anything else that relieves pain and stress, and allows you to play better. For top-seeded Canadian tennis player Milos Raonic, that extra help came in a somewhat unexpected form: a custom made mouthguard that he wears on the court and off. “[It helps] to not grind my teeth while I play,” said the 25-year-old up-and-coming ace. “It just causes stress and headaches sometimes.”

Mouthguards are often worn by athletes engaged in sports that carry the risk of dental injury — such as basketball, football, hockey, and some two dozen others; wearing one is a great way to keep your teeth from being seriously injured. But Raonic’s mouthguard isn’t primarily for safety; it’s actually designed to help him solve the problem of teeth grinding, or bruxism. This habitual behavior causes him to unconsciously tense up his jaw, potentially leading to problems with muscles and teeth.

Bruxism is a common issue that’s often caused or aggravated by stress. You don’t have to be a world-class athlete to suffer from this condition: Everyday anxieties can have the same effect. The behavior is often worsened when you consume stimulating substances, such as alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, and other drugs.

While bruxism affects thousands of people, some don’t even suspect they have it. That’s because it may occur at any time — even while you’re asleep! The powerful jaw muscles that clench and grind teeth together can wear down tooth enamel, and damage both natural teeth and dental work. They can even cause loose teeth! What’s more, a clenching and grinding habit can result in pain, headaches and muscle soreness… which can really put you off your game.

There are several ways to relieve the problem of bruxism. Stress reduction is one approach that works in some cases. When it’s not enough, a custom made occlusal guard (also called a night guard or mouthguard) provided by our office can make a big difference. “When I don’t sleep with it for a night,” Raonic said “I can feel my jaw muscles just tense up the next day. I don’t sense myself grinding but I can sort of feel that difference the next day.”

 An occlusal guard is made from an exact model of your own mouth. It helps to keep your teeth in better alignment and prevent them from coming into contact, so they can’t damage each other. It also protects your jaw joints from being stressed by excessive force. Plus, it’s secure and comfortable to wear. “I wear it all the time other than when I’m eating, so I got used to it pretty quickly,” said Raonic.

Teeth grinding can be a big problem — whether you put on your game face on the court… or at home. If you would like more information about bruxism, contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Stress & Tooth Habits” and “When Children Grind Their Teeth.”

By Charles L. Sours, Jr. D.D.S.
July 13, 2017
Tags: dental implants  

How dental implants from Woodbridge can enhance your smiledental implants

It’s important to have a whole smile, not a smile with gaps from missing teeth. A whole smile helps you chew better which helps your digestion and your health overall. A complete set of teeth also helps you look better, because a beautiful smile is often the first thing people notice when they meet you. Dr. Charles Sours Jr. in Woodbridge, VA, wants to introduce you to the modern solution for tooth replacement, dental implants!

Dental implants are revolutionary because they offer benefits unmatched by conventional tooth replacement solutions like bridges or dentures. When you choose dental implants, you will enjoy many important features including:

  • Dazzling natural beauty; the implant crown is made of high-tech materials that reflect light just like teeth do.
  • Enhanced oral health; you can brush and floss implants along with your natural teeth.
  • Complete stability; your implants are firmly secured in bone and won’t move around the way dental appliances can.
  • Conservative treatment, because Dr. Sours only prepares the implant area; the teeth next to the implant are left alone, unlike dental bridges.

Another advantage of dental implants is that they can help you look younger. That’s because when implants are placed, your body produces bone to fuse with the implant and secure it in place. The added bone helps to maintain your firm jawline and add youthful volume and contours to your face.

When you decide on dental implants, you have chosen the most successful surgical implant, with a success rate of over 95 percent, according to the American Academy of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons.

Dental implants can replace one or more missing teeth. They can also be used to support a dental appliance like a denture. The denture, called an overdenture, is snapped in place over the implants. For more information about dental implant treatment and care, please visit the implants page on the website at

Don’t give up on your smile; discover the importance of dental implants instead! Dental implants can provide the strength and beauty you’ve been waiting for so call Dr. Sours in Woodbridge, VA, to get started. Call today!

By Charles L. Sours, Jr. D.D.S.
July 03, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: nutrition   oral cancer  

Although oral cancer isn't the most prevalent among metabolic diseases, it is one of the most deadly with only a 50% survival rate after five years. That's because it can be difficult to detect in its early stages when treatment is most effective.

That's why prevention to reduce your chances of oral cancer is so important. Many people know quitting tobacco products, including smokeless varieties, and moderating alcohol consumption are key to any prevention strategy. But there's one other factor you should also consider: your diet.

We've learned quite a bit in the last few decades about how certain foods we eat contribute to the cancer disease process. Cancer seems to originate when elements in the body or environment (known as carcinogens) damage DNA, our unique genetic code, on the cellular level. For example, a class of chemicals called nitrosamines is a known carcinogen: we often encounter it in the form of nitrites used to preserve meat (like bacon or ham) or as byproducts in beer, seafood or cheese.

Another form of carcinogen is the unstable molecules produced during normal cellular function called free radicals. But our bodies have a natural neutralizer for free radicals called antioxidants. We obtain these substances in our food in the form of vitamins and minerals. While you can also ingest these in the form of supplements, the best way to obtain them is through a diet rich in plant-based food, particularly fruits and vegetables.

So in addition to lifestyle changes like quitting tobacco or moderating alcohol consumption, make sure your diet is a healthy and nutritious one. Limit your intake of processed foods (especially meats) and increase your portions of fresh fruits, vegetables and dairy products.

And don't neglect practicing effective brushing and flossing each day, along with regular dental cleanings and checkups. All of these healthy practices will greatly decrease your chances for life-threatening oral cancer.

If you would like more information on preventing oral cancer, 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 “Diet and Prevention of Oral Cancer.”