How to keep your gums healthy

9
Jul

Properly caring for your gums is essential for having strong teeth. Did you know that gum disease is the number one cause of tooth loss in adults? Plano, TX dentist Dr. Mark Sowell and his staff keep this fact in mind with every visit and are committed to making sure that your gums stay as healthy as possible!

In order to avoid periodontal (gum) problems, it is important to know a little bit about gum disease and its presentations. Early stage gum disease is called gingivitis and is fairly common, especially in adolescents. Patients with gingivitis normally have red, swollen gums that are painful to brush and floss and often bleed during dental visits. The inflammation in gingivitis is caused by plaque and calculus that build up under the gums. Thankfully, early stage gum disease is reversible and can be treated through routine dental visits and diligent brushing and flossing at home. However, once gingivitis progresses into late-stage periodontitis, the effects are no longer reversible.

Late-stage gum disease, or periodontitis, occurs when plaque bacteria progress deep into the gums and cause resorption of bone in your jaws. This bone resorption, if left untreated, can cause loss of tooth attachment and thus, tooth loss. Periodontitis can occur in addition to red, swollen gums or can occur with seemingly healthy gums. Late-stage gum disease with attachment loss also occurs without pain; for this reason, it is important to follow up with your dentist regularly and be screened for periodontitis.

Periodontal screening is a simple procedure in which a dentist or hygienist uses a probing instrument to measure the distance between the bone of your jaw and your gums. A measurement of 3 mm or less is considered healthy, whereas a measurement greater than 4mm signifies bone loss and may require more rigorous treatment with a gum specialist, also known as a periodontist.

Tooth loss due to gum disease is a scary thought, but luckily, it can be completely avoided through proper dental hygiene. If you have any questions about periodontal disease, don’t hesitate to ask Dr. Sowell during your next visit!

ADA video about periodontal screening:

Posted in: General Dentistry, gum disease

Solutions For a Gummy Smile

15
Jun

ThinkstockPhotos-122407402There are several reasons for having what we call a “gummy smile”, meaning that the top gums are visible when smiling. This often makes the teeth appear smaller and/or shorter than they are, disrupting the natural symmetry of a patient’s smile and causing embarrassment in many cases.

Dallas dentist Dr. Mark Sowell offers treatment for a gummy smile that can change the shape of the teeth and enhance your appearance, giving you back confidence in your natural smile.

Laser Dentistry for a Gummy Smile

Dr. Sowell uses laser dentistry to gently reshape the gum line, reducing the amount of top gum that is visible when smiling. Results can be seen right away and last a lifetime! The procedure, known as a gum lift, is easy and requires no down time afterwards- patients can return to their normal routine the next day with a brand new smile.

Dental lasers enable Dr. Sowell to skillfully change the gum line without damaging any tooth structure and with little bleeding and discomfort for the patient. This type of precision results in a beautifully symmetrical result that looks as if nothing has been done at all.

If you have been trying to hide your smile because it appears to be more gums than teeth, schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Sowell in his Plano dentist office. He will take the time to perform a thorough examination and discuss your cosmetic concerns and goals before determining if a gum lift is appropriate for you.

Dr. Sowell is a highly trained and experienced cosmetic dentist who can help you achieve both lasting dental health and a smile you are proud to share.

Posted in: cosmetic dentistry

How Diet & Dental Health Can Affect Your Overall Well Being

10
Jun

Do you ever feel frustrated when you are told you have a cavity despite diligent tooth brushing and flossing?

ThinkstockPhotos-464263019 There are many factors influencing your oral health and understanding how to identify your individual risk factors can play an important role in reducing gum disease, tooth decay, and other dental problems.

Factors Affecting Oral Health

  • Genetics
  • Diet
  • Tobacco use and smoking
  • Medications
  • Hormonal and weight changes

Dr. Mark Sowell of Plano, TX emphasizes the significant role that routine dental care plays in lifelong oral health, providing he and his staff the opportunity to both spot dental problems early on and educate patients on appropriate at home oral hygiene.

During your visit to our Plano dentist office, we take the time to get to know you and discuss your personal concerns when it comes to your dental health and medical history. Understanding how your individual lifestyle choices can affect oral health can help you to make better decisions about your daily habits, routines and diet.

Dr. Sowell can make recommendations to reduce dental health risks from lifestyle habits such as chewing sugarless gum after meals, rinsing the mouth with water or reducing the consumption of dark foods and beverages. In many cases, making choices that will improve oral health can also have a positive impact on overall health and well being.

The health of your smile influences your quality of life every day and we want to help you restore and maintain your oral health. Routine dental care and supportive restorative and cosmetic dental treatments as needed can help keep your gums and natural teeth strong and functional for as long as possible.

Posted in: General Dentistry, Oral Health

Improving Dentistry with Continuing Education

27
May

Dallas area cosmetic dentist Dr. Mark Sowell is dedicated to providing the best dentistry possible for his patients and recently attended two intensive dental courses to expand his knowledge in implant dentistry and cosmetic dentistry.

In April, Dr. Sowell attended a course in implant dentistry held at the prestigious Spear Institute in Scottsdale, Arizona. Learning more about the dental implant process and how to improve results with better treatment planning and restoration will enable him to help patients with missing teeth to enjoy a better quality of life. The advances made in implant dentistry materials and techniques also help to support long term dental health.

In early May, Dr. Sowell attended the 31st annual American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) conference where he participated in several intensive workshops to learn more about new materials and procedures advancing cosmetic dental treatments. Alongside some of the best dentists in the country, Dr. Sowell shared experiences and exchanged knowledge in an effort to improve his artistry and skill as a cosmetic dentist.

Continuing education and the opportunity to spend time with and learn from colleagues and other dental professionals is the foundation of Dr. Sowell’s dentistry:

Office Tour 6

“It is important to stay on the leading edge of implant dentistry by practicing the latest techniques and gaining exposure to the newest materials available.” Dr. Sowell



Currently, Dr. Sowell is the ONLY cosmetic dentist in Plano, TX with AACD accreditation. This dedication to being on the leading edge of cosmetic dental treatments has established Dr. Sowell as a nationally recognized expert in cosmetic dentistry. For patients this means they have access to the dentistry they need to address their cosmetic and dental health concerns.

Posted in: cosmetic dentistry, dental implants dallas

Invisalign May Be the Solution For Your Smile

19
May

Could orthodontic treatment be the solution for your dental health or cosmetic concerns?

ThinkstockPhotos-101839034 Many patients know that it could but do not want to experience the embarrassment or inconvenience of metal braces. For those who need mild to moderate orthodontic treatment to address their concerns or problems, Invisalign may be the perfect solution.

Located in Plano Dr. Mark Sowell is an Invisalign provider and often recommends this as a cosmetic or restorative dental treatment option. Invisalign can gently and gradually straighten teeth that are crooked or misaligned, correcting problems such as cross bite, over bite and underbite.

How Does Invisalign Work?

Available for teens and adults, Invisalign uses a series of clear retainers that are custom made by Dr. Sowell from molds of your teeth and designed to move teeth into the desired position over a period of about a year. The aligners are custom designed using special CAD/CAM software that enables Dr. Sowell to plan your treatment and create predictable results.

Patients can enjoy several key benefits:

  • removable retainers allow easy brushing and flossing
  • smooth, plastic material is comfortable and does not irritate soft tissues
  • they are invisible and no one has to know you are wearing braces

Crooked teeth can go beyond being a cosmetic concern- they can have an impact on oral health. It is often difficult to effectively clean between teeth that are misaligned, increasing the chances of decay and tooth cavities or gum disease. They may also affect a patient’s bite, leading to temporomandibular joint issues, or TMJ, as pressure is placed in the wrong places to accommodate an imbalanced bite.

If you have teeth that are crooked, or have concerns about your bite, schedule a consultation with Dr. Sowell. He will perform a thorough exam and discuss the best options for restoring and maintaining your dental health.

Posted in: cosmetic dentistry, Invsialign

Patient Focused Dentistry in Dallas

25
Apr

Looking for a dentist who will listen to your concerns?

Dallas dentist Dr. Mark Sowell offers concierge dentistry based on patient education and communication in an effort to help them achieve a healthy, attractive smile. Your first visit to our Plano dentist office will provide an opportunity for you to get to know our office and staff and us to learn about your oral health and personal concerns.

Office Tour 6Dr. Sowell will take the time to meet with you personally and take digital photographs of your smile as a baseline for your future treatment. These photos can also help you to discuss your dental health and/or cosmetic concerns as part of treatment planning.

Your dental health is at the heart of all dentistry that we recommend, and Dr. Sowell will look for any signs of gum disease, tooth decay, oral cancer and malocclusion during a comprehensive examination at your next visit with him. Undiagnosed and untreated dental problems can often compromise the results of any dental procedure, costing you both time and money to correct in the future. Dr. Sowell will also prepare before and after digital images to demonstrate expected results from specific procedures that can address any cosmetic desires or concerns you discussed at your first visit.

Cosmetic dentistry and restorative dentistry procedures can both enhance your smile and help to support long term dental health. Keeping your smile comfortable and functional is just as important as aesthetics and is also part of maintaining a good quality of life!

Ready to get your confident smile back? Contact Dr. Sowell to schedule a consultation and learn more about what he can do for you and your dental health.

Posted in: cosmetic dentistry, find a dentist dallas

Get Screened For Oral Cancer During Routine Dental Care

9
Apr

This month take a moment to assess you oral cancer risk and make sure you have a routine dental appointment scheduled with Dr. Mark Sowell, which includes an oral cancer screening.

Oral cancer continues to be a growing health risk for several reasons: the increasing prevalence of the HPV-16 virus and lagging rates of screening despite the fact that an oral cancer screening is both inexpensive and painless. Dallas dentist Dr. Sowell performs an oral cancer screening as part of preventive dental care to look for the early warning signs of oral cancer. ThinkstockPhotos-151338885

The Oral Cancer Foundation expects that over 45,000 new diagnoses will occur this year, an increase over 2014 numbers and a continuation in rising oral cancer rates. Understanding the possible signs of oral cancer can lead to an early diagnosis, but in many cases they can go unnoticed until a thorough examination by Dr. Sowell reveals subtle changes in the soft tissues of the mouth which can signal possible cancerous growth.

Common signs of oral cancer

  • Sore or red/white patch in the mouth that does not heal
  • Persistent hoarseness
  • Lump in the back of the mouth or neck area
  • Difficulty swallowing

Spotting oral cancer in the early stages is extremely important because late stage disease is often very difficult to treat and cure. The survival rate for oral cancer has been hovering around 50% largely due to the high percentage of late stage cases because of the overall lack of screening.

Be a part of the solution- and reduce your risk of being diagnosed with a late stage disease. Be sure to visit Dr. Sowell in his Plano dentist office twice a year for preventive dental care and a screening for the signs of oral cancer. Dr. Sowell can also discuss the risk factors associated with oral cancer with you if you have concerns based on your health history or lifestyle habits.

Oral cancer risk factors

  • Smoking or tobacco use
  • Race and ethnicity: more prevalent among the black population
  • Exposure to HPV virus through lifestyle habits

Oral cancer screening is just another great reason to be sure that you visit our office in Plano, TX dentist twice a year. Preventive dental care not only supports a good quality of life, but may be life saving!

Posted in: oral cancer screening dallas, Oral Health

Plano Dentist Teaches Dentists From Around the Globe at Spear Education

4
Mar

Dr. Mark Sowell recently returned from leading a three day workshop at Spear Education in Scottsdale, AZ. Offering programs for advanced education in the field of dentistry, Spear Education draws participants from all over the world.

As a visiting faculty member of this prestigious institution, Dr. Sowell is able to both “teach and learn” each time he visits Spear Education to participate in a specialized workshop. Of the Spear Education program, Dr. Sowell remarks, “we are training only the top 10% and those willing to sacrifice to be the best- those that have the passion.”

Dr. Sowell, who teaches at Spear Education six times per year, recently assisted in conducting a workshop on Facially Generated Treatment Planning. “I assisted teaching 48 dentists who came from all over the world and the US, paying the high tuition of $6,000.00, plus air travel and hotel and food and time away from the office to learn from the best learning center in the world,” explains Dr. Sowell. These professionals come together to advance their knowledge, learn about how to be better dentists and serve patients more efficiently.

Dr. Sowell brings this wealth of knowledge back to his Plano, TX dental practice where he offers general, cosmetic and restorative dental services. Dr. Sowell is dedicated to providing dentistry that not only meets but exceeds his patients’ expectations. He takes the time with each new case to gain an understanding of their overall health, personal concerns and goals for their dental health.

Throughout his career, Dr. Sowell has dedicated countless hours to continuing education as both a student and teacher. He is a leading cosmetic dentist in the Dallas area, passionate about offering the best possible dentistry to patients who seek to improve both their dental health and the appearance of their smile. His experience with Spear Education enables him to take a holistic approach to each case and provide the comfortable, lasting results that afford his patients the quality of life they expect and deserve.

Posted in: plano dentist

Common Dental Concerns As We Mature

26
Feb

Today Americans are keeping their teeth longer than even before, and the average number of teeth we retain as we age is beginning to increase. With this mind, it is important to beware of potential dental concerns that may arise or may already be effecting us. Dr. Sowell, a nationally recognized expert in the fields of cosmetic, implant and restorative dentistry, would like to share some of the common dental health problems that we may face as we mature.

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Tooth Cavities & Dry Mouth

A common cause of cavities as we get older is dry mouth- a possible side effect from taking medications to treat a number of conditions and diseases. It is important to share with your dentists any medications you are taking so that they can make suggestions to relieve dry mouth symptoms and in turn, prevent future cavities. Your dentist may recommend an ADA approved oral moisturizer or other methods to restore moisture to your mouth and increase the flow of saliva.

Gum Disease

According to the CDC as many as 64% of Americans over the age of 65 have moderate to severe forms of periodontal disease. Often a painless condition until its advanced stage, gum disease is caused by the bacteria in plaque, which irritate the gums, making them swollen, red and more likely to bleed. Eventually, the gum pulls away from the tooth and creates pockets which can become infected. If this condition develops and continues unchecked, it may destroy the gums, bone and ligaments supporting the teeth leading to tooth loss. Again, regular dental visits can help to treat or prevent gum disease entirely.

Oral Cancer

There are about 35,000 cases of oral cancers diagnosed each year according to the American Cancer Society. Symptoms can be characterized by open sores, white or reddish patches, and changes in the lips, tongue and lining of the mouth that lasts for more than two weeks. Your regular dental exam should include a check for cancer- early detection can save lives!

During preventive care visits to Dr. Sowell, he and his staff can spot the early signs of tooth decay and gum disease, offering treatment before significant damage is done. Modern dentistry emphasizes the importance of keeping the natural teeth as long as possible, supporting their health with preventive and restorative dentistry. Contact us to schedule your appointment.

Posted in: adult dental care dallas, Dentist in Plano, Gum Disease in Adults

The Dental Benefit of Chewing Sugarless Gum

29
Jan

Many of us have New Year’s resolutions we struggle to keep.  Sometimes, taking on a new habit to rid ourselves of an old one seems like a good alternative.  In the case of sugarless gum chewing, this is true!  Feel free to curb your cravings for those bad habits with a minty fresh stick of sugarless chewing gum.  Clinical studies supported by the American Dental Association have shown that chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes after meals can help fend off tooth decay. Because choosing the correct chewing gum is crucial for reaping these benefits, Plano Texas dentist Dr. Sowell would like to offer some insight on this hot topic.155326361

Chewing sugarless gum increases the flow of saliva, which has a number of positive effects on your oral health. Saliva washes away residual food debris, neutralizes the acidity of certain foods and beverages, and coats the mouth with disease-fighting substances. Saliva also carries calcium and phosphate, which are vitally important for strengthening tooth enamel.

Look for the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of approval when selecting your new favorite sugarless gum. Without the ADA seal, you cannot be sure that the gum is truly sugarless and it could end up causing cavities rather than preventing them. Truly sugarless gum contains non-cavity causing sweeteners such as xylitol, sorbitol, or mannitol rather than true sugar.

Chewing sugarless gum is not a substitute for good oral hygiene practices; it is purely a supplementary method for preventing tooth decay. The ADA still recommends flossing regularly and brushing twice a day with a fluoride-containing toothpaste.

If you have any questions regarding sugarless gum or need help finding an ADA-approved toothpaste, please feel free to discuss it with Dr. Sowell during your next visit!

Posted in: benefits of sugarless gum, preventative dental care TX