Celebrate National Children’s Dental Health Month


National Children's Dental Health Month, Plano, TXThough it may feel like your child is too young for the dentist, experts agree that the earlier children begin a healthy relationship with oral hygiene and the dentist, the better. To celebrate National Children’s Dental Health Month, Plano, TX Dentist Dr. Mark Sowell reminds parents and caregivers that your child’s oral health is an important part to their overall health and well-being.

One of the most common chronic childhood disease is tooth decay. It affects approximately 50% of first graders and 80% of 17 year olds. Children should begin seeing a dentist by the age of 3 or when the all primary teeth have erupted- earlier if there are other concerns. Not only will this first visit help children get acclimated to the idea of the dentist, it will also help them and their parents learn how to maintain good oral health for the long run. At our Plano, TX family dentist office, Dr. Sowell and his staff take the time to teach children to learn how to properly brush and floss- and have fun taking care of their smile.

Dentists can help parents learn:

    • How to care for an infant’s teeth
    • If their child is getting enough fluoride
    • If and when to wean children off thumb sucking
    • Safety measures to prevent face and teeth damage
    • What to expect when a child starts teething and losing baby teeth
    • The relationship between a baby’s diet and oral health
    • What to do and what to not to do surrounding sippy cups
    • How babies can “catch” bacteria from utensils, fingers, and caregivers

Many people are under the impression that baby teeth don’t need to be cared for like adult teeth, but early preventive dental care serves several important purposes, including laying the foundation for a lifetime of good dental health. Children with cavities in their baby teeth are at a much higher risk for cavities later in life. Additionally, baby teeth form a path that permanent teeth will follow when they erupt. Untreated tooth decay can cause speech impediments, pain, and oral infections. Early detection of oral problems allows for conservative and inexpensive treatments.

Habits are formed when children are young. A healthy oral routine, including brushing and flossing, and twice a year visits to the dentist are extremely important to instill in a child. Professional cleanings are just as important in a 2 year old as they are in a 22 year old.

Schedule Your Child’s First Dental Visit

Call our Plano, TX dentist office today to schedule an appointment for your child!

Posted in: national childrens dental health month

Make a New Years Resolution For Better Oral Health…


Oral health for the new year, Plano, TXThough January 1 is a great time for resolving to eat better, exercise more, and make more time for the things we love, any date on the calendar is a great time to resolve to have better oral health. Whether you need to schedule your routine dental hygiene visit, need a new local dentist or have been away from the dentist and want to restore a healthy smile- Plano, TX Dentist Dr. Mark Sowell can provide the services you need.

Oral health is dependent on routine dental care. It’s necessary to visit the dentist at least twice a year for routine cleanings and checkups. Many dental issues, including cavities and gum disease, are found only when dentists are able to perform thorough examinations in a dental office. Additionally, regular cleanings including tooth scaling, which removes tartar from your teeth. This can’t be done at home and is important for your teeth and gums. If oral health problems aren’t spotted as early as possible and effectively treated, they can spread and become more serious, potentially needing more in-depth and expensive care.

You should visit the dentist at least twice a year to:
• Save on future dental costs
• Maintain clean and healthy teeth
• Potentially diagnose gum disease or tooth decay

In addition to maintaining oral health, there are many dental treatments that improve the health as well as the aesthetics of your teeth and gums. Cosmetic dentistry procedures such as porcelain veneers, dental implants, and teeth whitening not only give you a more beautiful smile, but also contribute to the positive health of your mouth. Teeth that are straight and properly aligned function better and are even easier to brush and floss.

At home oral health is equally as important as routine dental visits. Brushing twice a day, flossing once a day, and rinsing with mouthwash are the most important steps in taking care of your teeth and gums. Poor oral health can affect other parts of the body and studies have found correlations between oral health and cardiovascular disease, systemic disease, and prenatal health.

Making a resolution is a great way for both children and adults to kick off better oral health. A healthy and beautiful smile is always in season!

Schedule Your Appointment

Dr. Sowell is accepting new patients in his Plano, TX dental office. Call the office directly or schedule an appointment online.

Posted in: routine dental care

Maintain Your Dental Health Thru The Holidays


Holiday Dental Health, Plano, TXThe holidays are full of busy days, parties, family memories- and lots of great sweets and goodies that can affect not only our waistline- but our oral health! Plano, TX Dentist Dr. Mark Sowell offers holiday wishes to all patients- as well as a few quick tips for keeping your smile healthy while enjoying the best the season has to offer.

  • Enjoy those cakes, cookies and candies in moderation- good for the smile and the waistline!
  • Chew sugar free gum or rinse with water after a sweet snack or dark beverages such as red wine
  • Never use your teeth to crack a nut or open a package- keep the right tools handy for guests
  • Brush and floss daily, even when your routine is disrupted by fun and travel
  • Be sure to visit our office for ROUTINE DENTAL CARE as needed to keep your teeth and gums healthy

In case of the unexpected dental emergency, contact our Plano, TX dentist office as soon as possible for advice on how best to handle the situation and mitigate permanent damage.

Is holiday stress leading to teeth grinding or jaw clenching? If so, contact our dentist office to schedule a visit and learn more about how a custom mouth guard could protect your teeth and improve dental health. Left untreated, tooth grinding (also called bruxism) can lead to tooth damage and other dental problems.

Looking for a quick smile makeover for those holiday parties and events? Schedule a teeth whitening treatment after your routine dental cleaning for a bright, white smile you will be happy to share. It may also be the inspiration you need to practice the tips mentioned above and moderate those dark foods and beverages.

Happy Holidays from Dr. Sowell!

Posted in: Oral Health, news & events

Dedication To Education: Dr. Sowell at SPEAR


Dallas dentist Dr. Mark Sowell has been dedicated to advancing his knowledge and skill as a dentist for the past 25 years. He is an alumni of several top dental teaching institutions, including SPEAR, where he is also a visiting faculty member. As a dentist, Dr. Sowell seeks to provide quality care for his patients and to help them maintain optimal dental health as well as achieve cosmetic goals for a beautiful smile. This is often achieved through restorative dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, or a combination of the two.

Dallas TX dentist Dr. Sowell at SPEARIn October, Dr. Sowell attended a Spear Education workshop for “Advanced Implant Restorative Design“. Located in Scottsdale, AZ, SPEAR offers a wide range of workshops and lectures on clinical conditions and dental procedures that are taught by leaders in their field. The goal is always to improve the patient experience and the quality of results.

Dr. Sowell provides solutions for patients with missing teeth, including dental implants. The recent workshop he attended provided the opportunity to expand his skill in restoring natural looking, comfortable dental implants. Dr. Sowell recommends the use of dental implants when replacing one or more missing teeth because of the many benefits they offer for a patient’s overall oral health. When used to permanently anchor a denture in the replacement of all upper or lower teeth, dental implants can provide a secure smile that does not require daily maintenance.

Dr. Sowell continues to evolve his practice in dentistry through continuing education, enabling him to improve patient results with leading techniques, materials and technology. Your healthy smile is a big part of a great quality of life each and every day. Dr. Sowell can help you restore dental health that has been compromised by damaged and/or missing teeth. Contact his Plano dentist office or schedule an appointment online.

Posted in: news & events

TMJ..Symptoms, Causes and Treatment Options


TMJ Therapy, Plano, TXSuffering with frequent headaches? Jaw pain? Difficulty chewing?
You may have a Temporomandibular disorder (TMD), or bite disorder, commonly called TMJ.
TMJ, which means temporomandibular joint, is a dental health condition where the chewing muscles within the mouth are greatly affected in functionality. These are located near the joints between the base of the skull and the lower jaw. For most patients, TMJ is the result of an underlying dental problem that has led to an imbalance in the bite.
While in most cases, the signs and symptoms of the disorder are not severe, they can affect the quality of life and lead to more complex dental problems down the road. Plano, TX Dentist Dr. Mark Sowell offers diagnosis and treatment for bite disorders such as TMJ to relieve symptoms and restore your quality of life.

Symptoms of the Disorder

Patients suffering from a TMJ disorder, experience the following troubling signs of TMJ,
• Limited or restricted jaw mobility
• Teeth clenching or grinding
• Signs of tooth wear
• Shoulder and neck pain
• Migraines or headaches
• Earaches
• Popping, grating or clicking noises while chewing or during mouth movement
• Muscle pain around the jaw area
• Feeling of a stuck jaw which makes eating difficult
All of these symptoms are clear signs that you might be suffering from a TMJ disorder.

Causes of TMJ

The disorder may be caused by a variety of underlying problems:
• Bruxism, that is grinding and clenching of teeth during sleep
• Any injury to the joint area caused by an accident or surgical procedure
• Any bite disorders, like an uneven bite due to fitted dentures, fillings and dental crowns
• Stress

TMJ Therapy: Treatment Options

To ensure a good quality of life and lasting dental health, it is important to seek treatment in the early stages.
Dr. Sowell will assess your overall dental health, including the function of your jaw joints, to determine the underlying cause of TMJ. He will look for signs of teeth grinding, a common symptom of a bite disorder which can lead to damaged or lost teeth.
Dr. Sowell will create an individual treatment plan designed to help restore a healthy smile and lasting oral health.
Treatment options can include:
• Dental splint therapy
• Orthodontic treatment
• Occlusal equilibration
• Mouth guard
Left untreated, TMJ can have a dramatic impact on oral health over time, often damaging teeth and further affecting the alignment of the bite.
If you are suffering with any of the symptoms mentioned above, or have been avoiding the dentist for some time, call our Plano, TX dentist office and schedule an appointment. Dr. Sowell can help you get back a healthy, functional and happy smile.

We offer sedation dentistry of patients who suffer with dental anxiety to ensure you are relaxed and comfortable during treatment.

Posted in: restorative dentistry, tmj therapy

Spear Faculty Club Summit 2015


Local Dallas dentist Dr. Mark Sowell is dedicated to enhancing the patient experience through better dentistry. He spends many hours each year attending and teaching dental workshops and lectures on a wide range of treatments and procedures. Staying on top of the latest scientific research, materials and technological advances enables him to provide comprehensive dental treatments and educate his patients on how best to maintain their oral health.

dr sowell spear summit 2015dr frank spear scottsdale azIn September Dr. Sowell attended the annual Spear Faculty Club Summit at the SPEAR Institute for Advanced Dental Education located in Scottsdale, AZ. The summit offered the opportunity to spend time with many of the top dentists from around the country, learning from each other and from the founder of the Spear Institute, Dr. Frank Spear.

Dr. Sowell is proud to be the founding member of a new Dallas Spear Study Club, providing a local forum for advancing dental education and exchanging ideas and knowledge on the latest in dentistry. Dr. Sowell has learned first hand the significant value that continuing education plays in evolving a dynamic dental practice that can help patients achieve not just beautiful smiles, but functional smiles that support lasting oral health. He seeks to teach younger dentists in his local area the benefits for both dentist and patient of providing comprehensive dental care.

The 2015 Summit also included lectures on implant dentistry and the latest advances in materials and technique for better results. Practicing dentists share their thoughts, experiences and results to encourage and inform each other, ultimately creating a better patient experience.

Posted in: news & events

How to Deal with Bad Breath..


sowell-concern5Bad breath, also known as halitosis, is a common complaint and can be caused by a variety of lifestyle habits or health concerns. Dr. Mark Sowell understands your personal concerns and will take the time during your visit to our Plano, TX office to determine the cause and recommend appropriate treatment.

In many cases, a change in lifestyle habits or additional oral hygiene is sufficient to address chronic bad breath. Here are a few quick tips on how best to keep your breath fresh:

  • Brush and floss daily: brushing the teeth twice a day for two minutes (2X2) reduces bacteria in the mouth and removes food particles that become lodged and contribute to halitosis
  • Mouthwash: rinsing with an antiseptic mouthwash after brushing will boost the effects of tooth brushing. Avoid those containing alcohol, which dries the mouth and actually contribute to bad breath
  • Reduce or eliminate the use of tobacco products
  • Eat a healthy and varied diet with fruits and vegetables which can often naturally eliminate harmful bacteria in the mouth
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Chew sugar free gum after a meal

Bad Breath and Your Health

There are several health concerns that can also be the underlying cause of halitosis and should be addressed by Dr. Sowell:

  • Gum disease or tooth cavities
  • The use of certain medications
  • Dry mouth, or xerostomia, caused by a variety of factors
  • Respiratory infections, pneumonia
  • Acid reflux

Halitosis can also signal systemic disease such as diabetes or liver and kidney problems.

When visiting with Dr. Sowell, it is important to discuss your concerns about persistent bad breath so that he may assist you in identifying the cause and ensuring that any health concerns are addressed.

As your dentist, Dr. Sowell is a partner in your overall health care and strives to help you maintain both a healthy smile and a healthy lifestyle!

Posted in: Oral Health

Dedication to Education: Dr. Sowell Teaches At Spear


Plano dentist Dr. Mark Sowell has earned a reputation based on quality dentistry provided in his Dallas dental practice, based on his wide range of training and experience. He dedicates many hours each year to both learning and teaching colleagues in an effort to stay on top of the latest techniques and treatments.

Plano TX dentist Dr. Mark SowellIn August, Dr. Sowell and his staff attended a dental conference in Dallas to learn more about CE updates to enhance the patient experience and provide better service.

Dr. Sowell returned to Spear in Arizona to teach “Advanced Occlusion ” to dentists at the Spear Education Center. A restorative dentist who offers treatment for bite disorders such as TMJ, Dr. Sowell took time to teach colleagues the principles of diagnosing and addressing complex dental problems that are the result of an imbalance in the bite.

As a dentist, Dr. Sowell takes the time with his patients to examine the entire occlusal system which includes the teeth, gums and jaw joints. When all are functioning properly, patients can enjoy a healthy and comfortable bite.

As a Spear Faculty Member, Dr. Sowell is a leader in advancing the latest science and techniques in dentistry. It also enables him to provide the highest quality dentistry to his patients, addressing everything from cosmetic concerns to more complex problems affecting their oral health.

Later this month, he will return to Arizona to attend the Spear Faculty Club summit meeting in Scottsdale at the Scottsdale Center for Advanced Dental education. Dr. Sowell will spend time with other faculty members, enjoying the opportunity to socialize and discuss the latest news in the various fields of dentistry.

Modern dentistry has made great strides in both the use of technology and the understanding of how a balanced bite can support oral health. Dr. Sowell remains dedicated to being an integral part of emerging dental techniques and providing quality patient care in his Dallas area dentist office.

Posted in: news & events

Back to School Cavity Prevention..


As parents, the end of summer marks the beginning of back-to-school preparation. This includes school supply shopping, summer reading, and visits with your child’s doctor and dentist to ensure that he or she is healthy for the upcoming school year.

While a visit to the dentist may not seem as important as a physical examination at the doctor, your child’s oral health is in fact crucial to his or her overall health. Dr. Mark Sowell understands that back-to-school preparations can be stressful on both parents and children and would like to offer some tips on how to ace that dental checkup and stay cavity-free for the whole school year!

Cavity Prevention in Children

Diligent oral hygiene maintenance is the strongest foundation for a healthy mouth. As parents, it is your responsibility to instill positive oral health habits in your child from the very beginning. Did you know that over half of children aged 5-9 have at least one cavity?

You can prevent your child from becoming a part of this statistic simply by encouraging them to brush for 2 minutes twice daily (2 X 2) and floss once daily. During routine visits to our Plano, TX office, we take the time to show our young patients how to effectively brush and floss to maintain tooth enamel and oral health.

You can also improve your child’s oral health by preparing meals that are low in sugar and discouraging in-between meal snacking and sugary drinks- including ghettoes popular sports drinks! Snacking provides more opportunities for the bacteria in your mouth to feed on sugar and produce acids that destroy tooth enamel and cause cavities.

Tooth decay is an infectious disease and is especially prevalent among school children; tooth-related illnesses account for the loss of 52 million school hours each year.

If your child is especially prone to cavities or if a low-sugar diet is not entirely realistic, you may want to talk to Dr. Sowell about preventative sealants. This dental procedure uses a resin to fill in the pits and grooves on your molar teeth and makes them a less favorable environment for bacterial invasion.

We hope that you found these suggestions helpful and Dr. Sowell and his staff would like to wish you a happy and healthy new school year!

ADA video about back-to-school checkups:

Posted in: Uncategorized

Oral Health Care During Pregnancy..


Pregnancy brings with it many joys and surprises, but it also brings about some health changes. Among the other bodily changes that occur during pregnancy, some changes in your oral health status may occur as well. Hormonal gingivitis is common during pregnancy and can present suddenly with red, swollen gums that bleed. If you notice these changes or have any further questions about oral health during pregnancy, please don’t hesitate to schedule a visit with Plano, TX dentist, Dr. Mark Sowell.

For patients who suffer with morning- or anytime- sickness, the increased exposure of the teeth to acids from the stomach can pose a risk for tooth enamel erosion which can affect the strength of your teeth. It is also important to discuss this with Dr. Sowell if you have experienced significant morning sickness during your pregnancy.

In addition to brushing twice daily and flossing once daily, it is also recommended that you rinse with a fluoridated mouthwash once a day.
Fluoride is critical for strengthening your own and your baby’s teeth to prevent decay. All products with the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of approval are safe for pregnant women, although if you are considering new products that are not ADA endorsed, it is important to speak with Dr. Sowell to ensure that they are safe for you and your baby.

It is important to maintain your preventive dental care during pregnancy to monitor for any oral health changes. Though x-rays and dental procedures are usually safe during pregnancy, dental treatment may be postponed in the event of a high-risk pregnancy. It is crucial to alert Dr. Sowell about your pregnancy during your visit so that we can take additional care to make sure you are as safe and comfortable as possible.

Your dental health is important, both during your pregnancy and after! Keep your smile looking and feeling its best with regular visits to our Plano, TX dentist office and be sure to come in if an oral health concern arises during your pregnancy.

Positive pregnant blond woman  checks her teeth

Posted in: Oral Health, General Dentistry