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: General Dentistry, Oral Health

Why Choose Us?


Your smile is one of the most memorable parts of your overall appearance!

When considering either a smile makeover or fixing a cosmetic concern the cosmetic dentistry options available today can seem overwhelming. Making the right choice for the best possible result starts with choosing the right cosmetic dentist.

Why Choose Us?

Dr. Sowell and James Chung in our Ceramic Dental Lab in our Plano TX dentist officeDallas cosmetic dentist Dr. Mark Sowell has over 25 years of advanced training and experience in helping patients achieve the smile they desire while improving their overall dental health. Dr. Sowell has developed a process known as “Smile Design” to ensure that patients receive the best possible results through quality dentistry, materials and the latest techniques. In addition to offering his signature Five Star dental service, Dr. Sowell has an in office ceramics lab run by master ceramist James Chung. Through the use of digital images and diagnostics, Mr. Chung works with Dr. Sowell to create custom fit and color matched dental restorations using the highest quality materials available. Minor changes to provide the “perfect” fit can be easily managed, without having to schedule another visit to our office.

Office Tour 6One of the most important aspects of lasting, comfortable results is addressing any underlying dental problems that may compromise your dentistry. Dr. Sowell performs a thorough evaluation of your entire occlusal system during a consultation and exam, looking for signs of improper tooth wear or bite misalignment that can signal an occlusal disorder. Without diagnosing and addressing any possible occlusal problems, it is likely that a cosmetic concern or dental problem being treated will reoccur in the future. Comprehensive dentistry can save patients both time and money down the road as well as provide results that are comfortable and lasting.

Dr. Sowell offers a wide range of cosmetic and restorative dental treatments and procedures and often recommends a combination of treatment options to more effectively achieve your cosmetic and dental health goals. Through education and experience, he is able to successfully combine both skill and artistry when treating patients. The results? Beautiful!

Posted in: cosmetic dentistry

How to keep your gums healthy


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


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


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


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


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