Gum Disease is one of the most common diseases in our population. A staggering 80% of adults have gingivitis, which is inflammation of the gums, and 47% have periodontitis, the more severe form of gum disease that affects the gum tissue as well as the bone.
With age, the percentage of people with periodontitis increases. Therefore, older adults are more likely to have advanced bone loss around their teeth which ultimately leads to tooth loss.
I Brush & Floss Everyday – Why Do I have Gum Disease?
It seems to be contradictory then, that older people – who often take better care of themselves than younger people, have poorer oral hygiene. The reason for poor dental health, despite routine care, has to do with the immune system.
As we age, our immune system deteriorates and becomes less effective. High levels of bad bacteria cause very little damage to young people, typically resulting in simple gingivitis, compared to older adults with less bacteria who are more likely to suffer from periodontitis.
Patients frequently come to our Dallas area dental office frustrated by the fact that despite routine brushing and flossing, they still suffer from gum disease. In many cases, they question the effectiveness of the periodontal treatment or quality of care from the hygienist.
How Immune System Response Affects Oral Bacteria
But, the answer often has very little to do with the amount of brushing and flossing or number of visits made to the dentist. Instead, it has to do with the immune response – that is the decline in the immune system and its ability to fight bad bacteria in the mouth.
Hygiene skills are often addressed as well. Cleaning bad bacteria from the between the teeth and below the gums requires excellent dexterity and lots of practice. Even Dr. Sowell admits his own challenges, saying, “After I had been flossing for one year as a student, I went to get my teeth cleaned and the hygienist asked me if I had ever considered flossing. I was devastated as I had flossed everyday for a year.”
Flossing back teeth and around crooked teeth can be very challenging. Straight teeth make the process much more user friendly. But for now lets focus of the host immune response.
Age Changes Our Body’s Chemistry
Saliva decreases with age. In addition, many older adults take prescription medications, which further decrease function of salivary glands, compounding the effects of dry mouth (xeristomia).
Decreased saliva changes the PH of the mouth, creating ideal conditions for bad bacteria to multiply.
Traditionally, dentists focused exclusively on removing the hard deposits of bacteria below the gum which the patient cannot remove and soft bacterial plaque below the gumline that is not easily removed by flossing. This bacteria is often present for 6 or more weeks and can progress to 2mm below the gumline, or further.
Even with paramount hygiene skills, it is not difficult for an individual to reach a “tipping point” where the ratio of bad bacteria to good bacteria falls out of balance. To combat this, dentists will recommend more frequent hygiene visits to avoid progression of gum disease. For some patients bi-annual cleanings may be sufficient, but for many adults, frequent cleanings as often as every 2 or 3 months are required to control gum disease.
Identifying Deficiencies in Immune Response
A part of the equation that dentists could never account for was an individual’s immune response. That is, how well they tolerate bad bacteria in their mouth.
Dr. Sowell can identify the type of bacteria present with a simple, but sophisticated salivary lab test. Infection can be addressed through antibiotics. But more is needed to address the cause of bacteria in the first place.
Now, there is a tool to give insight into the unknown. Using a nobel prize winning device called a biophotonic scanner, Dr. Sowell can measure carateniod and antioxidant levels. The non-contact scan takes less than 10 minutes to complete and generates a score that gives Dr. Sowell insight into an individual’s ability to fight disease and inflammation.
A high score is a positive indication that the body can do its job to control disease with proper home care (hygiene) and routine dental visits. A low score, however, is an indication that the issue will persist without a boost to the immune system.
Improving Immunity For Oral Health
One first steps towards boosting host immune response is through improved diet. Eating 10 to 12 servings of fruits and vegetables per day can raise a person’s antioxidant levels. But this isn’t the case for everyone.
Dr. Sowell shares his experience:
“In my case, I ate 10 or more servings of fruit and vegetables every day for a year and found no change. As it turns out, the problem was my absorption level in my gut and intestines. Without the biophotonic scanner, I would have never been able to realize this.
Ultimately, I was able to raise my antioxidant level substantially through nano particle supplements. “
Finally, there’s a way to help identify a component of the treatment solution and help people who struggle with chronic gum disease despite excellent home care and frequent gum treatments.
Dr. Sowell is the first and only dentist in Plano to offer this testing tool. As for more details at your next appointment, or call our office at 972.382.6855 to schedule a consultation.
Posted in: adult dental care dallas, gum disease, periodontal therapy dallas
Gum lift to level the gums and increase the display of the worn-down teeth from clenching and grinding. Ten empress porcelain veneers to restore the shape, anatomy and arch form. Lower teeth were bleached.
Posted in: cosmetic dentistry
So my review is perhaps a bit different than most. Dr. Sowell gave me a full set of veneers four years ago.
When I first saw him I was just about over everything dental. Discolored teeth, five root canals, countless crowns and so many cavities I can’t even begin to count. I was looking at several crown replacements and other work that was going to be really expensive…plus the fact that the work was going to address structural issues but not change the fact that I hadn’t smiled in forever. Only half in jest, I was ready for dentures.
Dr. Sowell was incredibly precise in designing my new tooth structure. For those of you who think that veneers are a cosmetic-only procedure – the doctor also totally re-aligned my bite. I had been to other dentists who wanted to put me in braces (as a 40+ year old) to correct these issues.
So why am I writing this? I just came back from a dental check-up (I’ve since moved out of the area) and my dentist said that whoever did my work was “an artist”.
And truly, that’s how I feel. I love my smile. That’s awesome. But more importantly I have no more grinding issues, no cavities, no crown issues and no need for follow-up work. Four years later.
Loved his staff, the office environment and overall experience. But here’s the thing: Dr. Sowell takes a technical approach to your situation and crafts a solution that is unique to you. I’m living proof. I have no idea who’s the best cosmetic dentist in the Dallas area, but I’ll tell you this – no one can possibly do more to address underlying structural issues as well as provide an awesome appearance than Dr. Sowell.
Posted in: cosmetic dentistry
Western trained doctors are encouraged to recommend only peer-reviewed, scientific-researched solutions to patient problems. Unfortunately, that level of research is not always available and too often, doctors simply provide treatments for symptoms instead of treating the core problem.
Since 1980, we have know that gum disease had two components:
- Local hard and soft accumulations of bacteria above and below the gums
- And the host-immune response.
Treatment for gum disease has always included the professional removal of the hard and soft bacterial colonies, paired with education on how patients can control soft bacteria at home through regular brushing and flossing.
The host immune response, however, has been completely avoided because there has been no scientifically practical method of evaluating the patients immune response nor a practical (and predictable) solution.
Despite numerous advances in the treatment of gum disease that rate of infection remains high.
- 80% of Americans have gingivitis (primarily affecting the gums)
- 48% of Americans have the more serious periodontitis (which affects the bone)
Far fewer people lose their teeth to gum disease compared to 1980, however they cyclic recurrence in episodes of gum disease remains high in patients age 50 and older.
Why Is It Difficult To Treat Gum Disease?
The natural questions that patients ask is if I am get routine treatment and follow all suggested home care instructions, why do I keep getting recurring episodes of gum disease every few years?
This is a complex question but thanks to advances in technology, we finally address the host immune response component of the disease.
Dr. Sowell is one of the few dentists in the United States to have a Nobel-Prize winning technology called a BioPhotonic Scanner. This non-invasive device is much more accurate than a blood test – used to measure human antioxidant status.
Antioxidants & Gum Disease
Antioxidants are what our body uses to repair damage from free radicals, which are toxins that cause cell and DNA damage through the process of oxidation. Free radicals can be increased by stress, sun exposure, smoking, environmental pollution and other toxins.
Think of a freshly cut apple and how it turns yellow and then brown as it is exposed to air (oxidation). If you put lemon juice on the cut apple, it will not change color (antioxidant). In this way, antioxidants combat free radicals to prevent cell and DNA damage.
The amount of antioxidants in your body is directly proportional to how long and well you will live if genetic defects and physical injury are avoided. The Biophotonic Scanner give us a simple and practical way to measure our antioxidants levels through measuring our carotenoid levels in our skin which is proved directly proportional to our antioxidant level through careful scientific studies.
What Oral Inflammation Tells Us About Overall Health
We have always know the mouth is the window to evaluating the health of the body. Inflammation in the mouth is a good indicator of inflammation elsewhere in the body.
New studies now tell us that the body is made of of interconnecting micro-biomes, an ecological community of bacteria both good and bad that share our body spaces. If there is an imbalance in a micro-biome in one area of the body, there is the potential for an imbalance to occur in another area of the body.
Thanks to this new technology, we can evaluate individual antioxidant levels when diagnosing gum disease. Patients with high antioxidant levels generally will have less inflammation in their mouth and body. The gums will appear pink and healthy when the oral hygiene is good and sugar intake is low. These patients also have a lower risk of heart disease, cancer of all types, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, macular degeneration, respiratory disease and low birth weight babies in women among other things.
Eating Healthy For Healthy Gums
In addition to routine dental care, it is important to adopt a healthy diet for a healthy mouth. Patients who eat 10 to 12 portions of fruits and vegetable (free of pesticides and chemical pollutants) each day then to have high antioxidant scores. With age and consumption of processed foods, the antioxidant scores decrease.
“In my personal experience, I found it was difficult to prepare 10 to 12 portions of organic fruits and vegetables each day,” said Dr. Sowell. “I tried to raise my antioxidant score for one year. Although I ate fruits and vegetables continually, my score did not budge. What did change, however, was my sugar intake, which increased as a result of all the fruit I had been eating. Finally, I was able to increase my antioxidant levels with a specially designed supplement that used nano absorption technology.”
We are pleased that there is finally a valid, scientifically-based treatment to address the core problems in the immune response component of gum disease. The outcomes are exciting as this can not only improve patients gum disease symptoms – but decrease inflammation throughout the body and decrease the risk of other conditions like heart disease, diabetes and stroke.
Posted in: dallas general dentist, dental health concerns, gum disease
Do you or your partner snore during sleep? Or awaken feeling groggy and tired most mornings?
Dallas dentist Dr. Mark Sowell offers treatment for patients who snore in his Plano dentist office, bringing relief from symptoms and a good night’s sleep for all!
Snoring is not just the result of a stuffy nose or bad sleeping position, it can also signal a health concern called Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) that has been linked to a greater risk of stroke, heart disease and other physical health issues. Patients who suffer from OSA actually stop breathing momentarily during sleep, depriving their organs of much needed oxygen, and restart with a loud snore.
OSA is frequently the result of a blocked airway and is more common in patients who are overweight or have enlarged tonsils. OSA is often undiagnosed, but there are several key symptoms that many experience and that should be brought to the attention of your doctor or dentist:
- Loud snoring- sometimes only noticed by family members
- Morning headaches
- Feeling groggy or unable to concentrate, even after a “good night’s sleep”
- Sleepiness during the day or while driving
- Insomnia or frequently waking up at night
- A consistent sore or dry throat in the morning
Using the Watemark home sleep study device, Dr. Sowell will receive medically evaluated results from which to create an individual treatment plan.
While the CPap machine is often recommended and considered the “gold standard” for treatment of OSA, oral appliance therapy can also be very effective for mild to moderate sleep apnea. Most patients prefer oral appliance therapy for comfort reasons and will be more likely to use it on a consistent basis: an important part of any treatment.
OSA can be a debilitating health issue when unresolved, affecting daily life for many as well as posing health risks. Discuss your concerns during a visit with Dr. Sowell in his Plano dental office and restore your health with a better night’s sleep!
Posted in: snoring and sleep apnea
Dallas cosmetic dentist Dr. Mark Sowell offers a complimentary consultation for patients considering a cosmetic treatment or smile makeover. During the consultation, Dr. Sowell will perform an esthetic exam, including taking photos of your smile as a basis for discussion and a chance to look closely at any cosmetic concerns you may have. This is an opportunity to meet Dr. Sowell and his staff and ask questions about treatment and possible outcomes.
Dr. Sowell is one of very few dentists in the U.S. who has achieved both Master status in the AGD and is also an Accredited Member of the AACD. His dedication to excellence in the field of dentistry and to continuing education enable him to offer patients the latest in treatment and techniques, using modern dental technology to provide optimal results.
Dr. Sowell will take the time to learn about your personal desires and goals when it comes to your dental health, as well as understand your overall physical health so that he can make informed recommendations for your treatment. Dr. Sowell will explain your options during a consultation and you will leave with a better understanding of how best to achieve the smile you want!
Cosmetic dentistry is an important part of overall oral health for many patients and can also serve to support long term dental health by strengthening teeth and maintaining balance in the bite. Dr. Sowell will work to ensure that any procedures recommended will meet both cosmetic and oral health goals. For results to be comfortable and long lasting, dentistry needs to address both issues at the same time!
Posted in: cosmetic dentist dallas, cosmetic dentistry, damaged teeth dallas, smile design, smile makeover dallas
With statistics showing that over 75% of adults have some stage of gum disease, it is not unusual for Dr. Sowell to spot it during a routine dental exam even if the patient does not have noticeable symptoms.
Gum disease is not only one of the most common dental health problems, it is often the underlying cause of many other dental problems, including tooth loss. Gum disease can develop quickly and easily, especially as a result of the modern American diet which is typically high in added sugar. Dr. Sowell emphasizes the need for both routine preventive care AND a good at home oral hygiene routine as part of maintaining oral health and reducing the incidence of gum disease and tooth decay.
Gum health is a critical part of dental health
Dr. Sowell focuses on periodontal care and the treatment of gum disease as part of patient care- restoring and maintaining gum health is paramount to both dental health and long term overall health.
In his Plano dental practice, Dr. Sowell offers a wide variety of periodontal treatments and uses some of the latest dental technologies to provide effective results. Dr. Sowell offers laser dentistry for accurate treatment with less pain, bleeding and down time. In complex cases where gum disease has advanced, he may take a multi-faceted approach and also incorporate the use of antibiotics to successfully combat gum disease and restore oral health.
If you have any symptoms of gum disease or concerns about your oral health, schedule a consultation to ensure that your smile is healthy for the long run.
Posted in: adult dental care dallas, cosmetic dentist plano, cosmetic dentistry, gum treatment, laser dentistry, periodontal therapy dallas, Uncategorized
If you or your child plays a contact sport, the teeth are at risk of being injured or knocked out without the use of a mouth guard.
Plano family dentist Dr. Sowell practices sports dentistry and offers patients the best possible protection for their teeth with a PlaySafe custom fit mouth guard. Far superior to options available at local sports stores, this product is recommended by dentists and fabricated from dental materials to offer the best cushioning and impact resistance.
Teeth don’t grow back!
Dr. Sowell will fit you or your child for a PlaySafe mouth guard in his Plano dental office- enjoy being active while protecting your teeth and gums from injury!
Posted in: dallas family dentist, plano dentist, playsafe mouth guard, Sports Dentistry, Uncategorized
Some accidents are unavoidable. It’s knowing what to do when you have one that can make the difference between saving and losing a tooth. This June, Plano dentist Dr. Mark Sowell is recognizing National Safety Month with tips to help patients avoid mouth injuries and advice on what to do if you do have a dental emergency.
Many dental accidents and mouth injuries can be handled by Dr. Sowell in our Plano dentist office. Dr. Sowell reserves time in his daily schedule for treating dental emergencies.
“In many cases, a dental emergency can seem worse than it is. The mouth is a very sensitive area of the body, it bleeds very easily, and a mouth trauma can cause a lot of stress and anxiety. We advise patients to remain calm, call or office and explain in as much detail as possible the extent of the injury. Our staff can provide instructions over the phone and schedule your visit, which can usually take place on the same day,” said Dr. Mark Sowell, a dentist in Plano, Texas who has more than 25 years of experience in advanced restorative and cosmetic dentistry.
If the injury is a serious emergency or the office is closed, said the dentist, you should visit the local emergency room.
In children, many dental emergencies occur as a result of sports injuries. One way parents can avoid knocked out or broken teeth is by having their child wear a custom sports mouth guard. Dr. Sowell practices sports dentistry and said a sports guard from the dentist is far superior to the ones that can be bought in a sports store. One of the reasons is because they are made to fit snugly over the child’s teeth, making them more comfortable and therefore, more likely to be worn.
The PlaySafe mouth guards that Dr. Sowell offers in his Dallas area dental office are built by layering various density materials. A soft, protective layer cushions the teeth, while the hard exterior layer absorbs impact forces.
If you do find yourself in a situation where you have a knocked out tooth, Dr. Sowell said time is of the essence.
“For a knocked out tooth, it is important to try and get to a dentist right away.” Dr. Sowell further advised, “Always hold the tooth by the crown, that’s the part that you see when you smile, and avoid touching the root. You can rinse it with water if it’s dirty, but don’t remove any pieces of tissue that may still be attached.”
When possible, Dr. Sowell suggests patients try to put the tooth back in the socket, remembering not to touch the root. Otherwise, he said the tooth can be placed between the cheek and gum or in milk, until you reach the dentist office. Keeping the tooth moist is very important.
If you have a broken tooth, Dr. Sowell said to clean the tooth and contact the dentist office right away. In some cases the tooth can be repaired using dental bonding, which is a tooth colored resin. In other cases, a porcelain veneer or tooth crown may be used to repair the broken tooth.
As a Master of the Academy of General Dentistry, Dr. Sowell has a high level of training and experience. He can provide dental care beyond the basics and restore your teeth to their optimal health and function. Should the tooth need to be repaired or replaced, Dr. Sowell can offer a wide range of services including dental implants.
The best way to handle a dental emergency is to avoid it. Schedule a visit with Plano dentist Dr. Mark Sowell to talk about custom sports mouth guards and have your teeth examined for potential problems.
Posted in: cosmetic dentist plano, cosmetic dentistry, plano dentist, Sports Dentistry
Crooked, damaged and chipped teeth can be straightened, repaired and restored quickly with tooth bonding. Dr. Mark Sowell, a top Dallas cosmetic dentist, offers a variety of tooth bonding procedures to correct your dental problems and give you the smile you desire.
Tooth bonding can serve as an economical transition to a more permanent solution, such as porcelain veneers. Tooth bonding is not permanent and can be removed if necessary or so desired for additional cosmetic treatment.
This short video shows how tooth bonding is not only effective, but a relatively painless and easy procedure that can provide excellent results. Dr. Sowell is an experienced cosmetic dentist who can offer tooth bonding results that look and feel natural, blending with your adjacent natural teeth and providing a comfortable smile.
Tooth bonding, both transitional and direct, typically lasts about 10 years when the teeth are cared for with routine preventive visits with Dr. Sowell and good oral hygiene at home.
Posted in: cosmetic dentist dallas, instant smile makeover, plano dentist, teeth whitening dallas, tooth bonding, Uncategorized