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Toothache!! Now What! | September 2017

Madsen and Hirsch | Dental Anxiety Blog | September 2017 BlogYou’re at work, out of town, or just enjoying your weekend, and then you start feeling that low grade throbbing coming from your mouth. Or maybe you wince at that sharp pain coming from your tooth when you drink your coffee or enjoy a cold drink. You might bite into something and suddenly feel that piece of tooth that broke off, and then feel the pain.  Worst case scenario is when your face starts to puff up and you feel feverish, and then you know you are in trouble.

In all these cases, the best thing you can do is contact the dentist immediately. The dentist can determine whether you need to be seen right away or if your situation can be managed with antibiotics and over the counter pain relievers until you can get in to the office. What you should not do is ignore the situation because in most cases this will lead to more extensive treatment or the loss of your tooth.

Here at Madsen & Hirsch Dental Care, our goal is to encourage preventive dental care so situations like this can be avoided. With regular check-ups and having treatment done early, it becomes a lot easier to avoid painful and unexpected emergencies. Sometimes people avoid the dentist because they are fearful or anxious. If this is you, we are happy to work with you at your pace to make you comfortable, and have the availability of “sedation dentistry” to make you feel relaxed and secure while you have your needed dental work completed. 

Sometimes people avoid the dentist because it “costs too much.” Dentistry can become expensive when it becomes an emergency situation. Regular checkups and maintenance of your oral health can actually be quite cost effective when done preventively. Many recent studies have proven that there is a link between your general health and the health of your teeth, so good dental care is a great investment. Here at Madsen & Hirsch Dental Care, we will work with you to find the most affordable option for your situation.

So you have determined that you do have a dental emergency and you can’t get a hold of the dentist. Maybe you are out of town or just unable to contact the dentist. What do you do?

• Keep the area as clean as possible. Use a room temperature or slightly warm rinse to rinse away food debris.

• If the tooth has broken and sensitive, you can use a product from a drugstore for a temporary filling but make sure the tooth is clean before using this.

• Rinse with a solution of 1 Tablespoon of salt with warm or hot water especially if there is any sign of swelling.

• Soaking a cotton ball or cotton swab (Q-Tip) in any of these extracts (vanilla, almond, peppermint, or lemon) will provide temporary pain relief to an aching tooth or mouth. Simply hold the extract-soaked cotton to the pained area for a short period of time.

• Holding a warm tea bag to the area for short periods of time may also provide some relief.

• Clove oil on a cotton swab or use of raw cloves are also effective home remedies for a toothache if applied properly. All you need to do is to take a few cloves and keep them in your mouth for some time such that it gets moistened and releases the oil upon bruising by your non-paining molars. Once it is done, all you need to do is to hold the moistened cloves against your painful or sore tooth for at least half an hour. You will then get relief.

These measures are all meant to be very temporary remedies until you can get to the dentist as soon as possible. 

The content on this article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions


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Overcoming Dental Anxiety | August 2017

Madsen and Hirsch | Dental Anxiety Blog | August 2017 BlogMANY OF US, even though we know that going to the dentist is a safe, normal, and important part of life, don’t find it particularly fun to lie flat on our backs while someone pokes around our teeth and gums. For some, though, the very thought of visiting the dentist fills them with anxiety, and it could even be a full-blown phobia. That’s why we’d like to put our focus on helping our patients overcome their dental anxieties and fears.

Dental Anxiety Stats

Fear of going to the dentist is fairly common, with an estimated nine to 15 percent of Americans completely avoiding visiting the dentist because of anxiety and fear. That means up to 40 million Americans are taking a serious gamble with their dental health. Putting off a basic twice-a-year cleaning out of fear leaves patients much more susceptible to tooth decay and painful infection. It’s always better to view dental care as preventative, not just reactive.

Your Friendly Neighborhood Dentist

If you’re worried about going to the dentist, that might be because history and pop culture have given you the wrong idea. Before WWII made anesthetics the norm, dental procedures were uncomfortable, to say the least, but the field has come a long way since then. Modern dental offices maintain a high standard of comfort and care for patients.  We have a multitude of options to offer to make you feel at ease, so that you can have your dental needs addressed while they are simple and easy to fix, rather than waiting to treatment becomes more complicated and expensive.

Advice For Overcoming Dental Anxiety

If you or a family member or friend experiences dental anxiety, make sure to tell us.  Your first visit to the office can be meeting the doctors and having your questions answered without sitting in a dental chair.  This way you can take in the sights and sounds of the office and meet our wonderful and caring staff without having to have dental work done that day.  We can discuss the use of oral conscious sedation techniques which allow you to be relaxed during your dental procedure. Here at Madsen & Hirsch Dental Care, we work hard and take the time to make you comfortable and anxiety free. 


We Will Work With You!

Your care and comfort are our top priorities. If you or someone in your family struggles with dental anxiety and it’s interfering with getting needed dental care, we’d love to schedule a time for you to come to our practice so that you can get used to the facility and get to know our team. We can answer any questions you may have.
We hope to see you soon!

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.


The Daily Grind Of Bruxism | July 2017

Madsen and Hirsch | Bruxism Blog | July 2017 BlogMOST PEOPLE GRIND OR CLENCH their teeth briefly when annoyed or in a tense situation. That level of teeth-grinding isn’t really something to worry about. It’s when you do it far more frequently, often without even realizing it (you might even do it in your sleep!), that it can potentially become a serious problem. The medical term for this kind of teeth-grinding is bruxism.

Bruxism: What and Why

Sleep bruxism (or nocturnal bruxism) can happen as a side-effect of snoring and sleep apnea, and awake bruxism (or diurnal bruxism) can happen as a side-effect of stress in your daily life. However, not everyone with a sleep disorder or a stressful life has bruxism, and not everyone with bruxism has a sleep disorder or a ton of stress. Another possible cause is improperly aligned teeth.

Because there isn’t one clear cause, treatment can sometimes be tricky, and the focus is often on the symptoms and minimizing the damage more than curing the underlying condition. Even if you aren’t aware that you’re grinding your teeth, any of the following symptoms could point to bruxism:

  • Sore jaw (with sleep bruxism, your jaw will be most sore when you wake up, whereas with awake bruxism, it’ll be most sore before you go to bed)
  • Frequent headaches from all the strain
  • Hypertrophy in your jaw muscles (because you’re giving them quite the workout!)
  • Shifting teeth
  • Flattened chewing surfaces of teeth
  • Exposed dentin and increased tooth sensitivity
  • Chipped/cracked/split teeth
  • Tooth loss

Your Next Steps
Depending on which type of bruxism you have, there are a variety of treatments or approaches to either reduce the grinding or the damage it causes.

Behavioral Therapy

With behavioral therapy or habit-reversal techniques, you can become more aware of your clenching/grinding habits and consciously work to stop. This one works better when you have awake bruxism than sleep bruxism, because it’s obviously much harder to control your jaw muscles in your sleep.


Particularly for stress-related bruxism, relaxation techniques such as yoga, deep breathing exercises, massages, warm baths, calming music, and a full night’s sleep can help you de-stress and stop grinding.

Wearing A Bruxism Appliance

A bruxism appliance or splint serves as a pillow between your upper and lower teeth. It won’t stop the grinding, but it protects your teeth from damage and can also help relax muscles. We make these in the dental office.


Muscle relaxant medication might help you unclench while you sleep. However, medicine is rarely used to treat bruxism, especially if other treatments are helping.

Botulinum Toxin (Botox or Xeomin)

Botox or Xeomin injected into the Masseter Muscles (large jaw muscles in your cheeks) have been shown to be of remarkable help in decreasing bruxism by weakening the muscle forces used in clenching and grinding.  The safe and painless injections also help in reducing the hypertrophy of the muscles resulting in a softer and less square jawed appearance.  Many patients have also experienced relief from headaches with added help of injections into the Temporalis Muscles on the sides of the forehead.

Check out this video for more information and a few other ideas on how to combat bruxism or minimize the damage:



We Can Help!

If you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms, it may be due to bruxism and you should schedule an appointment so we can make a plan for how to address it. You don’t want to leave it untreated until it gets to the point where it’s damaging your teeth.

We love our patients!

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.


See What Invisalign® Can Do For Your Smile | June 2017

Madsen and Hirsch | Invisalign Blog | June 2017 BlogIF YOU WANTED TO STRAIGHTEN your teeth back in the day, you really only had one option–traditional metal braces. Nowadays, our patients have a variety of different options when it comes to how they would like to have their teeth straightened and what is most convenient for them. At our office, we offer Invisalign®! 

Invisalign Treatment Provides Many Benefits

Not everyone is a good candidate for Invisalign, but if you are, it may be a great option to achieve your dream smile!

allowing you to go throughout your daily activities with most people being unaware that you are undergoing orthodontic treatment! The aligners are custom-made for you, ensuring a perfect, comfortable fit.

Of course one of the best perks of choosing Invisalign is being able to eat whatever you want! Because you can take your aligners off while eating and drinking, you don’t have to worry about staying away from the foods that you love. Invisalign trays also don’t affect your oral hygiene routine like traditional braces do. You can brush and floss as you normally would!

You also won’t have to worry about getting used to metal brackets that may cut into your cheeks and lips at the beginning of treatment or during sporting events. With Invisalign, you don’t have to sacrifice comfort to get the smile you’ve always wanted.

As an Invisalign patient, you’ll generally have less office visits than those with traditional braces. So if you have a busy schedule but still want to improve your smile, Invisalign might be just the thing for you!

Dr. Hirsch has also recently been certified as a MTM Aligner Therapy Provider.  MTM Aligners are an affordable alternative to Invisalign for minor tooth movements. 

Talk To Us About Invisalign

We want your treatment to reflect your unique smile, lifestyle and personality. Call us today to discuss any questions you might have about Invisalign or make an appointment for a FREE consultation.

You can also download my FREE REPORT:  Why Invisalign Is Right For You. 


Click Here to download your report.


At our practice, we believe your SMILE deserves the very best.  

Thank you for choosing our practice. We absolutely love our patients!

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.


Seasonal Allergies? They Can Affect Your-Dental Health! | May 2017

Dental Blog | Dr Madsen & Dr. Hirsch | Madison WI DentistsSPRING IS ON THE HORIZON and we couldn’t be more excited! Chirping birds, blooming flowers, and warmer weather are just a few of the things we look forward to when spring comes around. We have to admit though, there is one thing about the season that’s not particularly appealing, and that’s allergies.

Be Aware Of These Dental Side Effects During Allergy Season

Many of you have experienced it, red, itchy and watery eyes and the constant sneezing and congestion. The effects of seasonal allergies can go even further, however, and may even affect your oral health! Here are some mouth-related symptoms to be on the lookout for when seasonal allergies strike.

Tooth Pain

When your body reacts to allergens in the air, you often end up with congested sinuses. Sinus pressure in the maxillary sinuses can sometimes cause the upper molars to ache. Treating your allergies and the congestion should relieve tooth pain. If the pain persists, however, make an appointment with your dentist. It’s important to make sure any aching teeth aren’t the result of tooth decay.

Bad Breath

All that mucus your body is creating can also be bad news for your breath. When you’re congested, mucus from the sinuses leaks into the back of the throat–we call this “post-nasal drip.” Not only can post-nasal drip lead to a sore throat, it can also be the cause of persistent bad breath.

Dry Mouth

Many of you will reach for antihistamines to keep your allergies under control this spring. As helpful as they are, they can often lead to an unpleasant side effect: dry mouth. Saliva is our number one defense against cavity-causing bacteria, so when your mouth is dry, you have a higher risk of developing tooth decay.

Protect Your Mouth This Spring

We want your mouth to stay healthy, even during allergy season. Here are some helpful tips to help you protect your mouth this spring:

  • Continue to practice good oral hygiene. Brush at least twice a day, and floss on a daily basis!
  • Take allergy medication as recommended by your physician, but remember to drink plenty of water to compensate for dry mouth.
  • Try gargling with salt water to help with congestion. Dissolve half a teaspoon of salt in a full glass of warm water and gargle for a few seconds before spitting it out.

To get a more in-depth look at what causes those pesky allergies and what you can do to avoid them, check out the video below!



Don’t Let Allergies Get The Best Of You

We know how difficult spring can be for some of our patients because of allergies. Keep practicing good oral hygiene and call us if you need anything! We’re here to get you through allergy season with a smile on your face.

Thank you for ACHOO-sing our practice! (Gesundheit…)


The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.


Relief is Now Available! | April 2017

I have been a dentist for a long time. My goal has always to find the best treatments for our friends who come in for care. Some problems that people have can be frustrating to treat. My friends who are physicians tell me that some problems need to be maintained, but as a dentist I am used to providing treatments that have definite improvement. 

Madsen and Hirsch | Bruxism Blog | April 2017

One of the problems that people have is “Bruxism”. Bruxism is a term that dentists use to describe clenching and grinding ones teeth. It is estimated that two thirds of people have parafunctional behavior (perhaps it is even higher).  People that have severe cases of bruxism fall in to two categories; people who are in a lot of pain, and people who break everything. An increase in muscle size from exercising the muscles of mastication causes an increase in strength, and the force generated has broken teeth and crowns and even split teeth. People who have orofacial pain have a dis-coordination of muscles that result in a lot of isometric firing of opposing muscles resulting in pain, headaches and increased parafunction.

In the past, our ability to correct these problems was to use splint therapy and adjustment to distribute forces among many teeth. This technique has worked well for mild to moderate cases, but we always had difficulty with someone with severe bruxism. 

Now we have a new technique to help people who suffer from bruxism! I am really excited by the results. We have been using botulinum toxin to reduce the strength of muscles. After injection, the botulinum toxin reduces the ability to contract, eliminating pain and damage and returning the muscles to normal function.    

Sara had been having bite problems that we had been treating with different bite appliances. Despite this treatment, she continued to have orofacial pain and headaches. These expanded to neck and back pain. She was having pain when she worked with patients in her function as our dental hygienist. She was getting very frustrated with the pain.  We completed an orofacial evaluation and placed Xeomin brand botulinum toxin in various muscles. The procedure was done on a Friday. On the following Monday she reported that by Saturday she had already felt improvement in pain and she noticed that she reduced the frequency and force of her clenching. On that same day she noted that it was the third day in a row that she didn’t have a headache (the first time in over a year)! She had no need to take any pain relievers over the weekend. Sara said this Is “life changing”, and her husband Doug is happy as well!

It makes me feel great to have an effective treatment method to change the life of people suffering from a chronic problem, and Sara’s story reinforces it for me. Reading scientific papers and looking for the latest in treatment modalities is a must for today’s dentist but seeing results in real life is immensely satisfying and really exciting!—Dr. Craig Madsen