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Gum Disease Not Only Means Losing Teeth | Nov,Dec 2022

Gum Disease Not Only Means Losing Teeth/ Nov-Dec 2022

Infected gums have a direct entry point to your bloodstream. Chronic infection also increases the inflammatory burden on your body. Studies have traced pathogens that lead to gum disease to the same pathogens known to cause other systemic inflammation and illness.

Gum disease (periodontitis) is a source of chronic inflammation that continually stresses your immune system. The more sources of inflammation you have, the greater risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, respiratory disease, inflammatory driven dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, colorectal cancer, pre-term births, and low birth-weight babies.

We now offer treatment for this chronic inflammation with the use of the Perio Protect Method, utilizing a custom fitted and non-invasive Perio Tray with a customized sealing system that delivers medication deep into periodontal pockets where toothbrushes, rinses, and floss fail to reach.

These customized trays end the cycle of disease by extending treatment from the dental chair to the comfort of home. We have seen excellent results in the office and urge you to ask us about it. (Above information is courtesy of perioprotect.com).

Reasons You May Have A Dry Mouth | July 2022

Reasons You May Have A Dry Mouth/July 2022


We all know drinking enough water is good for our health. And when you’re feeling parched, there’s nothing better than a tall drink of ice-cold water to dampen that dry mouth of yours. 

But what do you do when you find yourself constantly needing to wet your whistle? 

There are numerous reasons you could be suffering from dry mouth. Below are the top five.

·      Physiologic 

Sometimes having a dry mouth is just a normal part of life. Temporary anxiety, open-mouthed breathing, mild dehydration, menopause, pregnancy, and decreased saliva due to sleep are all normal causes of dry mouth.  However, if you consistently notice yourself doing open mouth breathing or having problems with snoring during sleep, you may have an airway problem. 

·      Prescription medication 

Sixty-three percent of the top 200 most commonly prescribed drugs in the U.S. are known to cause dry mouth. And the higher the number of medications a person takes, the higher the chance of dry mouth.

As we age, we tend to experience more instances of dry mouth. It’s not necessarily age-related, but our consumption of medication may cause this side effect.

·      Habitual use of alcohol and tobacco 

Use of any of these products will dry out the oral cavity. 

Please drink in moderation, and make sure to up your water intake when you imbibe. As for tobacco, we always recommend quitting as soon as possible.

·      Chronic Disease 

Diabetes, Sjogren’s disease, Sarcoidosis, and Hepatitis C can all cause dry mouth. 

·      Psychogenic or Idiopathic 

When symptoms are present without an identifiable cause (idiopathic), or because of psycho-logical causes (psychogenic), they can be difficult to diagnose. 

If you find yourself with a persistent, unidentifiable case of dry mouth, you should make an appointment.  Call us @ 608-216-2614

Figuring out which one is causing your dry mouth is so important because a dry mouth has a big effect on your dental health. Saliva is so important for swishing away bacteria. There are now a number of products available over the counter that can be used to counter the problems of dry mouth.  We also can recommend professional products for more severe cases.  It also may be necessary to come more frequently for professional teeth cleanings as the natural saliva flow which is so necessary for washing away biofilm decreases.

The dryer your mouth is , the more prone you are to cavities, bad breath, and gingivitis. 

What is a CBCT Scan | May & June 2022

What is a CBCT Scan? /May, June 2022


    Our patients here at Madsen & Hirsch Dental Care know that we are constantly receiving continuing education and keeping with all the latest that dentistry has to offer.  We have recently installed a CBCT machine to add in diagnosis and treatment planning.

     CBCT or Cone Beam Computed Tomography is a recent development in dentistry that allows dentists to evaluate the underlying bone structure, as well as the nerve pathways and surrounding soft tissues.  Benefits of a CBCT image is that it provides accurate measurements including the shape and dimensions of your jaw.  This is extremely important in developing a treatment plan for dental implants. The image allows for accurate location of the maxillary sinus and helps with selection of the right size and length of the implant for optimal stability, safety, and integration.   However, the CBCT image is also useful for detecting hidden lesions of the jaw o that otherwise would not be detected, or identifying the precise location of an infection in your tooth.  We are also able to see images of the temporomandibular joint and airway passages which aid in diagnosis of joint pain and sleep disorders.

    During a CBCT scan, the machine rotates around your head in less than a minute, capturing about 150-200 images from a variety of angles and then compiled into a single 3D image. The scans are quick and easy and safe, producing significantly less radiation that a traditional CT scanner.

     The machine is also capable of 2D x-rays such as panoramic x-rays and extra-oral bitewing x-rays, which are helpful for people with severe gag reflexes or have bony tori in the mouth that make traditional x-rays uncomfortable.

     You will most likely need a CBCT image taken if you are considering dental implants.  A single scan can show potential dental issues such as tooth decay, bone loss, fractures, periodontal disease, and irregularities of the of the joints, are problems with existing teeth.  These are all important issues in designing your treatment plan.  

Tips For A Younger Looking Smile | April 2022

THERE ARE COUNTLESS methods we use to try and turn back the clock on our appearance. Whether it’s hip wardrobes and hairstyles or costly cosmetic surgeries, people go to great lengths to recapture the look and feeling of their youth.       

Despite all of these anti-aging fads and gimmicks, studies show your smile can do more to make you look younger than anything else!

Now is the time to do a makeover on your smile, before the holidays and spring weddings.  
Good Oral Hygiene Keeps Your Smile Looking Younger, Longer
The simplest thing you can do to keep Father Time at bay is to practice good oral hygiene habits. Brushing twice a day and flossing regularly promotes healthy teeth and gums and keeps your smile looking and feeling clean. If we ignore these simple habits, we put our smiles at risk of harmful bacteria which can lead to unsightly effects such as:
Tooth discoloration or tooth loss,
And periodontal disease.
Maintaining good oral health throughout your life doesn’t just preserve the appearance of your smile, but it can preserve your overall health too. Bleeding gums caused by periodontal disease can allow bacteria from your mouth to enter your bloodstream and affect other parts of the body. Research suggests gum disease can increase our risk for serious health problems, including…
Endocarditis and cardiovascular disease
Alzheimer’s Disease
Brighten Your Smile With Professional Tooth Whitening
Even when you take good care of your teeth, over time they naturally yellow. Micro-fractures, thinning enamel, and built-up stains all make your teeth look duller and older. But, that can be changed with tooth whitening!
There are several tooth whitening solutions, each with their own unique benefits. From over the counter whitening strips to in-office whitening treatments, we can help you decide which whitening solution is best for your smile.
Cosmetic Dentistry Can Give You The Look You Want
Whether you need just few touch-ups or would like an amazing dental makeover, cosmetic dentistry can provide exactly the look you want. Cosmetic dentistry has both therapeutic and aesthetic benefits. Treatment can repair your teeth and correct your bite, and at the same time give you the gorgeous smile you’ve always wanted!  
Be Confident In Your Smile
One of the best ways to appear more youthful is to smile more! This can start a wonderful cycle too! Smiling more can actually make you happier, and make you want to smile more.
We love our patients and love seeing your bright shining smiles each day. If you have any questions about how we can give you a healthier, more beautiful smile, give us a call and set an appointment to visit our practice or let us know in the comments below!
Thank you for brightening our day.

In Honor of National Dentists Day | March 2022

We deeply appreciate our patients and do our best to provide you with the latest innovations in dentistry that are available to handle your dental needs.  As many of you who have been with us over the years know, we regularly attend continuing education seminars and conventions to continue our commitment to provide the best, most comfortable care that results in dental health that last a lifetime.
     For those patients not so familiar with this commitment, here is a brief summary of our backgrounds and love for continuing education.  Dr. Madsen is a Fellow with the Misch Implant Institute and has been one of the first dentists in Madison to place dental implants and do bone grafting procedures.  He has continued to follow and take courses related to dental implants and is well read in current techniques and trends.
      Every other year, he has attended the world renowned Rjamford Symposium at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry. Implantologists and Periodontists from around the world attend this symposium where the latest peer reviewed science is presented.  He is also a faculty member of the Spear Institute headquartered in Phoenix where courses are offered in all ranges of dentistry from Preventive dentistry to Restorative dentistry, Implants, and Dentures.  Dr. Madsen has also studied and become certified to provide Botox and Xeomin injections for facial and joint pain.
     Dr. Hirsch is a Fellow with the Academy of General Dentistry, and a certified provider of Invisalign and Sure Smile aligners.  Dr. Hirsch has also previously been a part time faculty member at Marquette University School of Dentistry and the Madison College Dental Hygiene program.  In recent years, Dr. Hirsch has become study club leader for our Spear Institute club.  Both Dr. Madsen and Dr. Hirsch meet monthly with other community like-minded dentists to discuss different dental techniques and how to provide the best that dentistry has to offer to our respective patients.
     We just recently attended the Chicago Midwinter Dental Convention after a year’s hiatus (due to Covid).  It is at this convention two years ago that we recognized the importance of air filters for our office with the threat of the oncoming pandemic and decided to make that investment.   Continuing education is not only about the dentistry, but also about investing in products and equipment that promote the safety and comfort of our patients.  So in honor of National Dentists Day this month in March, we recommit to offer you, our patients the best that modern dentistry has to offer.

Understanding the Five Stages of Tooth Decay | February 2022

Did you know there are five distinct stages of tooth decay? And, that in the first stage of decay, you can actually take steps to reverse the progression of the disease? Indeed, it’s true. In the first stage of decay, whether you’re a child or an adult, the application of fluoride via fluoride treatments, your toothpaste and even the local water supply can stop a cavity from penetrating through the enamel and reaching its second stage. Even the saliva in your mouth and the foods you eat help to re-mineralize a tooth in jeopardy. But that’s just the first stage! What about the rest? Understanding how a cavity progresses can assist you in preventing each successive stage from occurring in your own mouth and in your child’s mouth.

Stage One: White Spots

 In stage one, the tooth begins to show signs of strain from the attack of sugars and acids, and white spots will begin to materialize just below the surface of the enamel. These white spots are representative of the demineralization of the tooth and can be easy to miss because they’re likely to occur on your back molars. A dental exam, of course, is designed to catch such cavities! Can you see why regular visits to the dentist are recommended? As mentioned previously, at this stage, the cavity can be repaired without the need to excavate the tooth.  The dentist and the hygienist are trained to spot these areas and will notify and educate you about how to prevent the weak spot from progressing.

Stage Two: Enamel Decay

 Stage two marks the beginning of the end for the surface enamel that is being attacked. Initially, the tooth erodes from the underside outward, so the outer enamel will still be intact for the first half of this second stage. Once the cavity breaks through the surface of the enamel, there is no turning back, and you will need to have the cavity corrected with a filling. This is why it is critical to have regular exams.  When the tooth is at this stage you still may not notice the break in enamel.  The filling will be small at this point if detected early.

Stage Three: Dentin Decay

If a cavity in your mouth were to progress beyond stage two without you knowing, you’d tend become aware of it when it started to hit stage three because it would probably start to cause some pain. At this level, the cavity begins to eat away at the second level of tooth material that lies beneath the enamel: the dentin. A filling can still be used to stop the onslaught of bacteria assaulting the tooth in order to prevent the cavity from reaching the tooth’s most critical component: the pulp.

Stage Four: Involvement of the Pulp

Once the cavity reaches the pulp, it’s going to hurt- A lot.  Or, the tooth may be so weakened, it fractures or breaks. So if you’ve unfortunately missed all the signs to this point, instead of a small filling or a reversible spot, your tooth may become an emergency situation for you. Stage four is serious, and a root canal is the only option of treatment at this stage, save for a complete extraction.  Fortunately, due to advances in dentistry, both of these procedures can be done comfortably for you, but at a much greater expense than preventive measures.

Stage Five: Abscess Formation

In the fifth and final stage of a cavity, the infection has reached the tip of the root and exited the tip of the tooth’s structure. This in turn infects the surrounding tissues and possibly the bone structure. Swelling would be commonplace and pain severe.  An abscess can be fatal if not dealt with immediately. Root canal or extraction would be the order of the day should decay reach this stage. You need to call the office right away if this happens so you can be evaluated and most likely prescribed antibiotics.

As you can see, cavities don’t happen overnight. In the early stages, regular visits can stall and reverse the progression of these dastardly little devils, so it really does pay to visit the dentist at pre-selected intervals. You and your children can stay away from stage five their whole lives, and if a little bit of prodding to get them to the dentist accomplishes that, you can rest easy despite the griping.  And don’t think cavities are just for kids.  Older adults often end up with recurrent decay around old fillings or crowns due to inadequate oral hygiene, dry mouth due to medications, or other health factors. So remember the old adage you have often heard:  Prevention is the Best Medicine.

How To Quickly Treat Cold Sores | January 2022

Got a Cold Sore?  Here’s How to Treat It Quickly
Ugh. A cold sore appears a couple days before a party where you’ll be photographed as much as the Royal Couple. That smile that we’ve been working on together just went from hero to zero, right?
Not necessarily. Finding which cold sore treatment works best for you can help speed along its healing. And that’s why we’re here.
Maybe It Isn’t a Cold Sore, Right? Let’s clear the air about what a cold sore is and isn’t.
Cold sores are highly contagious blisters that usually appear on your lips or around your mouth. Caused by a virus (herpes simplex type 1), cold sores usually start with a tingling sensation, evolve into numerous tiny, painful blisters, and later crust over.
Canker sores or what we call “Apthous ulcers” on the other hand, aren’t contagious, but they still sting. Unlike cold sores, they usually appear as flat white oval lesions inside your mouth, especially near or on your gums, tongue, throat or inside your cheeks.
Remedies for Cold Sores
The key to treating a cold sore is acting fast. As soon as the first symptom appears, consider these steps to move the healing process along quickly:
• Apply Ice to the Cold Sore
At the first sign, grab an ice cube, wrap it in a paper towel, place it where you feel the cold sore coming on, and let it melt. Back-to-back applications can reduce the pain.
You can boost your immune system’s fight against this viral nuisance with the right foods. Fill your plate with cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli, kale, and cauliflower, and avoid foods with arginine, a cold-sore-triggering amino acid found in nuts, chocolate, and oats.
• Dial Down the Stress
One of the most common causes of cold sores is, surprise, surprise, stress. Minimizing stress these days can get so complicated that it causes more stress, right? But try giving yourself some time for the restorative, restful activities that drop your heart rate and raise your smile.
• Reach for Aloe Vera or Even an Over-The-Counter Cream
Both natural and medicinal creams have shown promise as cold sore remedies. Some studies suggest that aloe vera can help the fever blister heal, and over-the-counter creams, like docosanol, also tout their ability to knock the sore out of cold sores. Prefer the medicinal route? Check with your healthcare provider or pharmacist before using it.
• Relieve Pain with Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen
Some cold sores can get really painful. For those intense ones, acetaminophen or ibuprofen may provide well-needed relief. Just be sure that your healthcare provider’s on-board with that type of over-the-counter med.

Erosion: What You Eat and Drink Can Affect your Teeth/ Nov, Dec. 2021

Think that only sweet-tasting drinks and snacks are harmful for your teeth? Think again. 

Sugar isn’t the only dietary factor that can damage your smile. Now that we are entering the Holiday Season, it’s a good time to think of what we are eating and drinking.   Foods and beverages that are high in acids wear away the enamel that protects your teeth, a process known as tooth erosion. This changes the appearance of your teeth and opens the door for bacteria that can cause cavities or infection.


What Does Tooth Erosion Do to My Teeth?

Tooth erosion is permanent. If your enamel has started to wear away, you may:

  • Feel pain or sensitivity when consuming hot, cold or sweet drinks
  • Notice a yellowish discoloration of the teeth
  • Find that your fillings have changed
  • Face greater risks for more cavities over time
  • Develop an abscess, in very extreme cases 
  • Experience tooth loss, also in very extreme cases

Once erosion occurs, you may need fillings, crowns, a root canal or even tooth removal. Veneers may also be an option to restore the look of your smile.


Acidic Foods and Beverages to Watch For

Here’s a quick tip: If what you’re eating or drinking is citrus or citrus-flavored, carbonated or sour, it’s best to limit how much you consume. 

Nutritious, acidic foods like tomatoes and citrus fruits can have some acidic effects on tooth enamel, so eat them as part of a meal, not by themselves. Dried fruits, including raisins, can also cause problems because they are sticky and adhere to teeth, so the acids produced by cavity-causing bacteria continue to harm teeth long after you stop eating them. 

Still, the major erosion culprit is soft drinks, especially soda and sports drinks. Even if they are sugar-free, they are more likely to be acidic thanks to carbonation. That bubbly fizz raises the acid level of any drink, regardless of its flavor. 

Acid in beverages can also come from citrus flavorings such as lemon, lime and orange. Even all-natural beverages like orange juice or fresh-squeezed lemonade are higher in acid than regular water, so make them an occasional treat instead of a daily habit. 

And speaking of treats, some sour candies are almost as acidic as battery acid, and many use citric acids to get that desired effect. If you like a little sour with your sweet tooth, please pucker in moderation.


Tips for Protecting Your Teeth

You can reduce tooth erosion from what you eat and drink by following these tips:

  • Wait an hour before you brush after eating acidic foods to give your saliva a chance to naturally wash away acids and re-harden your enamel.
  • Limit – or avoid – acidic beverages like soft drinks. If you do indulge, use a straw. 
  • When drinking something like a soft drink, do not swish or hold it in your mouth longer than you need to. Just sip and swallow. 
  • After acidic meals or beverages, rinse your mouth with water, drink milk or enjoy a snack of cheese right afterward. Dairy and other calcium-rich foods can help neutralize acids. 
  • Saliva helps keep acids under control. To keep your saliva flowing and protecting your teeth, chew sugarless gum with the ADA Seal of Acceptance. 
  • Look for dental health products with the ADA Seal of Acceptance. This means the product is safe and effective, and some have been awarded the ADA Seal specifically because they help prevent and reduce enamel erosion from dietary acids.
  • Talk to your dentist. Your dentist can explain the effects of nutritional choices on your teeth, including the various foods and beverages to choose and which ones to avoid. Knowing all you can about the effects of what you eat and drink on your teeth can help keep your smile bright over a lifetime.

How Your Medications Can Affect Your Oral Health | October 2021

need to take medications to treat a wide variety of conditions. However, even as those medications treat our illnesses, they could be causing problems for our teeth and gums.
Medicine And Oral Chemistry
Some medications—even some vitamins—can damage our teeth for the brief period that they’re in our mouths. This can pose a particular problem for children. As adults, we swallow most of our medicines. Children’s medicine tends to come in the form of sugary syrups and multivitamins, which feed oral bacteria and leads to tooth decay.
Inhalers for asthma can also cause problems, specifically oral thrush, which is white patches of fungus in the mouth that can be irritating or painful. The best way to avoid this complication of using an inhaler is for you or your child to rinse with water after each use, and the same goes for sugary cough syrups and chewable multivitamins.
Side-Effects For Your Mouth
Plenty of other medications, though they don’t do any damage while you’re ingesting them, can be harmful to your mouth in the long term because of the side-effects. Let’s take a look at some of the more common side-effects.
Inflammation And Excessive Bleeding
If you notice your gums becoming tender and swollen shortly after you start on a new medication, you should talk to a medical professional about it. Several medications can cause gingival overgrowth(or excessive growth of the gums), which puts you at increased risk of gum disease.
To learn more about the risks of gum disease, watch the video below:
Altered Taste
Some medications, such as cardiovascular agents, central nervous system stimulants, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and smoking-cessation products can leave you with a bitter or metallic taste in your mouth, or even interfere with your overall sense of taste. This isn’t necessarily a serious side-effect, but it can be unpleasant, especially for food-lovers.
Dry Mouth
The most common mouth-related side-effect of medications is dry mouth. A wide range of medications, including antihistamines, decongestants, painkillers, high blood pressure medications, muscle relaxants, drugs for urinary incontinence, Parkinson’s disease medications, and antidepressants can all cause it.
Aside from feeling uncomfortable, dry mouth is very dangerous to oral health. Saliva is the mouth’s first line of defense. It contains compounds that remineralize your teeth, neutralize acids, and keep bacteria in check. Without enough saliva, that bacteria runs rampant and there’s nothing to neutralize the acid or add minerals back into your tooth enamel. From there, you can develop mouth sores, gum disease, and tooth decay.
Taking Medications? Let Us Know!
The best thing you can do to ensure your medications aren’t clashing with your oral health is to tell your dentist about your prescriptions and any over-the-counter medications you’re taking. From there, we can formulate a plan for how to counteract the medications’ effects.
At our practice, we’re rooting for your oral—and overall—health!
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.