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Do I need to wear a mouth guard when playing sports?

Wearing a mouth guard while playing sports is highly suggested. A mouth guard reduces the likelihood of losing teeth due to a hit or injury, and can help prevent concussions. Total Care Dental provides custom UnderArmour Performance Mouthwear for patients who want to protect their teeth as they play sports.

What is preventative dentistry?

Preventative dentistry is any dental appointment to check that your teeth are and remain in good health.

What causes periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease is caused by bacteria build up in the mouth. This build up can occur due to poor oral hygiene habits, genetics, systemic diseases, medications, and more. If gingivitis is left untreated, it can quickly progresses into periodontitis, depleting the gums and bones around your teeth, loosening your teeth, and eventually causing them to fall out.

What are the warning signs of oral cancer?

Warning signs of oral cancer include lumps or growths in the soft tissue of your mouth, ear pain, difficulty chewing or swallowing, a feeling of something being caught in your throat, and hoarseness. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, schedule your oral cancer screening today to be on the safe side.

What does flossing do for me?

Using dental floss (dental tape) helps remove interproximal dental plaque. Toothbrushes can rarely clean these areas well enough, and you can develop cavities in these hard-to-reach spaces if flossing is not a part of your daily routine.

Is there a link between oral health and heart disease?

A number of health problems are linked to poor oral health, including heart disease, diabetes, cancer, pregnancy problems and more. When gum disease gets out of control, the bacteria enters your blood stream, leading to health problems you could have avoided with proper oral care.

What causes TMJ disorders?

As of now, there is no scientific evidence as to what causes TMJ disorders. It is commonly believed to be more prevalent in women than in men, but scientists do not know why. They are currently exploring a link between female hormones and TMJ disorders. Total Care Dental offers TMJ therapy to help patients with these disorders.

What is an occlusal guard?

An occlusal guard is a u-shaped piece of plastic, much like a traditional sports mouth guard. They are used to treat bruxism (grinding of the teeth). Occlusal guards are typically made of clear acrylic plastic, and are custom fitted to your mouth by your dentist. Having a dentist fit your occlusal guard to your mouth ensures the guard fits comfortably and doesn’t fall out during the night.

What is CPAP?

CPAP stands for “continuous positive airway pressure.” CPAP treatment is utilized by people with breathing problems like sleep apnea. The CPAP machine has three main parts: mask, tube, and motor. The mask is held on your face by straps. The motor blows air through the tube, into the mask, and into your airways, keeping them open while you sleep. If you are suffering from sleep apnea, contact our Madison dentists to see if a CPAP machine is a good solution for you.

Is oral cancer fatal?

Yes, oral cancer can be fatal if caught in the later stages. Regular checkups can help diagnose oral cancer early and significantly increase your chance of survival.

Are CPAP machines a disturbance for other people trying to sleep in the same room?

Generally, no, CPAP machines are not a disturbance for other people trying to sleep in the same room. They can be a disturbance if the other sleeper has difficulty sleeping without complete silence (ear plugs are an easy solution in these situations). The noise a CPAP machine makes is similar to that of a white-noise machine - it is quiet, rhythmic, and steady. If they can sleep with a white-noise machine, they can most likely sleep with a CPAP machine.

Can I schedule a dentist checkup if I don’t have dental insurance?

Yes, we encourage patients without dental insurance to get regular checkups. We offer financing plans and discounts so all our patients can get affordable dental care no matter their insurance situation.

What is the average age children start losing their baby teeth?

Children begin losing their baby teeth around six or seven years of age. It is important to have already established a good dental care routine by this time, to keep their adult teeth healthy from the start.

How often should I brush my child’s teeth?

At the very least, once per day. If you’re going to brush your child’s teeth only once per day, it is best to brush them at night. Brushing at night removes the plaque, bacteria, and sugar from your child’s teeth that has built up during the day.

How often should my child see a dentist?

Your child should visit their dentist as often as anyone else. If there is a significant issue with your child’s teeth, your dentist may suggest more frequent visits. Listen to your dentist; they know best.

What should I do if my child loses a permanent tooth?

First, make sure your child is otherwise unharmed. Then, find the tooth. If you find it, avoid grabbing the tooth by its root. Put it in a glass of milk, and get to your dentist as soon as possible. We may be able to reinsert the tooth so it does not fall out again. Otherwise, dental implants are just one of many ways we can replace a lost tooth.

What should I bring to my dental appointments?

If you have dental insurance coverage, please bring your plan card or other identification information. Credit cards, cash, or personal checks will also be necessary to pay for your appointment if you are not insured or have treatment not covered by your insurance. Our office will help you determine whether additional payment is necessary.

Do adults need annual dental checkups?

Yes, adult dental care is incredibly important for long-term wellbeing. Many adults think they no longer need to see a dentist regularly after they’ve lost all their baby teeth or had their braces removed. The only time they go to the dentist is when they are in pain, usually a sign of a big problem. It is preventative checkups which can find small oral health problems before they get worse. Our dentists can spot small cavities before they reach the roots. As a result, you’d only need a filling instead of an expensive and invasive root canal.

Do seniors need to visit the dentist more often?

Yes, seniors should go the dentist on a regular basis. As we age, teeth and gums can begin to weaken. This leaves the mouth susceptible to disease. Preventative dentistry checkups lead to early solutions to protect your teeth as you age.

Is teeth grinding normal?

No, grinding your teeth is not normal. Bruxism, a condition of teeth grinding and jaw clenching, can occur when you are awake or asleep. Either version can cause damage to your teeth as the repetitive grinding motion wears down at your teeth. Sometimes grinding is a result of stress; other times it is related to disorders like TMJ. Treatment ranges from stress relief to wearing a mouth guard.

Do dentists treat gum disease?

Yes, our Madison dentists treat patients with various stages of gum disease.

When should I see a dentist if I have tooth pain?

There are a lot of causes of tooth pain. Maybe you took a hard hit to the face during a pickup football game. Maybe you bit into something hard. In these cases the pain typically subsides on its own. If there is no obvious cause of your pain you might be dealing with an abscess or cavity. Since there are so many different sources of tooth discomfort it is important to see a dentist for treatment. Your pain may be a sign of a cracked tooth, exposed root, or underlying gum disease. If your pain does not fade on its own you’ll need professional treatment.

Is fluoride good for my teeth?

Yes, fluoride is a great, natural tool to fight tooth decay. Most toothpastes and some mouthwashes include fluoride to clean your mouth. It’s also found in drinking water, so you can always get protection for your teeth. During your dental checkup our dentists can suggest ways to get enough fluoride.

Is too much fluoride bad for my teeth?

Consuming too much fluoride can sometimes cause a cosmetic issues known as fluorosis. This only occurs in young children under 8 years of age. For the most part, the only indication of fluorosis is mild discoloration of the teeth. It does not cause any functional problems or damage the teeth.