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Thursday, October 25, 2018

Sleep Apnea and Orthodontics

Do you suffer from temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ/TMD)? If so, you may be at risk for obstructive sleep apnea. This condition is believed to be severely underdiagnosed, leaving many people untreated and at serious risk of sleep deprivation. However, Dr. Gregory Ross is an expert in orthodontics and dental sleep medicine, and since some people are unaware of the connection between those specialties, we want patients to know what we can do to help.


Bruxism, or nighttime teeth grinding, is often the result of the body’s air passages being blocked by the position of the tongue. As the body attempts to open a passage by moving the mandible, the teeth grind together, putting them at risk for tilting or cracking and causing pain to the temporomandibular joint. Sleep apnea also causes the patient to be taken out of deep sleep throughout the night, causing them to be fatigued the next day and increasing their long-term risk for heart disease and depression.


At Ross Orthodontics, we can provide patients with custom-fitted night guards. These oral appliances protect the teeth from being eroded or broken by night time jaw movement. Dr. Ross is also a long-time researcher of sleep apnea and can provide more complex oral appliances to better position the mandible to avoid airway obstruction. We also use orthodontic treatment to correct tilted teeth.


To learn more about Ross Orthodontics, visit Smiles by Ross. Offices are located in Forest Lake, Minnesota and Hudson, Wisconsin.


 

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Clear Ceramic Braces

Another clear option for orthodontics that Dr. Gregory Ross, DDS offers aside from Invisalign, is ceramic braces. Ceramic braces are made to blend in with the teeth so they aren’t visible. Patients can choose between clear elastic ties or white metal ties to hold the braces in place. Ceramic braces are more sensitive and can easily break or chip. They require more maintenance and more time to install than metal braces, which increases overall treatment time and cost.


Often, adults who desire a straighter smile but want to avoid “metal mouth” will choose to go the clear route. Clear (ceramic) braces are less noticeable than metal braces and they move teeth faster than plastic aligners because they stay in place 24/7, unlike Invisalign, where the patient has to change aligner trays every two weeks. Ceramic braces are made of ceramic alloys. In addition to the clear ceramic brackets, there are two types of brace wires or ties that can make them more discreet.


If you have questions regarding orthodontic treatment, please give us a call. To learn about services we provide at the practice, visit www.smilesbyross.comfor more information. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Gregory Ross, DDS call our Forest Lake, MN location at 651-464-6988 or our Hudson, WI location at 715-808-8379.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Dry Mouth and Braces

We want patients at Ross Orthodontics to be as comfortable as possible when undergoing orthodontic treatment, which is why we’re interested in preventing dry mouth. Also known as xerostomia, dry mouth not only puts braces patients at greater risk for irritation, it also increases the risk of gingivitis. However, it may be treatable with some simple lifestyle changes.


Saliva isn’t just a lubricant; it’s also a part of the immune system. It washes away food debris, denying food to decay-causing bacteria, and it regulates the mouth’s pH level to make it inhospitable to fungi. But when saliva production is inhibited or can’t keep up with dry conditions, the mouth is likelier to develop infections, which could be particularly troublesome to people with mouth lesions.


In the short term, patients with braces can use dental wax to prevent mouth injuries, but dry mouth deserves attention. Alcohol, sugar, and caffeine are all contributors to it, so patients should avoid drinks such as soda. They may also want to try throat moisturizers or stimulating saliva production by sucking sugar-free hard candy. Some medications cause dry mouth as a side effect, particularly those for ADHD, so patients may need to consult with other doctors about changing them.


To learn more about Ross Orthodontics, visit Smiles by Ross. Offices are located in Forest Lake, Minnesota and Hudson, Wisconsin.

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