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Sleep Disordered Breathing

Oral appliance therapy for sleep apnea

Does your partner complain that you snore throughout the night? Do you find yourself waking up regularly, tossing and turning? Or are you groggy and feel like you just haven’t gotten enough rest when you wake up in the morning? If so, you may have sleep apnea, a disorder in which your breathing becomes restricted while you sleep. Dr. Mark Cruz, dentist in Dana Point, CA, is extensively trained on how to screen for this sleep disorder, as well as how to manage and treat it with a multi-disciplinary approach that includes oral appliance therapy. Why treat sleep apnea? Sleep … Read Full Article

Sleep disordered breathing

SDB (Sleep disordered breathing) is a group of medical conditions that are characterized by abnormalities in the quality or pattern of respiratory activity. These include snoring, upper airway resistance syndrome, and OSA (obstructive sleep apnea). All of these conditions involve restriction of the airway. With snoring and upper respiratory resistance syndrome, the airway is partially blocked, and the sympathetic nervous system is still functioning properly. It is important to address these conditions before they become apnea, which can have much more serious consequences. Obstructive sleep apnea is characterized by pauses in breathing, known as apneic events. During these events, the … Read Full Article

Facial Growth Dana Point

Spinal posture has a tremendous influence on a child’s overall development – the difference between growing up with an apathetic slouch, or standing tall and proud. Did you know that facial posture also impacts your child’s lifelong appearance? Early intervention with facial growth guidance fosters an attractive profile and straighter teeth and easier breathing. Understanding ALF ALF is an acronym for “advanced light functional wire.” ALF combines oral appliance therapy, lessons in proper facial posture, and sometimes permanent teeth straightening with orthodontics. Characteristics of good oral posture include (when swallowing): Tongue on the roof of the mouth.Teeth together.Lips closed. Airway … Read Full Article

Treat sleep apnea in dana point

The development of sleep-disordered breathing Heads are complex because they are composed of an astonishing array of diverse organs and tissues in a comparatively small, restricted space. In an average adult human, these structures include 22 bones with hundreds of ossification centers (centers from which the bone grows) 32 teeth, dozens of muscles, the brain, the organs of balance, olfactory bulb, along with nerves and other tissues. Less than optimal development of these structures can lead to crowding or impaired functionality of the airway. This often begins early in life, as the infant transitions from nursing to eating. The infantile … Read Full Article

Dr. Mark A. Cruz is known for providing innovative, effective treatment options for sleep apnea to residents of Dana Point, Laguna Niguel, and other nearby communities. However, before the condition can be treated, it must be diagnosed. When the patient comes to Dr. Cruz, he begins with a screening. He does a physical airway exam to screen for polysomic disorders. He looks at the facial structure, tongue posture, swallowing, tooth wear pattern, history of orthodontic treatment, joint disease, and temporomandibular dysfunction. It is an extensive, thorough examination, structurally looking at the patient as well as looking at their history. Dr. … Read Full Article

Facial development in infants and children Normally, in an infant who is still breastfeeding, the tongue is still out in a more forward position. As the face develops, the child starts having what is called laryngeal descent, the larynx starts descending so that they can start speaking. Then they have a difference in their swallowing pattern, and in the way that they breathe. The tongue now falls back into the mouth, and against the palate. This allows for that multi-tasking and sharing of the aerodigestive tube, allowing them to eat, breathe, and speak, without choking. These changes take place in … Read Full Article

The way the medical community views, and treats, sleep disordered breathing is changing and for the better. For many years, the gold standard has been the CPAP. Almost on a daily basis, Dr. Cruz hears complaints from patients about this treatment, although for individuals with severe sleep apnea it is life support. It’s keeping them alive, so not doing it isn’t really an option. For patients with upper airway resistance syndrome, or even mild sleep apnea, it’s very easy for them to say, “Well I’ll deal with it,” and decline CPAP. However, it actually affects the quality of life. Without … Read Full Article

Dr. Mark A Cruz is a leader in the treatment of sleep-disordered breathing. He practices coordinated care, working with primary physicians, sleep physicians, and other medical professionals to deliver individualized treatment to each patient. He is one of very few dentists treating this condition, and he takes a uniquely progressive approach. When you see dental treatment for sleep disordered breathing advertised on the internet and other places, you may get the feeling that it’s simply about delivering an appliance and charging a fee. That approach might be satisfactory if it takes care of the problem. However, this condition, and its … Read Full Article

An important issue in sleep medicine, and in general, is that the sleep physician focuses on the nocturnal component (what happens at night) of this disease entity. We know, with strong evidence, that what happens at night actually affects the patient’s diurnal (what happens during the day) function. The sleep physician most often does not focus on the problems that occur during the day, and that is often what the patient is really suffering most from. This is not just sleepiness. There are other serious physiologic effects, which are oftentimes unrecognized. The daytime effects of sleep-disordered breathing are many. There … Read Full Article

Living a happy and healthy life requires that you eat the right foods, get enough physical activity, refrain from unhealthy habits, and get 7-8 hours of uninterrupted refreshing sleep every night. Unfortunately, many Americans are suffering from sleepless nights, or unrefreshing sleep caused by common sleep disorders, such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and upper airway resistance syndrome. Upper airway resistance syndrome, or UARS, can occur when the muscles of the airway relax, compressing the pharynx. This compression presents as a resistance to breathing, which then becomes labored, and the body cannot enter into rejuvenating REM sleep. This lack of … Read Full Article

Meet Dr. Mark Cruz

Dr. Mark Cruz Dr. Mark Cruz graduated from the UCLA School of Dentistry in 1986 and started his dental journey in Monarch Beach. He is a well-known lecturer internationally, and he was a part-time lecturer at UCLA. He gives individual attention to each patient while creating a friendly and enjoyable dental experience. He makes the patient a part of the dental procedure, educating them about the problem at hand.

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