Dentistry can be more than the examination and treatment of the teeth, gums, muscles, and joints. It can include a wellness approach to dental health and development versus only managing diseases. Dr. Mark Cruz of Dana Point not only understands this concept, but he leads in a movement with multiple doctors around the world to share research, knowledge, and theories about a total wellness approach. Dr. Cruz co-developed the "Multi-Disciplinary Airway Collaborative," a platform to exchange information during real-time conversations. The discussions are recorded and available on Dr. Cruz's website at http://www.learnairwaydentistry.com/spreecast-videos.html
In Episode 30, Dr. Cruz has a discussion with Dr. Tom Colquitt, a Shreveport, LA dentist and Sleep Medicine Fellowship faculty member at Louisiana State University. The bottom line is patients need to breathe 24/7/365, and sleep apnea is not just about sleep, Dr. Colquitt explains.
The Louisiana dentist highlights three points to consider when examining the relationship between dentistry and treating the airway:
- Dentists must ensure patients can breathe at any age. If they cannot breathe appropriately, dentistry will crash and burn.
- Dentists must ensure patients breathe through their noses and become obligate nasal breathers.
- Teeth are of secondary importance, when compared to breathing. Dentists must still know how to fix teeth, but recognize the role of the airway during treatment.
Dr. Colquitt said he believes the "Multi-Disciplinary Airway Collaborative" has the opportunity to change world health. He reflects on his own research and studies. When he studied occlusion in 1976, he was unaware of how excessive teeth wear related to his sleep positions. Today, he is testing various methods to find an improved remedy for airway deficiency. It is his goal to provide the most effective, convenient, and least expensive treatment for patients. His hope for the future is early diagnosis of airway deficiency aimed toward creating a situation of which the body can heal itself and the patient can become an obligate nasal breather.
Dr. Cruz and Dr. Colquitt are committed to raising awareness about airway deficiency and its relationship to dentistry. To learn more, schedule an appointment with Dr. Cruz by calling (949) 661-1006.