Dr. Mark A. Cruz is committed to working with doctors from various disciplines to discuss the relationship between the structure and function of the human airway and facial development. Dr. Cruz, as well as many of his colleagues, believe the development of the airway is the keystone of facial development. Therefore, it is critical that orthodontists and dentists take a multi-disciplinary approach to determine how to best diagnose and treat problems related to the airway such as sleep disordered breathing.
Working with other doctors for solutions
One of the many colleagues Dr. Cruz works with is Dr. Keith Thornton, who founded SleepWell Solutions. In 1994, Dr. Thornton invented the Thornton Adjustable Positioner to provide relief for this condition, explained on the SleepWell Solutions website as "the general term used to describe a range of problems that occur as you try to breathe while you sleep." It includes simple snoring to severe sleep apnea. Dr. Thornton does not believe it is a true sleep disorder because the patient generally has little or no difficulty breathing while awake.
Causes of sleep disordered breathing
The cause of this condition can include the inappropriate collapse of the pharynx during sleep, which can include snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. This is called mechanical sleep disordered breathing. There is also chemical sleep disordered breathing. Many pulmonologists believe this type can be remedied when the chemical effects are reduced. Neuromuscular sleep disordered breathing occurs when there is paralysis of the diaphragm or lack of adequate tidal volume requiring ventilation at night.
Identifying sleep disordered breathing
Bed partners are often the ones to point out concerns of sleep disordered breathing when snoring keeps them awake at night. Sufferers of sleep disordered breathing are also prone to daytime sleepiness, which can lead to mental, physical, and social problems. If you have experienced symptoms of this condition such as snoring, Dr. Cruz can help. In addition to treating patients at his Dana Point office, Dr. Cruz is the co-developer of the "Airway Focused Mini-Residency," a program designed to educate doctors on the West and East Coasts about the critical relationship between the structure of the human airway and facial development. Call (949) 661-1006 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Cruz.