The Dawson Academy Blog

Dental Articles on Occlusion, Centric Relation, Restorative Dentistry & More

DeWitt Wilkerson, DMD is a senior faculty member at The Dawson Academy and co-owns DuPont & Wilkerson Dentistry in St. Petersburg, FL with fellow faculty member Dr. Glenn DuPont. He launched The Dawson Academy’s annual Airway Symposium and continues to lecture across the world about airway and TMD.

Recent Posts

Webinar | Airway & TMD - What's the Connection?

This webinar highlights the connection and studies between UARS and TMD that relate to breathing disordered sleep. Dr. Witt Wilkerson shares valuable insights gained from several years of intense study of these overlapping subjects.

During this webinar, you will recognize the connections between Airway and TMD by studying the subjects side by side. TMD is a basket syndrome with common symptoms such as sore muscles/joints, bruxism, headaches, and chronic fatigue. Interestingly, those are exactly the same symptoms experienced by many patients with the medical diagnosis of Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome (UARS), a problem related to breathing disordered sleep.

Learning Objectives:

  • Implement use of the IDM Checklist for clinical use
  • Describe the relationship of disordered breathing and TMD
  • Identify the common symptoms associated the TMD
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Webinar | Salivary Testing: Dramatically Impact Your Patient & Practice Health

Tooth wear is one of the most obvious manifestations of underlying functional issues. 

Surgeons request dentists' verification of a patient's dental health before performing open heart surgery or a hip replacement. How is that health confidently verified? Periodontal disease treatment decisions should be guided by the eradication of specific elevated oral pathogens. How are those pathogens identified?

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Treatment Options for Adult Patients with Airway Problems

When it comes to treatment options for breathing and airway disorders in adults, I like to divide this up into two components. There are patients that can begin treatment that same day, to help deal with their immediate symptoms. Then there are patients that I must begin planning for more long-term and definitive resolutions.

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The correlation between bruxism and airway disorders

One of the things that really keyed us into the fact that airway and breathing disorders are very significant is that we began to see some things from studies that were done overnight that showed that it's very common for patients that have, let's say, sleep apnea, to have an apneic event, and at the end of that event, to have a bruxism episode.

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Integrating Airway Disorders into Treatment

So as we move into the future of complete dentistry, we're going to be finding that we will be doing more and more integration of airway disorders into our treatment planning and even into solving occlusal problems.

So for example, when someone's evaluated and we are able to identify that they have a breathing disorder or an airway disorder, we recognize that part of their airway disorder may be that they're now a mouth breather. As a result of that, their tongue remains low in the floor of their mouth, and as a result of that, their maxillary arch is not developed and they have crowding of the maxillary and maybe the mandibular arches.

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