Sleep Apnea Specialist

Pearl Dental Group

Dentists located in Baton Rouge, LA

If you’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea, you may not think to get treatment from your dentist. However, dental appliances are an effective treatment option for sleep apnea that can help you breathe at night without bulky, uncomfortable equipment. At Pearl Dental Group in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Andre Bruni, DDS, Jessica Bruni, DDS, and the team fit men and women with sleep apnea for mandibular repositioning devices (MRDs), oral appliances that improve airflow. Schedule an appointment at the office online or over the phone to learn more.

Sleep Apnea

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a condition that disrupts your breathing while you sleep. If you have sleep apnea, you may stop breathing completely or your breaths may become very shallow. These disruptions last about 10 seconds each.

People with sleep apnea can stop breathing 30 or more times an hour. The condition can stop your brain and body from receiving the oxygen they need to function properly.

Sleep apnea makes it difficult or impossible to get satisfying, restful sleep. It’s common for people with sleep apnea to wake up suddenly, gasping for air, several times a night. Even if you think you got enough hours of sleep, you may wake up feeling unrested and remain tired throughout the day.

Loud snoring is a common warning sign for sleep apnea, but not everyone who snores has the condition.

What causes sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea can affect anyone, but you’re at higher risk if you have one or more of the following risk factors: 

  • Being overweight or obese
  • Being male
  • Having a large neck
  • Having a family history of sleep apnea
  • Chronic health conditions, including hypertension, diabetes, and asthma

Untreated sleep apnea can cause serious health complications, including heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. The poor quality of sleep that results from the condition can impact your mental health and cognitive ability.

How do dentists treat sleep apnea?

Your dentist can treat your sleep apnea using a dental appliance called a mandibular repositioning device (MRD), which you wear while you sleep. An MRD looks like a sports mouthguard and pushes your tongue and lower jaw forward. This keeps your upper airway open and allows you to breathe normally while you sleep. 

The most common treatment for sleep apnea is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), where a device blows air down your throat through a mask. Many people find it uncomfortable to use a CPAP machine. If CPAP hasn’t helped, or you have difficulty tolerating it, MRD provides an alternative. 

The team at Pearl Dental Group can fit you for an MRD. When you get treated for sleep apnea at the practice, you come in for appointments every few months to monitor your condition. Your dentist adjusts the device as necessary.

To learn how your dentist can treat your sleep apnea, call Pearl Dental Group or use the online booking tool.