Ryan M. Buckwalter, DDS, FICOI, FAGD

1420 Greenbrier Place
Charlottesville, VA 22901


When is Sleep Apnea Treatment Necessary?

person sleeping with mask on

Humans are asleep for one-third of their lives. Therefore, an individual who lives to 80 spends approximately 26 years just resting! Yet that sleep must be restful and relaxing before you can enjoy its rejuvenating benefits. But sleep apnea can get in the way of a good night’s rest. Characterized by persistent snoring, insomnia, and exhaustion during the day, sleep apnea can interrupt your daily well-being. So, turn to a general dentistry service to get your sleep apnea under control.

The Hillcrest Dental team provides general care, cosmetic services, and surgical dentistry for people of all ages in Waynesboro, VA. Since 1953, we’ve treated patients with personalized dental care. To learn more about our general dentistry services, call us at (434) 973-2224 or visit our website.

Below, we discuss sleep apnea, its symptoms, and when treatment becomes necessary:

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which breathing stops and starts. These pauses in respiration occur when the upper airway muscles relax during sleep, pinching off the free passage of air. Breathing may stop for 10 seconds or more until the body’s reflexes kick in and normal breathing returns. 

The 2 kinds of sleep apnea are:

  • Obstructive: The most common sleep-related breathing disorder, obstructive sleep apnea occurs when air cannot flow into or out of the nose or mouth, despite efforts to breathe. It’s caused by your throat muscles when they relax and block your airway.
  • Central: A failure of the brain to send the correct signals to muscles to enable breathing is called central sleep apnea. Thankfully, this type is the less common of the pair.

What Are the Signs?

Contrary to popular belief, sleep apnea is not the same as snoring. Snoring is simply the vibration sound created by airway resistance, and sleep apnea can occur without it (though the 2 often coexist).

Common signs of sleep apnea include:

  • Gasping for air during sleep
  • Awakening with a dry mouth
  • Loud snoring
  • Morning headaches
  • Mood swings
  • Insomnia
  • Hypersomnia

The partners of sleep apnea sufferers often notice the condition before the sufferers themselves. Call your local general dentistry service if you or your partner are worried about sleep apnea. Professionals can determine if you need an oral apnea appliance and help you reclaim a healthy sleep cycle.

What Are the Treatment Options?

breathing machine

The preferred method of treating sleep apnea is continuous positive airway pressure therapy or a CPAP machine. It delivers constant and steady air pressure through a hose connected to a mask or nosepiece so you can breathe as you sleep. Moreover, it reduces blood pressure and improves wakefulness during the day. Indeed, sleep apnea patients who use a CPAP machine at night report better quality of life.

If you’re unsure whether or not a CPAP machine would suit you, a qualified general dental practitioner can recommend other oral appliances for your sleep apnea.

When is Treatment Necessary?

Sleep apnea treatment is necessary when the condition interrupts well-being. It typically goes hand-in-hand with other health issues like obesity and high blood pressure. Moreover, the health of your teeth and mouth can affect the rest of your body and threaten restful sleep, a balanced diet, and more. If you struggle to fall asleep, stay asleep, or stay awake during the day, seek treatment immediately.

General Dentistry Services for Sleep Apnea in Waynesboro, VA

A general dentistry service can help you determine what kind of dental treatment you need for your sleep apnea symptoms. The team at Hillcrest Dental offers Waynesboro, VA, residents the full range of dental treatments so they can walk out of our door with a brighter smile. From cosmetic services to oral surgery services, we guarantee you’ll love your results. To learn more about our approach to sleep apnea, call our office at (434) 973-2224 today.

  • "I am very pleased with how my appointment went yesterday. Everyone was really friendly. They explained everything to me about the procedure and stayed late to assure I was comfortable with the work I had done. Dr Ryan Buckwalter and his assistants were awesome. I highly recommend them for any dental work. Thank you."

    Donnette M.

  • "I was having toothache pain in my lower jaw. I called the next day to make an appointment and was given an appointment time for the very next day. I saw Dr. Ryan, who is knowledgeable, caring and has great people skills with his patients. I made another appointment to come back and have the work done."

    Denise K.

  • “Dr. Buckwalter and his assistant did a wonderful job with our 8 year old today. While they were busy talking teeth, my 3 year old was enjoying his new lip balm and balloon! Finished up with a treat from Starbucks with our gift card. So glad our kiddos don’t fear the dentist. More like they want to keep stopping in."

    Logan D.

  • “Unbelievable experience with Dr. Ryan Buckwalter. Night and Day difference from my last dental experience with another dentist. I no longer fear the dentist!”

    David S.