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Though it is a common experience, obstructive sleep apnea is also a serious medical condition that must be treated as quickly as possible. Sleep apnea is a condition in which your breathing is frequently interrupted during sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea is one of two varieties of sleep apnea, central sleep apnea and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). In central sleep apnea, the brain fails to signal the body to breathe during sleep. In OSA, something is physically obstructing the airflow. This is the much more common of the two. Untreated sleep apnea of any kind can set you up for serious health problems such as depression, heart attack, high blood pressure, stroke or even heart failure.

A number of factors contribute to OSA, including both genetic and environmental factors. Those who are more at risk of developing OSA are those who:

-Have large tonsils or tongue
-Have a family history of sleep apnea
-Have a deviated septum
-Deal with allergies or sinus problems
-Are over 40 years old
-Are overweight
-Are male

There are many treatment options, including something as simple as not sleeping on your back, in very mild cases. Other treatment options may include oral appliance therapy, Continuous Positive Air Pressure (CPAP) therapy treatments, or surgery. If you have or suspect you have sleep apnea, consult with your doctor and construct a personalized treatment plan.

If you suspect that you may have sleep apnea and you are in the Green River, Wyoming, area, call Birch Family Dental at 307-875-3658 to schedule an appointment! Our dentists, Drs. Birch and Jones, and our team will be happy to help!