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If only used for a few months, can a MAD still cause jaw issues?
If only used for a few months, can a MAD still cause jaw issues?

I'm pregnant and developed sleep apnea just a few months before conceiving. I had been at the same weight so not sure why, just genetics I guess (my uncle and dad have it). I have the symptoms - headaches upon waking, constantly waking up, waking up in the middle of the night feeling like I was just being choked. I actually found one position in which I can sleep pretty well - if I am sleeping facedown so my jaw and tongue are hanging forward. I have been sleeping like this. My face is propped up by pillows so it's not pressed against the mattress. I'm sure this works because if I don't sleep like this my tongue covers my airway.

I had a home sleep study done and the results were negative for sleep apnea Sad with an AHI of just .9. So I can't get a CPAP without the diagnosis (I understand that I could buy one myself, but I would need an appointment to be told how I can adjust it too, and they aren't scheduling those for months). However my ENT said that home sleep studies often give false negatives and that we should do an inpatient sleep study. I scheduled one but the soonest appointment available was not for months.

I have read online stories from some women who sleep on inner tubes or cut out holes from memory foam mattresses so they can sleep on their stomachs later in their pregnancies. So I figure in terms of the pregnancy, if I can't do something about the apnea by then I will still find a way to more or less sleep on my stomach facing down (I have tried to sleep on my side face down and for some reason it doesn't work). 

My concern is more so if I need an emergency C section, which is always a possibility. Then it will not be possible for me to sleep on my stomach whatsoever. While I understand that all new parents barely sleep, I can't imagine being in a situation with a newborn where it is physically impossible for me to sleep - that sounds like it would endanger the baby. 

All of this background was to explain why I'm considering a MAD despite the risks, as I would prefer a CPAP. 

So, I would like to try a mandibular advancement device. I was fitted for one by a dentist who specializes in sleep on Monday. He said it will be ready in a few weeks. The sleep dentist is on the American Board if Dental Sleep Medicine, The American Academy of Craniofacial Dental Sleep Medicine, and the American Board of Sleep and Breathing. His practice is also accredited by the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine. 

He explained the risks to me and told me he would give me a device and exercises to help offset risk of TMJ, and also told me that I would probably only need a mild adjustment to see a difference. However I do hope to eventually get a CPAP as I said. 

I think I will try to sleep in this position for as long as I can during my pregnancy and hopefully only have to use the MAD for a few months at the end of my pregnancy and for a few months afterwards if I have to have a C section. 

So - does anyone have experience with this? Using it as a temporary solution? Did it cause permanent problems? I also am an opera singer and would be devastated if I developed TMJ but I'm not sure what else to do.
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