Beacon Dental Sleep Medicine Clinic, Sandyford, Dublin, D18 E7P4 l Tel: +353 1 531 0088

Tommy Tiernan reveals sleep apnea diagnosis

Tommy Tiernan has revealed that he was diagnosed with sleep apnea this week after he spent the night in hospital to get checked out.

Finding he has been waking up very tired every morning and desperate for fresh air, the stand-up comedian decided to visit a specialist hospital to get his condition assessed.

On the most recent episode of The Tommy, Hector and Laurita Podcast, the Saturday night chat show host explained the ins and outs of the examination, which involved being strapped up to several machines and having his night’s sleep monitored.

Tommy arrived to the hospital at lunchtime and spent most of the afternoon and early evening getting accustomed to the apparatus before the machines were turned on at around 10pm to begin monitoring his sleep.

“I had to get this sleep apnea thing checked out,” Tommy explained. “The question was do I or do I not have sleep apnea because sleep apnea is not just snoring, sleep apnea is where your body isn’t getting enough oxygen.

“If you’re not getting enough oxygen, I guess you’re waking up every morning feeling exhausted and the first thing I want to do when I wake up in the morning is stick my head out a window. It’s like I need the vitamins that would be in the air first thing.

Signs of sleep apnea can also be falling asleep mid-conversation. Or disturbing your partner with your snores. Some people describe waking abruptly or waking up feeling like they are gasping. All three are common signs of obstructive sleep apnea, a disorder in which the throat muscles relax and block the airway, causing breathing to temporarily stop multiple times during sleep.


Although many people with sleep apnea don’t realise they have it, the condition increases the risk of heart failure and stroke. Getting a diagnosis is critical because it’s the first step toward treatment — and better sleep.

Getting a sleep diagnosis

To determine whether you have sleep apnea, a doctor will usually order an overnight test to be done either at a hospital or at home.

Once you have results, your provider can make a diagnosis and determine a treatment plan. Refraining from drinking alcohol can reduce symptoms, as can sleeping on your side or stomach to help keep your tongue from blocking your airway. Weight loss can also help.

Oral Appliance Treatment  

Though CPAP is a common treatment, sleep apnea also can be addressed with what’s known as oral appliance therapy.

Oral Appliance therapy in which a customized device inside the mouth is used to move the jaw forward to create more space in the airway is becoming a more common choice. Ask your doctor for a referral to a dentist with training in treating sleep apnea such as the Dublin-based Beacon Sleep Medicine Clinic.

How does Oral Appliance Therapy Work?

Oral appliances hold the lower jaw in a forward position, dilates the upper airway and preventing it from collapsing. This helps to:

  • eliminate or reduce snoring noise levels
  • improve sleep quality and general energy levels on wakening
  • treat sleep apnoea disease progression
  • improves bed partners sleep quality of life.

The Beacon Dental Clinic provide the following additional services

  • Referral from consultant led medical diagnosis of sleep disordered breathing, noisy loud snoring and suspected sleep apnoea.
  • CBT referral or medical advice for sleep disorder management.
  • Dietician and weight management referral if indicated.
  • Dental health care education.
  • Dental Hygienist service and dental health care education

  • Advanced restorative prosthodontic care
  • Routine in office dental healthcare

Process of our Oral Appliance Therapy Program


If you are referred to the Beacon Dental Sleep Medicine Clinic by a medical consultant, we will then assess your suitability for Oral Appliance Therapy. This will involve a dental examination, an x-ray evaluation and trial lower jaw advancement as indicated.  Specific smart phone apps will be recommended to assist in the collection of sleep related noise and disturbances so as to assist in overall management.

If you have not been refereed by a medical practitioner we will assist you with the appropriate assessment and arrange any necessary referral or further investigation as part of your overall management.

Treatment Interventions

In the Treatment phase, you will be fitted with an oral appliance by an experienced restorative dentist with expertise in the field of dental sleep medicine, who will control and monitor your progress and response to treatment. All patients of the Beacon Dental Sleep Medicine Clinic are seen one week and one month following initial appliance delivery. You will also be provided with clear instructions as to the best use and care of your oral appliance.

Follow up appointments

Following habituation to appliance wearing nightly we will arrange (if necessary) for further evaluation of the efficacy of the therapy. This will involve specific user friendly overnight home based testing with sensor technology. This will be activated through a straightforward phone app download.

All patients with sleep apnoea diagnosis are referred back at this stage to their medical consultant for evaluation. The oral appliance is re-evaluated at the Beacon Dental Clinic at specified internals to evaluate its mechanical integrity and performance.

Oral Appliance Therapy

Dentists have pioneered the use of oral appliance therapy for the treatment of sleep apnoea and sleep related breathing disorders. An oral appliance is a device worn in the mouth only during sleep. The device fits like a sports mouth guard or orthodontic retainer and prevents the airway from collapsing by either holding the tongue or supporting the jaw in a forward position. With an oral appliance, dentists can minimise or eliminate the symptoms of sleep apnoea in mild to moderate cases.

How a Sleep Dental Device works

Dentists with training in oral appliance therapy work closely with sleep physicians in the diagnosis, treatment and ongoing care for sleep related breathing disorders. The Irish Sleep Society, the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommend that a physician must diagnose sleep disorders including sleep apnoea. Sleep physicians at sleep laboratories use an overnight sleep study to detect and diagnose sleep apnoea.

Once a patient is diagnosed with sleep apnoea or a sleep related breathing disorder, dentists may provide treatment. Dentists assist patients in the selection and fitting of an oral appliance and provide long-term follow-up care.


About Dental Sleep Medicine at The Beacon Dental Clinic

As director of the Beacon Dental Group Dr Edward G Owens is a hospital affiliated Prosthodontist. He has been working successfully with oral appliances to treat snoring and obstructive sleep apnoea since 1997.

He collaborates with major hospital sleep disorder clinics and has been active in the management of oral sleep appliances and the development of Dental Sleep Medicine in Ireland.


Dr Ed Owens is one of a very small number of dentists qualified with recognised expertise in assessing and treating patients with Sleep Disordered breathing in Ireland. He is certified by the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine as having undergone specialist education and qualification to best manage patients with a range of Sleep Disordered Breathing presentations and guide them into their optimal sleep, with the use of an individualised oral device.

Dr Owens works with physicians and surgeons in the recognised leading centres of established expertise in Sleep Medicine in Ireland, including St Vincent’s University Hospital, The Mater University Hospital, Beaumont Hospital, St James Hospital, The Beacon Hospital and the Hermitage Clinic, amongst many other hospitals around the country.

He has been working with a wide range of patients presenting with a range of Sleep Disordered Breathing presentations successfully for over 20 years. Many patients have been successfully treated by oral appliance therapy and enjoyed the benefits of enhanced sleep, which in turn results in a measurable improvement in sleep quality through Sleep Studies and their overall general health.

Good quality sleep is responsible for a variety of measurable patient benefits including mood, enhanced daytime energy, the control and enhancement of cardiac and respiratory health, amongst many other health benefits. All these benefits are measurable and have been shown to increase overall general health in many studies and published papers.

Spousal or sleeping partner disturbance and anxiety is often a factor in someone presenting for assistance in the management of Sleep Disordered Breathing. Patients making respiratory noise at night, snoring and/or appearing to gasp for air on occasion during the night as observed by a partner, is often the trigger to seeking help.

We encourage patient partners to attend as this often helps through a more detailed understanding, to reduce anxiety, which may sometimes be experienced around Sleep Disordered Breathing conditions.


For further information on Sleep Apnoea Treatment, contact us today 

Source: Irish Mirror, Washington Post


Beacon Dental Sleep Medicine Clinic is based in the Beacon Dental Clinic, Beacon Consultants Clinic, Dublin, D18 E7P4, Ireland

Tel: +353 1 531 0088 | Fax: +353 1 213 5645 | Email:




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