Sleep is a critical process that helps the body recuperate, and those unable to sleep due to TMJ pain may also suffer in other areas of health. It’s no secret that TMJ symptoms can be made worse with little provocation, but you have options for minimizing your pain. The doctors at Headache & TMJ Center of New Jersey have more than 20 years of experience treating TMJ disorder. Below, they provide information on how your sleep position could be contributing to your TMJ pain.
About TMJ Pain and Sleep
For those with TMJ, it is important to first understand how head and neck support relates to getting a great night’s rest with the condition. Often caused by injury to the jaw, teeth grinding, misalignment, and arthritis in the jaw, TMJ pain can be made worse by increasing pressure on the jaw. It is natural for a person to turn and move positions during sleep, but for TMJ sufferers, this can mean severe pain in the morning if the head is not supported as the position changes. It is important to prioritize excellent support to alleviate excess stress on the jaw. This could mean investing in quality pillows that are designed to alleviate tension in the face and neck muscles. It is also important to experiment with sleep positions that reduce stress on the jaw and surrounding areas.
Your Sleep Position Matters
Stomach: Sleeping directly on your stomach can put an incredible amount of pressure on your jaw and lead to significant TMJ pain. This is because stomach sleeping does not allow for the proper alignment of the spine and, in turn, puts stress on the jaw. Additionally, this position could increase your risk of teeth clenching, which also makes TMJ symptoms worse.
Side: The side position may seem like a decent choice, but for some patients, this sleeping position can also lead to jaw pain. When sleeping on our sides, we often rest our heads on our arms or hands for support and comfort. However, this can create stress on the jaw that increases the risk of TMJ pain.
Back: Sleeping on your back may be the best position for those with TMJ pain, since this position makes it easier to keep the head and neck aligned, reducing unnecessary stress on the jaw.
TMJ Relief in New Jersey
Speaking, laughing, and taking a nap, among other things, are all everyday experiences that occur with very little thought. However, if you suffer from TMJ, these simple activities can contribute to your pain. Our doctors are here to help you improve your TMJ symptoms and quality of life with TMJ pain. Contact us now to schedule an appointment.