Are you experiencing jaw discomfort, neck pain, or headaches as a result of your TMJ? If that’s the case, it’s probably time for a new pillow. We’ll go through the five best pillows for TMJ relief in this blog post. We’ll also give advice on how to pick the most comfortable pillow for your needs. When it comes to the best pillows for TMJ, there are a few factors to consider. If you’re in the market for such a product, keep reading!
First Thing’s First – What Actually Is TMJ?
TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint. This is the joint that connects your lower jaw to your skull. It’s what allows you to move your jaw up and down, side to side, and open and close your mouth. When this joint isn’t functioning properly, it can cause a lot of pain and discomfort. There are a number of different things that can cause TMJ, including:
- Teeth grinding (bruxism)
- Jaw injury
- Sustained Stress
If you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms, you may be dealing with TMJ:
- Pain in your jaw, face, neck, or shoulders
- Unbearable Headaches
- Acute or chronic pain in the ear
- Clicking or popping sound when you move your jaw
- Difficulty chewing or pain when chewing
- Extra sensitivity to loud noises
If you think you may be dealing with TMJ, the first step is to see your doctor or dentist. They will be able to diagnose the issue and hopefully be able to offer a combination of solutions or suggestions which will work for you.
One solution that may help alleviate the pain associated with TMJ is the use of a pillow specifically designed to support the head and neck.
Why Does My TMJ Keep Coming Back?
There are a number of reasons why your TMJ may keep coming back.
Some of the most common include:
- Teeth grinding (bruxism)
- Poor posture
- Misaligned bite
- Arthritis or other degenerative joint diseases
- Stress and anxiety
- Trauma to the jaw or head
While there is no one-size-fits-all solution to TMJ, using a pillow specifically designed to support the head and neck can often help alleviate pain and discomfort.
Is TMJ A Lifelong Condition?
Unfortunately, there is no cure for TMJ. However, there are a number of things that can be done to help lessen the symptoms and improve jaw function. These include:
- Eating softer, easier to chew foods
- Avoiding chewing gum entirely
- Practicing deep relaxation techniques
- Applying a heat compress or ice pack to the jaw
- Exercising in moderation – pilates, yoga or tai chi can be especially useful
How Does TMJ Affect Your Sleep?
TMJ can cause a number of problems that make it difficult to get a good night’s sleep. These include:
- Waking up with a headache or jaw pain
- Clenching or grinding teeth during the night
- Experiencing ear pain or ringing in the ears
- Having trouble opening the mouth fully, causing air restriction and snoring
Sleep deprivation can make TMJ symptoms worse, so it’s important to try to get enough rest. This can be difficult when you’re dealing with pain and discomfort, but there are a few things you can do to make it easier:
- Try sleeping on your back with a pillow under your head to keep the head and neck in perfect alignment
- This will take the pressure off of the jaw and help to reduce pain.If you’re a side sleeper, try placing a pillow between your knees to keep the spine in alignment. This will also help to reduce pressure on the jaw
- Invest in a premium quality pillow that provides support and comfort. Memory foam pillows are a good option here
- If you’re dealing with TMJ, it’s also important to avoid clenching or grinding your teeth. This can be difficult to do on your own, but there are great YouTube tutorials that can help with this
Does TMJ Impact Upon REM Sleep?
TMJ can make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. This is because the pain can be quite severe, and it can cause a lot of discomfort. It’s also worth noting that TMJ can impact upon REM sleep, which is the deepest and most restful stage of sleep. This means that if you’re suffering from TMJ, you’re likely to wake up feeling tired and unrested.
REM sleep isn’t the only sleep phase affected by TMJ though. NREM sleep, which is the lightest stage of sleep, can also be disrupted. When you combine these two problems, it’s easy to understand why many people have been advised to consider combined treatment methods in their support plan.
Why Does TMJ Also Affect Your Sleeping Partner?
If you’re living with someone who has TMJ, it’s likely that their sleep patterns are also being disrupted. This is because people with TMJ often move around a lot during the night, and this can be disruptive for both them and their sleeping partner.
There are a few things that you can do to try and reduce the impact of your partner’s TMJ on your own sleep. One is to invest in a good quality pillow that will support their head and neck in a comfortable position. Another is to try and create a calm and relaxing environment in the bedroom, which will help to encourage restful sleep. Your husband, wife or significant other can often get irritated by the sound of you snoring or clicking sound of TMJ, so try to create a peaceful environment for them too!
TMJ & Sleep Apnea – An Unholy Combo!
There’s another condition which often goes hand-in-hand with TMJ, and that’s sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a disorder whereby breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep. It can be very disruptive to your sleep patterns, and it’s also been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and other serious health problems.
If you think you might be suffering from sleep apnea, it’s important to see your doctor for a diagnosis. Once again, though, there are some things you can do to help yourself. Losing weight can often help to reduce symptoms, and sleeping on your side instead of your back can also make a difference. In short, if you’re struggling with TMJ or sleep apnea, don’t suffer in silence!
If you’re suffering from both TMJ and sleep apnea, then it’s absolutely essential that you seek medical help. Combined treatment methods are usually required in order to effectively manage both conditions. These methods include both lifestyle changes and medical interventions such as oral appliance therapy.
Medical interventions such as oral appliance therapy can be extremely effective in treating both TMJ and sleep apnea. If you’re struggling with either of these conditions, then it’s definitely worth considering this option. Oral appliance therapy is a treatment that involves wearing a mouthguard-like device during the night. This device helps to position the jaw in such a way that it prevents the tongue from blocking the airway. As a result, oral appliance therapy can effectively treat both TMJ and sleep apnea.
The good news is that there are also a number of different pillows on the market which have been specifically designed to provide support for people with TMJ and Sleep Apnea.