There’s nothing worse than waking up in pain. Sleep should leave you rejuvenated, refreshed and rested but when living with a condition such as TMJ or TMD (Temporomandibular Joint Disorder), this can be hard to achieve. To make matters worse, TMJ is a very individualized condition and the causes and symptoms are specific to each individual. One of the best ways to begin tackling your TMJ issues is to evaluate how you sleep and how that may be affecting your condition.
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the joint on either side of your face. The joint is a hinge that connects your jaw to the temporal bones of your skull, which are in front of each ear. These joints and jaw muscles allow you to move your jaw up and down, side to side, forward and backwards, so you can talk, chew, yawn or swallow.
Problems or disorders of this area of your jaw (TMJ disorders) are a result of issues with the chewing muscles and joints that connect your lower jaw to your skull.
According to WebMD TMJ can cause severe pain and discomfort on one or both sides of your face, which may be temporary or last several years. It’s more common in women and most often occurs within the 20 to 40 age group. The most common symptoms of TMJ include:
We don’t know what causes TMJ but many dentists believe symptoms arise from problems with the jaw muscles or with the joint itself. These problems can result from any of the following:
Other factors that might make TMJ symptoms worse are stress, poor diet, lack of sleep, arthritis, fractures, dislocations and structural problems present since birth.
For those who suffer from TMJ, some of the worst strain can occur during sleep. While sleep is essential in helping to manage symptoms, it can be difficult for sufferers to achieve a healthy night’s sleep. Certain sleeping positions can exacerbate problems and pain related to TMJ. Read More: MedCenterTMJ
Your sleeping position influences a number of TMJ issues, including strain on the muscles of the face, jaw and shoulders. Your sleeping position also affects how your head and neck are supported and can determine the likelihood of clenching or grinding your teeth. If you find yourself waking up with a headache, ear or jaw pain, there’s a big chance your sleeping position may be the culprit.
Best position to help TMJ symptoms? Sleep on your back. There are a number of back sleeping benefits:
The worst positon for TMJ? Sleep on your stomach. But sleeping on your side with an arm under your head can be just as damaging. Both of these sleeping choices cause your posture to be out of alignment, making TMJ symptoms worse.
Sleeping on your back, if it isn’t already your first choice, can be a hard habit to get yourself into. These tips can help you get more comfortable with sleeping on your back and allow you to wake up well rested and pain free.
Sleeping is just one of the factors in managing and improving TMJ symptoms. If you would like to know more about symptom relief. Read more: WebMD
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