Sleep is an important activity that gives our bodies time to rest and recover. But if you’re someone who suffers from TMJ, it can be an uncomfortable or downright painful experience. Here are a few ways you can position your body to alleviate your TMJ pain and get a more restful sleep!
First, Sleep On Your Back:
The quickest, cheapest, and easiest change you can make is to sleep on your back, rather than on your side or stomach. When you sleep on your side, you can cause jaw strain that will exacerbate your TMJ symptoms. Sleeping on your stomach is equally (or arguably, worse) for your spine alignment, and places undue pressure on your jaw. For best results, sleep on your back with your arms below your head. Having your arms at your side or on your stomach is fine, as long as you do not feel muscle tightness or strain.
Next, Focus On Alignment:
To prevent your TMJ pain from getting worse overnight, focus on how your body is aligned when you lay down. Your head and neck should be fully supported and should feel comfortable without any strain. Is your pillow too fluffy or too flat, causing your head to rest awkwardly? Do you sink into the middle of your mattress? Maybe it’s time to invest in new bedtime necessities that will help your body stay better aligned overnight.
Finally, Reduce or Alleviate Grinding:
Which came first, the grinding or the TMJ? This is an important question that will help you determine how to solve your problem for good. Have you been feeling extra stressed-out lately? Or have you dealt with the issue of teeth grinding for many years regardless of your stress level? This unfortunate symptom can either cause or be caused by TMJ, but the important thing is how you can address it.
A mouthguard can greatly reduce the amount of grinding you do overnight, therefore reducing the pain and pressure you wake up with in the morning. You can go with a custom mouthguard through your orthodontist, or even a DIY guard from the store. Either one will put space between your top and bottom teeth, so you grind against the mouthguard instead of them grinding against each other.
Many times, TMJ pain is an oral alignment issue that can be greatly improved, or even alleviated completely, with the help of an orthodontist. If you have questions about how we can help with your TMJ symptoms, get in touch with a member of our team today!