TMJ Can Be Complicated
TMJ is a condition where your temporomandibular (TMJ) joint does not function properly. Caused by a misaligned bite, loose, missing, or damaged teeth, or a jaw injury it can lead to nighttime teeth grinding or jaw clenching as your jaw joints and muscles struggle to find a comfortable, balanced position. TMJ can also cause snoring or sleep apnea. These are sleep disorders that can cause you to wake continually throughout the night, robbing you of the sleep you need to function during the day.
Waking up tired is just one clue that a TMJ disorder may be an issue. Other symptoms include:
- jaw, neck face, or shoulder pain
- a clicking or popping sound in your jaw joint
- ringing in your ears
- headaches or migraines
The Best Sleep Positions For TMJ
If you suffer from TMJ, simply changing your sleep position can make a huge difference in your TMJ symptoms and quality of sleep. Before thinking about your sleep position, evaluate your mattress and pillow situation. Your pillow should support your head and neck and align your spine. Your mattress should also feel comfortable to lay on in any position. If you feel like your mattress is too uncomfortable, consider investing in a new one or at least get a mattress topper to improve it a bit. Next, lay in several different positions while you’re awake to see if it causes your jaw to rest in an unnatural position. If you find that it does, rule out that position as a sleeping position. See how different sleep positions affect your jaw.