If you’ve been following our blog, we recently discussed how sleeping positions can affect sleep apnea. While sleep apnea is just one of the many conditions we are capable of handling here at Dr. Norman’s office, we feel we should shed some light on how to sleep with temporomandibular joint disorder as well, considering how painful the condition often tends to be.
So, what do we know? How do you sleep with TMJD? Let’s see!
Finding Your Position
Sleep may complicate TMJ disorder symptoms if you don’t find the perfect position. You need a position that won’t aggravate your pain and that’s still comfortable enough to easily fall asleep in.
Your head and neck should be well supported. You might need new pillows; experiment with firmness levels and pillow sizes until you find the best combination for you.
The ideal sleeping position should not put additional strain on your neck and head muscles and shouldn’t make you grind your teeth or clench your jaws.
Back Sleeping Is Ideal
While we don’t recommend this for people struggling with sleep apnea, sleeping on your back may be the most comfortable position if you have a TMJ disorder.
This position will help keep your head and neck properly aligned while still reducing the possibility of teeth grinding and jaw clenching.
The Problem with Stomach and Side Sleeping
The problem with side sleeping and TMJ disorder is the ease with which this can get your head and neck misaligned. While this may aggravate your TMJ symptoms, it may also affect your jaw health if your hands are kept under the pillow or under your head.
Sleeping on the stomach is by far the worst position to sleep in with TMJ disorder. It will take your spine out of alignment and can increase the possibility of jaw clenching.
Your sleep can significantly affect your TMJ disorder along. Even if the back-sleeping position is not your favorite, you can try it to help you stay a little more comfortable for the time being. If you need more information or help with TMJ disorder symptoms or any other dental health issues, you can schedule a visit or contact us here at Dr. Norman’s office at 425-366-8296. We’ll be more than happy to help.