How Sleep Could Ease Your TMD Symptoms
Posted on 5/24/2021 by Pacific Oral and Facial Surgery Center
|Do you suffer from TMD? If so, you are probably already aware of the many uncomfortable symptoms this condition can cause, including jaw pain, headaches, ringing in the ears, and difficulty sleeping. There is not always a clear reason behind people developing TMD, and similarly, there is not one specific cure that works for everyone. However, there may be a connection between sleep and TMD symptoms. Read on to learn more.
Your Sleeping Position Could Affect TMD Symptoms
The position you sleep in is about more than just what feels the most comfortable. There are actually certain positions that can make your TMD symptoms worse. For instance, sleeping on your stomach places pressure on your jaw and pushes it back towards your skull, which can exacerbate TMD symptoms. Sleeping on your side, or on your back but with your head turned to one side, also places pressure on your jaw and neck, and is not ideal for people who experience TMD.
The best sleeping position if you have TMD is on your back. Sleeping on your back does not place pressure on your jaw, and it keeps your head, neck, and back aligned. It also makes sleep bruxism less likely to occur. Make sure you do not elevate your head too much with pillows while sleeping on your back, as this takes your neck and head out of alignment.
Consider a Nighttime Mouth Guard
Many people experience TMD symptoms due to grinding their teeth at night without even realizing it. If your TMD symptoms are usually worse when you first wake up, you are probably grinding your teeth as you sleep. Our office can fit you for a custom mouth guard which will protect your teeth from the force of grinding and clenching. Additionally, a mouth guard prevents against dental fractures and damage to restorative work, helps to alleviate pain and other TMD symptoms, and improves the quality of your sleep.
The Link Between Sleep, Stress, and TMD
Some research links both TMD and teeth grinding to stress, and stress often affects the quality of your sleep. While it may be difficult to achieve deep sleep if you are suffering from TMD symptoms at night, managing your stress level can potentially allow you to get more sleep and alleviate your TMD symptoms. Breathing exercises, meditation, journaling, and decreasing your caffeine consumption are all good ways to reduce your stress level, but you should talk to your doctor for more tips. Call our office to learn more about managing TMD symptoms.