smile and comfort in mind
EVALUATING THE CLAIMS OF TMJ PILLOW MARKETERS
TMJ pillows are a relatively recent addition to the market. Made for both side and back sleepers, there are a variety of pillows available in a range of many shapes and configurations. One thing they all have in common is their claim that they can help to prevent TMJ disorder symptoms like jaw, facial, and neck pain. Manufacturers say the pillows accomplish this by helping to align your spine during sleep. The problem is, spine alignment is not necessarily an effective treatment for TMJ disorder. To help reduce the impact of TMJ disorder on your nightly sleep, a biteguard like the CustMbite Nightguard can be much more effective.
WHAT EXACTLY IS TMJ DISORDER?
There are a number of potential causes of TMJ disorder, and some of the most common are listed here:
- Physical injury – If you’re hit in the head and the temporomandibular joint gets knocked out of alignment, you may end up with TMJ disorder.
- Arthritis – Arthritis can cause the cartilage around the TMJ to break down, causing pain when moving the jaw.
- Grinding or clenching the teeth during sleep – This is called bruxism and it can contribute to TMJ disorder by knocking your jaw out of alignment.
- Dental surgery – Surgery may cause TMJ disorder if the surgeon has compromised any area of your TMJ.
- Infections – Infections can cause swelling, which can lead to your jaw joint being pushed out of alignment.
- Hormonal causes – Because women suffer TMJ disorder at a much higher rate than men, researchers believe there may be a hormonal cause of the disorder.
- Environmental causes – The activities you participate in may have an effect on your TMJ. For example, violinists experience TMJ disorder at a higher rate than the general public because holding their instrument under their jaw causes excess strain to the TMJ.
The symptoms of TMJ disorder can be sorted into three specific categories:
Pain. The most obvious pain caused by TMJ disorder is felt in the jaw. This may present itself as a soreness upon waking or pain felt when moving the jaw, such as when chewing or yawning. There are also other painful symptoms that can be attributed to TMJ disorder. Headaches or migraines, neck or back aches, and pain in or around the ear may all be symptoms of TMJ disorder.
Sound. Jaw sounds tend to occur when you’re moving your jaw, like when you’re eating, talking, or just opening and closing your mouth for any reason. While jaw noises like popping, crackling, clicking, or even grinding can be harmless, take action if these sounds are accompanied by pain or soreness.
Restricted movement. Untreated TMJ disorder can lead to a restricted range of motion that may prevent your mouth from opening or closing fully. This can cause severe discomfort and affect essential activities like speaking and eating. If you’re suffering from this symptom of TMJ disorder, it’s time to talk to a doctor.