TMJ Disorder causes pain around the jaw and neck, and it affects sleep quality as these parts are in contact with the pillow. A prolonged reduction in sleep quality can lead to other problems associated with poor sleep such as an increase in blood pressure. But with the best TMJ pillow for use in 2023, you can prevent the pain and discomfort that comes when it’s time to sleep. How do bruxism pillows provide relief for jaw clenching, and what’s different between these TMJ pillows and the regular ones?
If you are curious about the best TMJ pillows, here is a sneak peek for you. Top on our list is the Envy TMJ Relief Pillow for TMJD & Jaw Pain. It relieves your jaw from pressure as you sleep. The Headpillow is the next rated as it ensures that the face to pillow contact is taken care of.
Top 5 Best TMJ Pillows
1. Envy TMJ relief pillow for TMJD & jaw pain
- Its design helps with proper alignment when sleeping
- It reduces the tendency to grind teeth while you sleep
- The pillow takes the pressure off your jaw
- Has anti-aging and anti-wrinkle properties
- Headpillow has a design that reduces pain and inflammation on your jaw as it reduces contact with your face.
- It’s for all type of sleepers thanks to its halo design
- They are compartments for ice and cold gel packs to conveniently provide you with relief when necessary
- It has Bluetooth connectivity so you can listen to podcasts or music as you rest
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3. Therapeutica pillow
- Firm pillow providing adequate support for your neck
- Made using non-allergenic memory foam
- It’s non-toxic to your health
- Comes with a foam cover that can be easily removed and washed
4. Pure comfort side sleeping pillow
- Made using memory foam
- It’s adjustable
- Comes with a hypoallergenic cover
- Machine washable
- Great for side sleepers
5. Accutrig TMJ relief pillow
- Reliefs pressure from the TMJ while realigning the joint
- Provides neck and shoulder pain relief
- 100% refund guaranteed
- NOT intended for sleeping – 15 minutes daily use
How Do TMJ Disorder, Bruxism, And Jaw Clenching Pillows Work?
New studies are pointing to your comfort when sleeping as a cure to your teeth grinding problem. Yes, the pillow you use can alleviate jaw pain as both bruxism and TMJD are related to your sleeping position. The position of your head and body as you sleep matters a lot. So if your body goes out of the natural orientation, it may cause you pain as you sleep.
Bruxism and TMJD are not caused by poor sleeping posture, however, maintaining the right sleeping posture can help alleviate your pain. It will help in making your symptoms more bearable as you receive treatment.
If you are suffering from bruxism or TMJD, the best sleeping position you should take is to sleep on your back. This posture will take the weight off your neck and shoulders as you will be in a natural and neutral position. Lying on your side or your face would make your condition worse as it places tension on your neck and shoulders, and leaves the weight of your head on your jaw. This will leave a lot of pressure on your teeth and if you grind your teeth in this condition, it will cause serious damage.
When you are sleeping, you will have no control over your sleeping position or what happens. And so you need the best pillows for TMJ disorder, Bruxism, and jaw clenching.
These pillows made for TMJD sufferers are contoured to keep your head in position as you sleep. This way, you can maintain the right sleeping position throughout the night and prevent strain on your jaw or neck muscles.
Best Pillows for TMJ & Teeth Grinding 2023: Reviews
1. Envy TMJ Relief Pillow for TMJD & Jaw Pain
First on our list of best pillows for TMJD and jaw pain is the ENVY TMJ relief pillow. It helps you sleep better even with your condition so you can have a good quality of sleep. Thanks to its V shape of your jaw/face design, you can align your body better as you sleep to attain the right posture.
You must maintain the right posture while you sleep so that your body would be in a neutral position. This takes the weight off your already inflamed TMJ, neck, and shoulders too. And so your jaw inflammation can heal faster for those who are suffering from the disorder. You also don’t have to worry about your face aging or wrinkling as the pillow has anti-aging and anti-wrinkle properties.
The proper alignment envy pillow gives you also helps prevent bruxism. Research has shown that poor airway alignment contributes to the development of TMD and snoring. In an attempt to open the airway as you snore, your jaw is pushed forward and you are likely to develop sleep bruxism. So with the right pillow such as the Envy pillow, you are maintained in the right posture as you sleep so avoid those disorders.
- Helps to relieve pain from TMJD by taking pressure off the jaw as you sleep
- Allows you to maintain the correct posture as you sleep
- Improves sleep quality
- The pillow is anti-aging and anti-wrinkle
- Could be a problem for side sleepers with a sore ear
Second best in 2023
It can be very painful if you are suffering from TMJD and your jaw comes in contact with a surface. That’s where Headpillow comes in. Its design takes care of the problem of face to surface contact so that you can sleep comfortably. This in no way takes away the support you deserve while you sleep.
By providing you with support and comfort as you sleep, also ensures that you wake up feeling refreshed. They are compartments for ice and hot gels, just in case you need them for relief of TMJ pain. There is also Bluetooth connectivity to allow you to listen to soothing music as you relax.
Headpillow is easy to use and is perfect for any type of sleeper. So even if you are a side sleeper, back sleeper, or belly sleeper, you will find complete comfort while using this pillow. This is thanks to the hollow design.
There are 4 sizes available for you to have the best experience as you use it. It may need a little time to get used to it, but it’s worth it. The pillowcase is also easy to wash, so in all what you get is a product that is extremely efficient and user-friendly.
- Eases your TMJ pain by taking the pressure off your face
- Removable silk covers for easy maintenance
- Built-in Bluetooth connectivity’
- Compartments for ice and heat packs available
- Supports all types of sleepers
- It may take some time for you to get used to it
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3. Therapeutica Pillow
This TMJ pillow is created to restore the natural curve of the neck so that you can get better sleep quality.
It will also help you to keep your head in the right position throughout the night.
It is one of the best pillows for TMJD and neck pain.
While purchasing this pillow, however, you must get the right size for you.
This is because the right size aligns your spine correctly.
Too big and too small and you will have your head and neck at an awkward angle.
Therapeutica pillow is made to be firm so that you can benefit from complete support. It’s at its firmest when new but breaks in overtime.
You can accelerate this process if you feel the pillow is too firm for you by inserting the pillow in its case, and stepping up and down the pillow repeatedly.
If you have allergies to most pillows, then you are in luck. Therapeutica pillow is made with hypoallergenic and non-toxic foam for your good health. They also come with a machine-washable pillowcase to ease of maintenance and good hygiene.
You will however need to ease into using this pillow as it may cause further neck pain if you overuse it during the adjustment phase.
Interchange this pillow with your regular pillow so that your body will get used to it healthily.
- Firm and aligns your neck properly while you sleep
- Hypoallergenic and non-toxic
- There is a size for everyone; from children to adults
- Best for back sleepers
- Comes with a cotton cover
- The medium-stiff foam used in the center makes it a bit uncomfortable and needs some getting used to.
4. Pure Comfort Side Sleeping Pillow
Best Pillow for TMJ Side Sleeper
This is a pillow that’s made to meet the comfort demands of side sleepers.
It takes into consideration your ear as it provides contours for your pinna to sit comfortably in. This is to prevent ear pain.
Its design also works to reduce pressure on your face as you sleep, preventing any muscle strains.
Made using memory foam, it is fully adjustable to meet your personal preference. All you have to do is take out or introduce more pillow inserts until you achieve the required height.
No annoying foam smells like in most pillows so you can use it conveniently right from the box.
Even if you suffer from allergies, you have nothing to worry about as the pillow covers are hypoallergenic and dust mite resistant.
It’s also easy to care for as the cover is machine washable. A particularly alluring part of this purchase is the 100-day return policy, no questions asked.
- Hypoallergenic and dust mite resistant pillow cover
- Easily washable
- Made for side sleepers
- Fully adjustable height
- 100-day refund policy
- It can get uncomfortable when you change sleeping position in your sleep
5. Accutrig TMJ Relief Pillow
Budget Jaw Clenching Pillow
Last on our list of pillows that can be beneficial to those suffering from TMJD and bruxism is this Accutrig TMJ Relief Pillow.
It’s specially designed to help prevent the pain and discomfort that sufferers of TMJD go through as they try to sleep.
This pillow serves to provide you with relief as it aligns your TMJ properly. This corrective measure helps in alleviating pain that is caused by bad posture.
And so by constantly using this pillow, the pressure and strain that usually builds around your jaw would be relaxed. This leads to less pain with daily use.
It’s also a lightweight and portable pillow that you can easily carry with you anywhere. Those in the US can return it if the performance isn’t satisfactory to them as the company is US-based. So it’s convenient for use in these ways.
- Provides relief for TMJ pain
- Allows you to relax naturally
- Lightweight and easy to use and carry
- Reduces stress
- 100% refund policy
- Doesn’t work for every TMJD case
Is Bruxism the Same as TMJ and Teeth Grinding?
What is TMJ?
TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint. It’s a sliding hinge that forms the articular point for your mandible and skull. The disorder known as the temporomandibular joint disorder is responsible for pain in the TMJ and muscles that are attached to the jaw.
Symptoms of TMJ include:
- Pain or tenderness radiating through your jaw
- Difficulty in moving your mouth in the normal way due to jaw locks
- Pain in one or both of your jaw joints
- Pain when chewing, yawning, or talking
- Pain around or inside your ear
Causes of TMJ
TMJ is caused by a variety of factors such as bruxism, joint arthritis, and injuries to the jaw. They are different ways you can approach the disorder to alleviate the pain and two examples are:
- Use a TMJ pillow to provide you with better neck support. Ordinary pillows don’t provide such support and they tilt your skull towards your spine. This puts your jaw and neck muscles under tension hence the pain.
- Stop sleeping on your stomach if you are a stomach sleeper. This will avoid pressure on the back of your head.
What is Bruxism?
Bruxism is a medical condition in which you grind your teeth, clench them, or gnash them. It could happen while you are awake, or when you are asleep. Sleep bruxism is considered a sleep disorder, and those with this disorder are more likely to have other disorders too such as snoring.
The signs and symptoms of bruxism include:
- Increased tooth sensitivity or tooth pain
- Dull headaches radiating outwards from the temple area
- Loud teeth grinding or clenching
- Worn tooth enamel
- Flattened, chipped, fractured, or loose teeth
- Pain in the jaw, neck, or face
- Disruption during sleep
- Pain that is linked to your ear even though it’s not coming from your ear
- Tight jaw muscles or a locked jaw
Causes of Bruxism
There is no known cause of bruxism. It is however believed that bruxism could be from the gene, or factors such as anxiety, stress, or sleep apnea.
Are They All the Same?
While bruxism is the same as teeth grinding, it’s not the same as TMJ. As already discussed, bruxism is merely involuntary teeth clenching or grinding. The clenching and biting force at night are way stronger than what you would have during the day. This is because when you are not aware of what you are doing, the jaw clenches a lot harder.
And so when you are grinding your teeth at night, you do so with a lot of force. Note that your teeth are strong enough to bite through bones, but we don’t go that far because our brains stop us. So imagine the force with which you bite when you are doing it unconsciously.
A patient suffering from bruxism may not be aware of this unless when told, as they won’t know they are doing it, or suffer from the consequences of their actions immediately.
TMJ on the other hand is a disorder of the temporomandibular joint. It shows up as joint inflammation and so the patient would wake up to dizziness and headaches. These would also be accompanied by pain in the jaw and the pain would depend on the severity of the joint inflammation.
Those suffering from TMJ also hear popping sounds when they open their mouths wider than usual, such as when yawning. A severe pain also follows when chewing.
What Are the Differences Between Bruxism and TMJD?
Even though bruxism and TMJD are both interrelated, they are not the same thing.
Bruxism is another name for teeth grinding. It’s a medical condition that’s a result of unconscious teeth grinding or clenching. Some people grind their teeth during the night and are unaware of it except they are told.
Some people also grind and clench their teeth during the day so it can happen at any time.
Bruxism could be for several reasons. Bruxism could be due to stress and anxiety. It could also be caused by teeth alignment or bite, insomnia, alcohol, or prescription drugs. The effects of teeth grinding are pain and discomfort in your jaw after a while.
The temporomandibular joint disorder is a medical condition that affects the temporomandibular joint.
It causes the joint to become inflamed, leading to headaches, vertigo, and pains when chewing or opening the mouth wider than normal.
TMJD can be caused by bruxism, but they are both different conditions.
What Causes Jaw Clenching?
There isn’t any clear cause of jaw clenching, but it is thought to be linked to other factors. They include:
- Medicines: Some medicines could cause jaw clenching as a side effect. It is mostly associated with a certain antidepressant known as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). Examples include sertraline, paroxetine, and fluoxetine.
- Stress and Anxiety: many people who suffer from stress and anxiety also suffer from jaw clenching without knowing it. It mostly happens when they are asleep.
- Lifestyle: certain lifestyle can predispose you to jaw clenching and teeth grinding. They include; smoking, taking lots of caffeinated drinks, taking hard drugs, and also smoking.
- Sleeping Disorders: certain sleep disorders make you more likely to grind your teeth as you sleep. You are likely to grind your teeth if you suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, have hallucinations, behave violently while asleep, have sleep paralysis, or if you talk in your sleep.
- In Children: teeth grinding also occurs in children, and it happens after the first baby teeth appear.
What Are the Best and Worst Sleeping Positions for TMJ and Teeth Grinders?
Best Sleep Position for TMJ and Bruxism
When you sleep in a position that causes strain on your jaw, neck, face, head, or shoulders, you can worsen any condition you have with your TMJ. You can even strain further when you begin to grind or clench your teeth as you sleep. To manage this, however, you can assume the best sleep position possible. The effect your sleep position has on your body includes:
- The strain on your head muscles, shoulder muscles, and neck muscles
- The chances of grinding or clenching your teeth
- The support your head and neck gets
- The tension that your head, jaw, and neck gets
Waking to headache or neck pain is possibly due to a bad sleeping position. So which is the best for you?
Lying on your back is the best sleeping position for you if you suffer from TMJD or bruxism. This is because:
- Your head, neck, and shoulders get the best support
- Your jaw isn’t under pressure
- Your head, neck, and spine are in a neutral position, free from tension
- In this position, you are less likely to grind your teeth or clench your jaw
If you are not a natural back sleeper, it can be difficult to assume this position and be comfortable. However, with the right type of pillow and mattress, it would be easier for you. You can also move your arms around while lying on your back until you are comfortable.
While on your back, note that keeping your arms by your side is good for your neck support, and raising it above your head can cause shoulder pain.
Worst Sleeping Position for TMJ and Bruxism
Sleeping on your stomach is the worst sleeping position for you if you are suffering from TMJD and bruxism. In this position, your spine is not aligned in the natural position, and there is a lot of pressure at the back of your neck. This causes increased pressure and strain on your jaw joints, leading to jaw clenching.
And so in this position, you make your condition worse and predispose yourself further to bruxism.
Side sleeping is another position that can cause increased TMJ pain. This is particularly true if you are not using the right pillow. Side sleeping can get your head and neck out of alignment, and puts undue pressure on your muscles and joints. This will worsen your situation when you wake.
Buying Guide for A TMJ Relief Pillow
When buying a pillow to help give you relief for your TMJ disorder, you need to consider your sleeping position. Sleeping on your back helps take the pressure off your jaw and it can be uncomfortable for some people. With the right pillow, however, you can sleep on your back comfortably.
A good pillow should also provide you support so that the pressure would be taken off your jaw. And so when considering the best pillow to relieve your TMJ disorder, go for one that offers support to your jaw, neck, and shoulder.
Pillows have different filling materials including memory foam, latex, feather fill, etc. The most important thing to look out for in the filling material is the pressure of the pillow. If the filling material doesn’t relieve your jaw, neck, and shoulder of pressure when you lay down, then consider changing it.
The firmness of the Pillow
There are different levels of pillow firmness ranging from soft, moderate, and hard. Soft pillows are best for back and stomach sleepers, so go for this when purchasing a TMJ pillow.
TMJ pillows serve to correct your sleeping position so that you can be more comfortable as you sleep right. They also support you, taking the pressure away from your jaw, neck, and shoulders. Which pillows however would be best for you in 2023?
The Envy TMJ Relief Pillow for TMJD & Jaw Pain is the best option if you are suffering from TMJ or jaw pain. It aligns your head and spine properly so that you can get relief from pain.
Headpillow is another great option that is great for all types of sleepers and comes with Bluetooth connectivity.