Most of us do not realize that our teeth should not touch each other unless they touch gently when chewing. The muscles of the face and neck become tired and painful when the teeth are held together for too long.
TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorder is when there is pain or inflammation of the jaw joints or surrounding muscles. It can happen to people of any age. The most common causes include teeth grinding from stress (aka bruxism), jaw injuries, arthritis and everyday wear and tear. TMJ disorder treatment varies from person to person and may include medication, physical therapy, custom mouth guards and jaw surgery. It is a very uncomfortable condition and it not only affects how you eat, but can also affect your sleep quality.
One form of treatment that doesn’t get talked about enough are pillows designed for people with TMJ disorder. These specialized pillows can help relieve jaw pain and discomfort, so we made a list of our favorites below:
PureComfort – Side Sleeping Pillow
This pillow is a stunning product of pure comfort that provides support and PureComfort TMJ pillow is the only pillow that is specifically made for TMJ disorder and rated 4 or more stars on Amazon.
The product is made of memory foam, but it does not produce the chemical odors that are usually attributed to memory foam. In addition, the product is designed to be hypoallergenic and has soft bamboo cover to ward off dust mites.
The PureComfort Side Pillow improves the overall sleep quality of users by reducing the pressure in the jaw and skull in each session. However, if the recipient is not satisfied with the product, they can quickly request a refund or request a free trial.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: “This pillow has been so helpful for not only my bruxism but also giving my ear piercings some space while on my side! I wish I had learned about this pillow years ago!! Also their customer service is top notch and reached out to make sure I was satisfied with my pillow!”
Loft pillow For TMJ
This 3″ loft pillow is very comfortable. There is also a smaller and larger cervical support, so you can always get the right amount of support and alignment. You can even get an insert at the time of purchase, which will allow you to customize the height of the pillow.
- It can be customized to achieve the amount of support you need.
- Unique design reduces snoring and tooth grinding.
- Suitable for all sleeping positions.
- Some people find it too thin, but the insert solves the problem.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: “I’ve suffered through years of jaw problems. In a last effort, I went to an orthodontist to consult about getting (adult) braces for 18 months and then having JAW surgery to cut my jaw in multiple places and then wire it shut for recovery to correct some bite issues with my back teeth touching. I’ve had countless episodes of searing jaw pain from clenching in my sleep. I saw this pillow pop up on Amazon and thought I’d give it a show. THIS PILLOW HAS SAVED MY TEETH. If you suffer from jaw problems, this pillow is worth a shot.”
Core Products Cervical Pillow
This pillow significantly relieves TMJ pain in the chin and surrounding muscles. You may notice it after the first week of use! Some clients also reported improvements in headache and jaw displacement.
The divot provides support. It helps prevent you from sleeping on your stomach in the middle of the night, with your head turned to the side. In this way, it encourages you to sleep on your back or on your side, not on your stomach, because you want to deviate from doing so if you have problems with your chin.
As with all the products we find, there are also disadvantages, not just advantages.
If someone tries to sell you the product, the only thing you can be positive of: be careful! If it sounds “too good to be true,” it’s probably a scam.
For some users, some raised parts of this pillow may be too high. If so, do not worry, because you can still flip the pillow to get a shorter height, if necessary.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: “This pillow is very well made. I have TMJ and am a side sleeper. It is recommended to sleep on my back & the design of this pillow helps me make the transition. When I do sleep on my side I use the sides of the pillow as recommended which keeps the pressure off my jaw. This pillow is helping with my neck pain also as it aligns the cervical spine.”
Accutrig TMJ Relief Pillow
Let’s be very clear: this “TMJ pillow” is more like a device of “exercise on the floor” than a pillow.
For those who have a limited budget and are looking for cheaper alternatives.
If you, like me, are skeptical about these cheap prices/products, which can be great when you’re in a hurry for money, but you think they will never work, give this a second thought.
For those who have ever experienced physical therapy — it is very similar to the device you use at home; you just lie on the floor, head on the device to relieve tension and/or stretching. I think you can use it as a pillow in your bed if it’s comfortable enough for you.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: “I always wake up with incredibly stiff shoulders, neck, and an aching jaw, leading to a ton of pain during the day. Just a few minutes lying on this thing relaxes all the muscles and is immensely helpful. Highly recommend for anyone suffering, especially with TMJ Pain. Device is also well made and very easy to use and travel with. Worth a try!”
MARNUR Cervical Pillow
If you are suffering from TMJ problems, then you may have tried some pillows or different methods to get rid of pain and make sleep easier and more comfortable. The pillows I choose and compiled are worth it, what money they spend, I think if you have this so far, it could mean that you are ready to try most of anything.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: “Was surprised how well I liked this pillow. I find I have had excellent sleep since I received it and been sleeping through the night. With in two days my neck stopped hurting and I stopped grinding my teeth. I didn’t actually know that sleeping through the night was an issue for me until I using this new one and I feel the difference in my sleep. This pillow wraps around your head and cradles it. It’s got great support and the pillow is nice and soft so I feel like my head is supported, but not laying on a brick like some contour pillows. It’s like a mushy marshmallow that still supports your neck completely. No headaches, no stiffness. The high quality of this pillow seems durable and the cover is very soft, so you can use it with or without an actual pillow covering. I choose to use satin pillow covering which works perfect and feels so nice while sleeping. I would definitely purchase again. Now, go ahead and try one!”
LumaLife Luxe Low Profile Orthopedic Cervical Pillow
This Lumalife Luxury product is an orthopedic cervical pillow that can work wonders in helping your TMJ achieve better sleep quality.
Made from 100% latex foam, this pillow features a removable Tencel cover with a zipper for a sweat-free night.
It has a unique design that promotes sleep on the back, reduces stress on the chin, and significantly reduces the possibility of grinding teeth. In addition, this ergonomic contour shape eliminates wrinkles caused by sleep lines.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: “THIS! As someone who has suffered from TMJ headaches, I’m thrilled that I found a pillow that helps me sleep AND wake up without that dreaded TMJ headache pain. It cradles my head and jaw in the most perfect way. I’ve used it for two weeks and have not had a headache! Not a single one! If you have TMJ headaches, try this! Do yourself a favor and enjoy life again!!”
Read also: 5 Best night guard for teeth grinding & TMJ