Get more zzz’s to help your jaw


Your body needs the proper amount of quality sleep each night to rest and rejuvenate itself. Your bones, muscles, joints, and nerves all rely upon sleep in order to function properly, and these systems are all important components of the health of your jaw.

March 6-13 is National Sleep Awareness Week, and at MedCenter TMJ, we want you to be aware that sleep has a lot to do with orofacial pain and temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD). If you suffer from TMD, it’s time to make sleep a priority.

Sleep Deprivation and Pain

Several studies confirm that sleep deprivation makes pain worse. When you don’t get the sleep you need, your brain may actually register stronger pain signals. Lack of sleep can also counteract the effects of pain-relieving medications.

But, getting adequate sleep when you are in pain can be difficult. We all know how challenging it is to get any sleep, let alone quality sleep, when we’re in pain. This leads to a vicious cycle of sleep deprivation and more pain from TMD.

Rather than trying to ignore the pain or taking medications that may have unwanted side effects, get to the root of the issue. TMD causes not only tooth and jaw pain, but headaches, neck and shoulder pain, and more. If you want to get more sleep and are experiencing orofacial pain, contact MedCenter TMJ to learn about ways you can get relief.

Loss of Focus

No matter what your daily work entails, you know you need to be alert and focused to be at your best. If you’re sleep deprived, you may find yourself in a fog instead of getting things done. Lack of sleep is proven to affect many cognitive abilities, including your alertness, attention, and judgment. In addition, the pain from TMD can make it difficult to concentrate and feel mentally ready for what the day brings. These two factors together can have a strong impact on your personal and professional life.

Sleep and Stress Management

Ever notice how you tend to be more short-tempered and moody when you’re exhausted? A tired mind and body is not equipped to deal with stressful situations, whether big or small. We can’t just avoid stress completely. It’s a part of life for most people today, but getting adequate sleep will help you cope with stress.

Sleep is also crucial for dealing with TMD, as stress is a major contributor to teeth grinding and TMD. Many people could actually be making their TMD and jaw pain worse by neglecting their sleep.

Energy and Exercise

Exercise is one of the best things you can do for your physical and mental health. Not only can it relieve stress, but it can help you sleep better and may help you manage pain. If you don’t get regular physical activity, now is the time to start. You may find that you begin sleeping better, which will, in turn, help you deal with stress and be at your best mentally. All of these factors add up to better management of pain and TMD.

If you’re dealing with TMD or orofacial pain, don’t wait to get treatment. Your quality of life could substantially improve when you address the issue and get relief. Contact MedCenter TMJ to schedule your appointment today!

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