Is Your Mattress Making Your TMJ Pain Worse?

Is Your Mattress Making Your TMJ Worse?

Do you wake up clenching your jaw? Is it difficult to fall asleep at night? Are you achy after sleeping? These are all signs that your mattress isn’t helping you sleep, and it could be affecting your TMJ.

While there are no specific studies about the connection between mattresses and TMJ pain, there is research that highlights the need for a good night’s sleep and how pillows can affect TMJ. Researchers have also found connections between sleep disorders and TMJ pain.

Solid rest that gets you through all of the sleep cycles multiple times each night is a must for everyone’s health. If your sleep is sporadic, it can disrupt the body’s ability to recover from the day’s activities and prepare for the next 24 hours. Getting the right mattress can help you overcome the disorders, get a good night’s sleep and better manage TMJ pain throughout the day.

Top Mattress Considerations for People With TMD

Before heading out to the mattress store, it’s a good idea to carefully consider the features that you need. There are so many options available it can be overwhelming once you’re in front of a sea of mattresses. Knowing what to look for will make the experience a lot easier and improve your chances of finding the right mattress.


The way you sleep has a profound effect on your posture. Sleep positioning is all about support. If you sleep on your back, which many TMJ patients do, how your body sinks into the mattress will directly impact your body alignment and posture. You’ll need a mattress that offers enough support so that your spine stays straight rather than curving.


Some people like a firm mattress while other prefer to rest on fluffy, feather-like beds. It may seem a little awkward, but there’s no way to tell how comfortable a mattress will be unless you give it a test run. In the store lay all the way down on the mattresses for at least 10 minutes to gauge the comfort level.


Do you like to sprawl out? Do you share your bed with someone else? Feeling cramped is never going to feel comfortable. If you are unsure of the size you need, it’s best to go with a larger mattress as long as it fits your budget and bedroom.

Guide to Mattress Models on the Market

Sleeping is now a completely customized experience. Gone are the days when all you had to choose from was different sizes of box spring mattresses. Today, there’s a myriad of makes, models and features to choose from.

Spring and Coil (Innerspring)

These are very affordable, but they may not be the best option. Because of the way these mattresses are made, they don’t always offer consistent support. If you select this type of mattress, purchase a model that has a high number of coils for more evenly distributed support. There are also hybrid mattresses that pair the coil support system with foam toppers for additional support and comfort.

Memory Foam

This type of mattress is made of high-density polyurethane foam. The body sinks in, and the mattress hugs its contours. Temper-pedic helped to revolutionize the memory foam mattress over the last decade, and it’s now one of the most popular options. If your budget is tight you can purchase a memory foam topper to go over your current mattress.

Adjustable Mattresses

If you share your bed with someone else an adjustable option could be ideal. Many adjustable mattresses will allow you to customize the amount of support for either side of the bed so you and your sleeping partner both get the most comfortable night’s sleep. This type of mattress is also best for people that are more comfortable resting while inclined rather than completely flat. While these mattresses are very convenient, they are also among the most expensive.


This option is completely different from all other mattress models since it uses water, not foam and/or coils as the foundation. A waterbed isn’t going to be the best option for most people because it lacks support.

Pillow Top

A pillow top mattress has an additional layer on top that is made of foam or fiber. As the name suggests, these mattresses replicate the fluffy feel of a pillow.

If you’re experiencing TMJ pain, it’s important to discuss your symptoms with a dentist that has experience diagnosing TMD. MedCenter TMJ is a premier TMD treatment facility in the Houston area. Our dentists and staff have helped countless patients find relief from TMJ. Give us a call to schedule an appointment or learn more about our services.

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