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can a mattress cause tmj? donald tanenbaum dds

Can A Mattress Cause TMJ?

Author: Donald Tanenbaum DDS MPH - Board-Certified Orofacial Pain Specialist at New York TMJ & Orofacial Pain

Date: August 6, 2013

Is there a connection between your choice of a mattress and TMJ problems?

While there aren’t a lot of studies that probe the relationship between one’s choice of a mattress and TMJ pain, it’s fair to speculate that choices that prompt more restful and predictably sound sleep are obviously advantageous.

With regard to choosing a mattress, there are a number of options provided on the showroom floor of any decent-sized mattress company, and they all vary according to personal tastes. From natural and organic feather beds, to hypoallergenic materials, from old fashion coils and springs to memory foam and electronic Posturepedics, there is a mattress for every body type, weight, and co-sleeping situation.

How can your mattress choice affect TMJ, though? Bottom line is, if you already have trouble sleeping, either from insomnia, obstructive sleep apnea, chronic body pain, or tooth grinding, you never want to compound the problem with a mattress that makes you toss and turn all night.

While there may not be a lot research into mattresses and TMJ, there is research to support a relationship between sleep quality and sleep quantity with the potential onset of TMJ pain problems. Whichever mattress you choose, make sure it’s not a source of irritation that can prevent sleep or roust you from your sleep in the middle of the night. Poor sleep can lead to excess jaw clenching, grinding, and jaw muscle tightening.

We commonly hear people complain that they wake up with their hands clenched, teeth together, and shoulders raised. Could this be the symptom of a poor mattress disturbing sleep? Something to think about.

Let us know in the comments if you’ve experienced a better night’s sleep after thoroughly researching and settling on the right mattress for you.

Dr. Donald Tanenbaum is a specialist with offices in New York City and Long Island, NY. He is uniquely qualified to diagnose and treat facial pain associated with jaw problemsTMJreferred painnerve pain, and migraines. Find out more at

DISCLAIMER: The advice offered in response to your questions is intended to be informational only and generic in nature. Namely, we in no way offer a definitive diagnosis or specific treatment recommendation for your particular situation. Our intent is solely educational and our responses to your actual questions serve as a springboard to discussion of a variety of dental topics that come up in a day-to-day dental practice. Any advice offered is no substitute for proper evaluation and care by a qualified professional.

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