How do you feel about our website?
Great   Indifferent
Skip to main content

Why Am I Waking Up with Jaw Pain?

 Why Am I Waking Up with Jaw Pain?

Waking up with jaw pain is more common than you might think, and if it’s becoming a daily occurrence for you, you might wonder why. There isn’t just one answer, though. There are many reasons why you might wake up with jaw pain. 

Because pinpointing the source of your jaw pain is the first step in finding relief, Dr. Lovely Manlapaz Teodoro encourages you to visit us here at The Dental Center of Hercules for an exam if you’re constantly waking up with jaw pain. 

In the meantime, here are five potential sources of jaw pain and how we can help you find relief.

1. Bruxism

Bruxism, also known as teeth grinding, happens when you clench your jaw and grind your teeth while you sleep. Considering that the average person can exert 171 pounds of pressure when biting down, it’s no surprise that unmonitored jaw clenching while you sleep can lead to some pretty sore jaw muscles in the morning!

You might suspect you have bruxism if you wake up with a headache, jaw pain, or see signs of chipped or cracked teeth.

2. TMJ disorders

Your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) connects your jaw to your skull, and makes movements like chewing and talking possible. TMJ disorders can lead to jaw popping, difficulty opening your mouth, and jaw pain. 

Bruxism, jaw misalignment, arthritis, and traumatic  injuries are all risk factors for TMJ disorders.

Note: It’s possible that these disorders (especially if your TMJ disorder is related to bruxism) cause morning jaw pain, but it’s also possible that TMJ disorders cause pain around the clock. 

3. Poor sleep posture

Sleeping on your stomach or with your head in an awkward angle may contribute to jaw pain. If you sleep on your stomach and wake up with jaw pain, consider trying a new sleeping position to see if your jaw pain improves with a new sleep posture.

Try sleeping on your back with your neck supported properly by your pillow.

4. Dental issues

Issues like an improper bite and misaligned teeth can contribute to jaw pain. Regular dental checkups can help identify and address these issues promptly.

Keep in mind, however, that these issues aren’t limited to morning-only jaw pain. 

5. Stress

Stress is a big factor when it comes to nighttime bruxism. Stress can manifest physically, and unfortunately, your jaw muscles (like other muscles) are at risk for tension accumulation. You might also feel tension in your neck muscles too.

The bottom line: Clenching your jaw due to stress, even during sleep, can lead to discomfort upon waking.

What can you do about jaw pain?

In the short term, there are many strategies you can take today to help alleviate jaw pain. This includes:

Changing your sleep position and practicing stress management techniques can also help alleviate jaw pain, but these won’t be immediate fixes. It can take time to help reduce your stress levels. Meditation, yoga, and deep breathing can all be part of your stress management plan.

For dental-related morning jaw pain, Dr. Teodoro first confirms the source of your pain. Depending on what’s causing your jaw pain, she may recommend:

Don’t let jaw pain dampen your day! Help for your jaw pain is just a call or click away. You can reach us at 510-254-3328 or through our online booking system

You Might Also Enjoy...

Bonding Vs. Veneers: Which Is Right for Me?

Bonding Vs. Veneers: Which Is Right for Me?

If you need to restore the appearance of your smile, you’ve got plenty of options, including dental bonding and porcelain veneers. Both options can enhance the appearance of your smile, but which one is right for you? Find out here.

Why You Should Never Ignore Tooth Pain

Tooth pain isn’t the easiest thing in the world to ignore, and there are some solid reasons for never ignoring tooth pain. Continue reading to learn four reasons why you shouldn’t delay treatment and how we can help you get relief.

Lesser-Known Threats That Can Weaken Your Teeth

Taking care of your oral health means brushing your teeth, flossing, and eating nutrient-dense foods. It also means doing what you can to reduce well-known and lesser-known threats that can weaken your teeth. Read on to learn more.
Why Don't My Teeth Whitening Treatments Last?

Why Don't My Teeth Whitening Treatments Last?

Teeth whitening treatments are a popular way to give your smile a makeover, but when the results don’t last as long as you hoped, it can be frustrating. Read on to learn why your treatments are fading too fast and what you can do about it.