Pain in one or both sides of your jaw can be disruptive. Your jaw joint (or TMJ) is what allows you to open and close your mouth and speak, eat and yawn. When this joint becomes stiff or painful, it is important to find the cause so that you can get effective treatment.
While jaw pain can occur during any time of day, if it only occurs in the morning or is worse in when your first wake up, there are a few likely culprits to consider. It will be helpful to also recognize any accompanying symptoms you may be having alongside your morning jaw pain, such as sore teeth, headaches or neck pain.
If jaw pain is one of the first things you feel when your morning alarm goes off, you may suffer from the following:
Teeth Grinding/ Teeth Clenching. Nighttime bruxism is one of the most common causes of TMJ pain. The excessive forces and pressure exerted during teeth grinding and clenching while you sleep is simply too much for your jaw joint to handle. In turn, the TMJ becomes inflamed and irritated and produces symptoms such as jaw pain, jaw stiffness, jaw popping and sore teeth. A custom mouth guard can be an effective remedy for morning jaw pain caused by nighttime bruxism.
Misaligned Teeth. When your teeth don’t line up properly, it can make your jaw work extra hard to find a balanced and comfortable bite. This can make it difficult for your TMJ muscles to relax during the day and night. Just like other overworked bones and muscles in your body, your TMJ may feel especially sore when waking in the morning.
Arthritis. This is a common condition in aging adults. While we often think of arthritis affecting your knees or back, it can also impact jaw joint. Arthritis in general is typically worse in the morning or after periods of rest. When it comes to the jaw, there can be arthritis of the protective disc that cushions the jaw joint.
Jaw Injury. While this is probably not a hidden cause, if you’ve recently injured your jaw or suffered a blunt force of trauma to the jaw joint, it can leave you in pain for several subsequent days.
Dental Infection. There are times in which your jaw pain may actually be coming from a problem within your teeth. When left untreated, dental infections can produce radiating pain into the roots of the teeth and jaw. This type of jaw pain is not likely to subside during the day or without professional treatment.
Contact Your Dentist for Jaw Discomfort
Morning jaw pain is nothing to dismiss. Not only is it disruptive and uncomfortable, but it could be triggered by another condition that needs treatment. At the office of Dr. Wayne Suway, we offer a full menu of treatment modalities for jaw pain based on the accurate diagnosis of the cause. Call our Marietta dentist today and regain the oral comfort you need when waking up to a new day.