Why Does My Jaw Hurt So Much When I Wake Up?

Well, that’s a good question! Let’s see if we can get to the bottom of it.

If you experience pain in your jaw in the mornings then it’s very possible that you are grinding your teeth (also known as bruxism) when you sleep. Teeth grinding can cause significant wear on your tooth enamel and can even lead to root damage! If you’re grinding your teeth at night then you must contact us immediately to address the situation.

Factors that Contribute to Teeth Grinding

There are a number of factors that may cause you to grind your teeth in your sleep, including:

  • Allergies
  • Trauma
  • Stress
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Sleep disorders
  • Sleep apnea
  • Smoking
  • Drinking caffeinated beverages
  • Alcohol consumption

If you do not address the grinding then you can experience painful toothaches, headaches, and muscle aches—particularly in the temporomandibular joint (or TMJ). In some cases, this grinding can even lead to tooth fracture or decay.

Dental Guards

One of the most effective solutions to teeth grinding is a dental guard. These devices help reduce tooth abrasion and reduce muscle pain by creating a protective barrier between your teeth. It’s important to note, however, that most over-the- counter dental guards are quite bulky and difficult to keep fastened while you are sleeping.

Your best option is to contact us and have impressions taken so a proper occlusal guard can be molded. An occlusal guard is molded to fit your teeth perfectly and then carefully adjusted so that there is no discomfort while you

Other Causes of Jaw Pain

Sometimes jaw pain can be the result of an infection in your tooth. If this is the case, we will usually be able to
identify and treat the condition so that the jaw pain is reduced or eliminated altogether.

In order to identify the location of an infection, we will usually need to have a number of x-ray images taken.
Oral antibiotics are sometimes necessary to properly treat the infection.

Another reason why you may be experiencing jaw pain can be a misaligned bite. Chewing your food on one side of your mouth can cause this, as well as shifting teeth.


For temporary relief of jaw pain, you may consider taking an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as Advil or Tylenol. Sometimes you can relieve jaw tension by holding a warm washcloth to your cheek before you go to bed at night. You should avoid chewing gum and hard foods until the underlying condition has been properly identified and treated.

Contact Us As Soon As You Begin Experiencing Pain

You should contact us as soon as you begin experiencing jaw discomfort so that the cause can be identified and properly addressed. The earlier that the underlying condition is identified, the better your chances are for complete elimination of the symptoms.

There are a number of reasons why your jaw may be hurting in the morning. In many cases, we can help you identify and treat the cause. To learn more about your treatment options for jaw pain, contact us today.

Categories: All Posts, Grinding Teeth, TMJ

Become a New Patient!

From evening appointments to Saturday cleanings to a six-days-a-week schedule, Dr. Hassey and Dr. Do Duy work hard to support the hardworking Americans of Methuen, MA.

What Our Clients Say

Wonderful staff! I have been coming here for years! I won't go anywhere else!

Susan R

Always professional and welcoming from start to finish and Beth is exceptional!

Maryann G

I have always experienced the best dental service possible, friendly and professional.

Bill L

Associations & Memberships

Scroll to Top