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Why do my teeth hurt when I wake up?

Nov 23, 2023Oral health

Why do my teeth hurt when I wake up?

Experiencing recurring painful or sensitive teeth upon waking up is not a common occurrence. It is important to acknowledge that identifying the underlying cause may prove to be challenging due to the multitude of conditions and circumstances that can trigger tooth pain and discomfort. Experiencing a toothache after waking up can have multiple reasons, ranging from your sleeping posture to complex dental issues like impacted teeth or bruxism. Understanding these common causes can help alleviate the morning discomfort and ensure oral health. Discover the potential triggers behind this condition and explore effective remedies to prevent awakening with a toothache.


Sinus infections

Experiencing a sinus infection can cause pain in the head and nose area. It is possible that this type of discomfort may extend to the teeth as the sinuses are located above them. However, it is important to note that a sinus infection will not usually result in a singular toothache in just one tooth. Conversely, upper back teeth may experience a sense of pain that is non-specific due to an infection.

It is well-known that sinus infections can result in the accumulation of fluids overnight. This discomfort can culminate in a toothache and disrupt your sleep. To alleviate this pain, consider using non-prescription decongestants or consult with your healthcare provider for a more potent remedy.

Periodontal disease

Periodontal disease, which is commonly known as gum disease, can cause minor inflammation or severe tissue and tooth loss. This oral health condition can occur due to the buildup of plaque that hardens into tartar, causing irritation on your gums and gradually leading them to recede.

Periodontal disease can cause discomfort that lasts throughout the day, but it may become more intense at night when you attempt to unwind.

It is important to promptly seek dental care upon detecting gum inflammation or discomfort. Early intervention with a periodontal disease treatment plan can be crucial to prevent further complications. The removal of tartar buildup through professional dental cleaning is essential, and your dentist can also provide additional measures to maintain optimal gum and tooth health.

Sleeping positions

The positioning of your body during sleep can have an impact on the comfort level of your teeth and jaw. Sleeping with rings or bracelets while your hand is directly under your jaw might lead to discomfort. This is just one example of how sleeping positions can affect our physical well-being during slumber.

It is advisable to pay close attention to the area where the soreness in your teeth is most intense, if you suspect that it is brought on by your sleeping position. If the discomfort is focused on one side of your mouth, it may be an indication that your regular sleeping posture is responsible for this discomfort.

Prior to sleeping, it is advisable to remove any jewelry adornments on the hands or other objects that can cause discomfort to the face. Ensure to place a suitable pillow directly under your head for ample support and aid in preventing the habit of touching your face with your hands while asleep.

Teeth grinding

Sleep bruxism is a sleep disorder that impacts approximately 8 percent of adults worldwide and manifests as teeth grinding. This condition is a prevalent cause of sore teeth among individuals with this disorder. It is possible to remain unaware of grinding one’s teeth during sleep, however, common symptoms indicating the presence of this condition include experiencing a sore jaw or headache upon waking up.

Teeth grinding poses a multitude of issues beyond overnight and morning discomfort, including compromised dental health with eroded tooth enamel and damaged fillings and crowns. It is advisable to schedule an appointment with your dentist if you suspect that you are suffering from bruxism. They can provide guidance on effective ways to mitigate teeth grinding, such as using a mouth guard during sleep.

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