7 Reasons of Tooth Pain in the Morning

7 Reasons for Tooth Pain in the Morning

Do you wake up with tooth pain? If so, it is important to understand the reason for your morning discomfort. There are many reasons why teeth can hurt in the morning. Here we will discuss seven of the most common causes: bruxism, sinusitis, TMJ disorder, cavities, gum disease, impacted tooth or a tooth abscess.


woman grinding teeth while sleeping

Bruxism occurs when one bites down forcefully or grinds their teeth together during sleep. Over time, this can cause tooth damage and pain in the morning. It can also cause ear pain, jaw pain, and morning headaches. Unfortunately, many people do not realize that they are doing it while sleeping. Many times, bruxism is only diagnosed when a dentist notices wear patterns on the teeth and/or the teeth have become chipped or cracked as a result of bruxism. If you are regularly waking up with tooth pain accompanied by headaches, then schedule an appointment with your dentist. In most cases, bruxism can be effectively treated with a nightguard.


When you have sinusitis (inflammation of the sinuses), the inflammation can apply pressure to the tooth roots of the upper back teeth that are just below the sinus cavities. As a result, this can cause pain in these teeth. Sinus pressure also affects your jaw and ears which results in pain throughout the facial area. Sinus pressure tends to be worse in the morning since fluid collects in your sinus cavities while you sleep.

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD)

TMD, also sometimes known as TMJ, is a painful jaw condition that is often caused or exacerbated by bruxism. Besides jaw pain, TMD has been known to cause pain in the teeth, ears, head, neck, and face. TMD can also cause the jaw to click or pop while opening and closing, and it may also inhibit properly chewing function. If this sounds familiar, then you should schedule an appointment to discuss your symptoms with your dentist.


Sometimes cavities can be responsible for you experiencing tooth pain upon waking up. Cavities can form when decay-causing bacteria eat away at your enamel. As the decay becomes more severe, cavities can also erode through your dentin layer into your pulp layer. Unfortunately this can lead to a pulp infection, which causes tooth pain that gets progressively worse.

Gum Disease

Gum disease (periodontal) is an infection of your gums and bones that hold teeth in place. Mild gum disease only affects your gums, while severe gum disease can also affect the bone. In both cases, gum disease can cause your gums to be red, swollen, and tender. This can also cause your teeth to be sore and/or loose.


Impacted Tooth

An impacted tooth occurs when a tooth does not fully emerge, but rather gets stuck underneath the gums. This can result in pain upon waking up, as well as general pain that lasts throughout the day. Molars are most commonly affected by impaction, especially the third molars known as wisdom teeth. However, maxillary canines have also been known to become impacted. Impaction can lead to infection, so you should see your dentist if you think you have an impacted tooth.

Tooth Abscess

Lastly, a tooth abscess is an infection that results from decay or injury to the teeth. An abscess is a pocket of pus that can form within the gum tissue around a particular tooth and/or at the base of the tooth roots. In both cases, this causes an intense throbbing pain and requires immediate dental care.

If you have any of these symptoms then it is important to see your dentist for treatment as soon as possible because untreated dental problems could result in further complications. If you are experiencing tooth pain, then schedule an appointment with your dentist to see if they can identify the underlying cause of your symptoms so that it can be properly treated. If you have any questions or concerns about these reasons for morning tooth pain, don’t hesitate to ask us here at Channo DDS.


Dr Sarmad Channo

Dr. Sarmad Channo, a Rochester, MI dentist, received his doctorate degree from New York University Dental School.  Since then, he has continued studying to broaden his expertise and has also graduated from Progressive Orthodontic Seminars with the highest of honors. Dr. Channo has also served as an instructor for both the McGann Postgraduate School of Dentistry and Progressive Orthodontic Seminars. 

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