Why Does My Jaw Hurt When I Wake Up

Cartoon of a girl suffering from TMJ disorder with her had on her painful jaw
Image by Authority Dental under CC 2.0

If you’ve been waking up in the morning with a painful or sensitive jaw, you might be suffering from a common issue called TMJ/TMD. In this blog post, we’ll explore the specifics of the disorder, and how Santa Teresa Smiles in Santa Teresa, NM can help you eliminate the pain.

Understanding TMJ/TMD

First of all, what is TMJ/TMD? The acronym TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint. The TMJ is a joint that connects the cheekbone and jaw bone. You have one on each side of your face, and each acts as hinge to work your jaw’s movement when you eat and speak, for example. TMD stands for temporomandibular disorder. This occurs when that joint becomes damaged or inflamed for several different reasons.

Why Does TMD Occur?

TMD is a pretty common issue and one that’s been found to be more prevalent in women than it is in men. People find themselves suffering from it at a variety of different ages, and for a variety of different reasons. Root causes include arthritis, joint erosion, bruxism, and structural jaw problems. It could also be caused by a sports injury or accident. TMD is also thought to be connected to stress, insomnia, or poor diet, although these connections have not been proven.

The Effects of TMJ/TMD

If you have TMD you may find yourself regularly waking up with a headache. Other side effects patients often suffer from include pain and difficulty when chewing, lockjaw or clicking with the jaw movement, and teeth grinding or clenching, also known as bruxism.

Treating TMD at Santa Teresa Smiles

The good news about this disorder is that most people find relief with treatment. Here at our Santa Teresa, NM office, we offer oral appliances that will help you attain that relief. Give us a call or visit our website to make an appointment, and you’ll be on your way to banishing your jaw pain once and for all!