Seizing the day isn’t so easy when you wake up with a toothache in the morning. Mouth soreness could make eating breakfast, drinking your morning coffee, or even brushing and flossing your pearly whites more difficult. This sensation can also be unsettling if you can’t pinpoint the cause. Dr. Craig Armstrong and our team want all of our patients to awaken with beautiful, healthy smiles. If you suffer from morning oral soreness or headache, we can help you figure out the source of your symptoms and create an appropriate treatment plan. In the following blog, we explain why your teeth might feel sore when you wake up and describe how we can help.
The Nightly Grind
If you regularly awaken with a sore mouth, it could be because you’re unknowingly clenching your teeth together while you sleep. The Academy of General Dentistry reports: “one in three people suffer from bruxism,” or tooth grinding. Gnashing your teeth together all night in your sleep can wear down your enamel and put undue pressure on your oral tissue. In addition to causing morning toothaches, bruxism can put you at greater risk for decay, fracture, and other issues.
The Trials of TMJ Disorder
Your temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, is the band of tissue that connects your temples and your lower jaw. It acts as a hinge so you can open, close, and move your mouth. If your TMJ becomes stretched, torn, misaligned, or otherwise damaged, you may experience toothache, headache, and other uncomfortable symptoms. TMJ is often closely related to bruxism, since tooth grinding can interfere with TMJ function. If you awaken with oral soreness, Dr. Armstrong may also assess you for symptoms of TMJ disorder.
Poor Bedtime Dental Hygiene
The American Dental Association recommends that you brush your teeth for at least two minutes at least twice per day. If you don’t clean your teeth and gums before hitting the sack, food particles could irritate your tissue and bacteria-filled plaque could erode your enamel. Implementing a more rigorous oral hygiene routine could solve your morning mouth troubles.
Sprained Tooth Syndrome
You may have sprained your ankle at some point, but did you know you could also sprain your tooth? An improperly placed crown, orthodontic issues, infection, dental injury, bruxism, and sinus conditions can damage the ligaments holding your teeth in place. Symptoms of sprained tooth syndrome, or STS, often manifest or become more noticeable during the night.
If you’ve recently had a dental cleaning or another treatment, your teeth and gums may be adjusting to any modifications made. You might notice soreness from dental procedures more in the morning due to your sleeping position or particular oral hygiene habits. This mild toothache should subside after a few days.
Our Treatment Options
When you come to our office, Dr. Armstrong will examine your mouth, go over your dental records, and discuss your symptoms with you to determine why you may be waking up with a toothache. From there, we will create a customized treatment plan to alleviate your symptoms. For example, if bruxism, TMJ, or STS is the cause of your discomfort, Dr. Armstrong might fit you for a mouth guard, an oral appliance that holds your mouth in proper position during sleep. We can also demonstrate better dental hygiene techniques for you and adjust your restorations as needed to improve your oral function.
We Can Help You Rise and Smile
If you frequently wake up with a sore mouth, Dr. Armstrong and our team can help! Contact our Houston, TX practice today to learn more about this condition or schedule an appointment.