What causes painful teeth upon waking?

Waking up with toothache or sensitivity or soreness in teeth every day is something you should neglect. As the sharp pain in teeth eases as the day progresses, many people think that painful morning teeth are common. However, such weird feel in your teeth after waking up is a manifestation of various dental problems and even health-related issues.

For instance, the constant pressure you put on the teeth due to grinding or clenching develops aches in your teeth. This is why people who grind their teeth unconsciously while sleeping has painful teeth upon waking. Likely, improper sleeping position is also reported to cause painful teeth upon waking.

In this article, our dentists have listed the possible attributes behind painful morning teeth. Keep reading.

1) Tooth Decay

Untreated cavities lead the oral bacteria to penetrate deeper inside a tooth and damage blood vessels, nerves inside. It stimulates intense pain throughout the day but it aches more in the morning. Why?

It is because of your thoughts. Our minds are fresh and do not have any thoughts when we awake whereas it gets distracted by routine matters. This is why the tooth pains more in the morning and lessens afterward.

2) Impacted teeth 

When a tooth eruption is blocked by another tooth thereby it cannot erupt through the gum line. It is called impacted tooth. The degree of pain varies depending on whether the tooth is fully or partially impacted. The pain exists as the tooth does not get sufficient space in the mouth.

Hence the tooth should be removed surgically to get rid of the pain.

3) TMJ Disorder

Temporomandibular Joint is the point where the jawbone is connected to the skull on either side. When the joint undergoes intense pressure, it will provoke orofacial pain so that you would encounter aches in the

  • Teeth
  • Jaw joints
  • Neck
  • Ears

4) Abscessed Teeth

Also known as Dental Abscess, is the collection of pus formed in the space between the gums and a tooth’s root. Bacteria infection is the root cause of this problem. If it is left untreated, the infection becomes worse and can affect the bone that holds the tooth in its place.

People who have developed tooth abscess exhibit symptoms like throbbing pain in teeth, swelling in gums, etc.

5) Gum diseases

When the gum tissues are infected, it shows symptoms like swelling, bleeding in gums, pain in teeth, etc. The advanced stage of gum infections makes the gum tissues recede, exposing the sensitive layers of your teeth. It makes the teeth vulnerable to infection and provokes sharp pain when exposed to any foreign objects including water, air.

6) Overuse of mouthwash

If you swish your mouth with mouthwashes multiple times a day, the acidic compounds will erode the enamel. Similar to gum recession, it exposes the middle layer of teeth, causing aches in teeth. It pains more when you awake.

In essence, overly using acidic mouthwashes is also a reason behind painful morning teeth.

Other health-related causes

Besides the oral problems, various health-related causes are directly / indirectly related to such toothache in the morning. Some of them include:

  • Sinusitis
  • Dehydration
  • Trigeminal Neuralgia (Nerve Damage)
  • Overconsumption of acidic foods

Bottom line

It is quite hard to pinpoint the exact cause of morning tooth pain hence you should consult your dentist to diagnose the underlying cause. After that, the dentist would provide suitable treatment to repair the dental damages. Luckily, you have various natural remedies like clove oil, cold compress, homemade mouthwashes, and much more to get temporary relief until you visit your dentist.