7 Reasons for Tooth Pain in the Morning

7 Reasons for Tooth Pain in the Morning

Morning is a time to wake up and start your day, but what if you woke up with tooth pain? It’s never a good feeling waking up with tooth pain in the morning. We all know that tooth pain is no joke. It can range from a little discomfort to an unbearable ache and everything in between. This blog post will discuss 7 reasons why you may be experiencing morning tooth pain.


woman grinding her teeth while sleeping

This is a condition in which you grind your teeth at night while sleeping. Bruxism is a common cause of tooth pain in the morning, as well as morning headaches, jaw pain, and earaches. Many people who grind their teeth at night do not even realize that they are doing it. In fact, bruxism is usually diagnosed when your dentist notices wear marks on your teeth. Over time, bruxism can cause the teeth to become damaged, which can also contribute to tooth pain. If you find yourself frequently waking up with sore teeth and/or jaw in the morning, then schedule an appointment with your dentist to be examined for bruxism.


Tooth pain in the morning can also be caused by cavities.  Cavities are small holes that can develop in your teeth when the bacteria from plaque erodes your tooth enamel. As it continues to eat away at the enamel of your teeth, the cavity will become larger and deeper. When decay reaches the inside of the tooth, this can cause a painful pulp infection.

Gum Disease:

There are many factors that can cause gum disease including smoking, diabetes and poor oral hygiene. Gum disease causes swollen gums to form around the tooth causing pain when chewing, eating, or brushing. Gingivitis is an early stage of gum disease where there are swollen gums and bleeding when brushing. Periodontitis is the more advanced stage of gum disease where there are deep pockets between the teeth and your gums, as well as bone loss around the tooth. Both stages of gum disease can cause your gums to become painful, which can also make your teeth hurt. 


An impacted tooth can also cause tooth pain in the morning, as well as throughout the day.  An impacted tooth is one that does not have enough space to erupt into the mouth. As it continues to grow, it will become stuck under the gum or bone surrounding the teeth. This can cause pressure and pain when chewing certain foods, as well as general soreness in your jawbone. If you are experiencing any symptoms of an impacted tooth such as pain in your jaw, ear pain or teeth shifting positions, schedule an appointment with your dentist.



Sinusitis is a common cause of tooth pain, especially in the mornings.  When you experience sinusitis, it means that the sinus cavities in your face are inflamed, swollen, and filled with fluid. This causes facial pressure that can hit the tooth nerves, causing pain in the upper teeth just below the sinus cavities. Sinusitis is also usually accompanied by other symptoms such as a sinus headache, postnasal drip, cough, nasal congestion, and fever.


Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD) can also cause tooth pain in the morning, especially when accompanied by bruxism. TMD is a disorder in which the jaw joint and the surrounding muscles are strained or tense, causing pain in your jaws, head, and neck. Bruxism has been found to increase the risk of TMD, which is why morning tooth pain can be caused by a combination of these conditions. Like bruxism, TMD can also cause morning headaches, facial pain, and problems chewing.

Tooth Abscess

An infected tooth can also cause pain in the morning, as well as throughout the day.  An abscess is a collection of pus that forms around an infection deep within your tooth or gums. It causes pressure and inflammation which will make it hurt to bite down on foods. Other symptoms include fever, bad breath, swelling of the face, and pain radiating from the infected tooth. If you suspect that your tooth is abscessed, make an appointment to see a dentist immediately as it can cause serious damage if left untreated for too long.

Waking up with tooth pain is never fun, but it’s not always a sign of something more serious. If you find yourself waking up to sore teeth and jaw for no apparent reason, there are many conditions that could be causing this discomfort.  Bruxism can cause morning headaches as well as facial pain. TMD symptoms include painful jaws and neck muscles, which will often make your teeth hurt too. Tooth abscesses are the most severe of all these cases because they can lead to infection if left untreated or damage other parts of your mouth including sinuses. Whatever the cause may be, schedule an appointment with your dentist right away so they can diagnose what’s going on before things get worse!

Dr. Sam Sadati wearing black suite portrait

Dr. Sadati possesses extensive experience in all aspects of advanced restorative dentistry, with an emphasis in cosmetic and implant dentistry.  He has attained Accredited Fellow status in the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD), the most rigorous, demanding credentialing process in the world. He is the only AACD Accredited Fellow in South Florida.