ZocdocAnswersWhy do I wake up with jaw pain?

Question

Why do I wake up with jaw pain?

Could I be clenching my teeth in my sleep? Why else would I wake up like this?

Answer

Jaw pain is a common complaint of many patients. There are many reasons why you wake up with jaw pain. It is important for you to discuss this with your regular physician and to have a formal exam to help diagnose why you have jaw pain. One of the reasons for jaw pain is temporomandibular joint disorder, which can be aggravated by clenching your teeth at night. This can be caused by inflammation of the joint between your jaw and the bones of your skull. This is usually treated with a soft diet and anti inflammatory medications such as tylenol and motrin. Another cause of jaw pain can be temporal arteritis which is a small vessel disease involving the temporal artery which is the artery in your temple. A biopsy is usually obtained of the artery to prove the disease. You should discuss this with your physician to see if you need to be tested for this. There are many reasons for jaw pain. It could also be related to your teeth. If you have problems with your teeth you should see your dentist. Otherwise, please discuss any of these questions with your primary care physician to determine the exact nature of your problem.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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