What Does Jaw Pain Feel Like?
Jaw pain can feel different for different people and can have several causes. Here are some common descriptions of what jaw pain might feel like:
- Aching or soreness: It can be felt in the jaw and might be constant or intermittent. The pain might be dull or sharp.
- Stiffness: You might feel like your jaw is tight or restricted in its movements. Opening your mouth fully or moving your jaw from side to side might be challenging.
- Clicking or popping: Some people might experience a clicking or popping sensation when they open and close their mouth. It may occur with pain.
- Burning or tingling: In some cases, jaw pain can be accompanied by a burning or tingling sensation in the jaw or surrounding areas.
- Tooth pain: If dental problems cause jaw pain, it might feel like a toothache. The pain might be localized to one jaw area or spread throughout the mouth.
If you are experiencing chronic or sudden jaw pain, see a doctor or dentist for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.
Why Your Jaw Hurts In The Morning?
Possible reasons why your jaw may ache in the morning include the following:
- Bruxism: It is a condition wherein you grind or clench your teeth, often during sleep. Bruxism can cause jaw pain, headaches, and damage to your teeth and gums.
- Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD): This condition affects the joints and muscles of your jaw. It can cause pain and stiffness in your jaw and difficulty opening and closing your mouth. Jaw pain worse in the morning is a common characteristic of TMD.
- Sleep position: Sleeping on your stomach or with your head tilted to one side can put pressure your jaw and cause pain.
- Stress: Stress and anxiety can cause tension in your jaw muscles, leading to pain and discomfort.
How Can You Stop Morning Jaw Pain?
If you woke up with a sore jaw, the following steps may help relieve jaw pain.
- Warm Compress: Applying a warm compress to your jaw for 10-15 minutes in the morning can help to ease the pain and loosen up the muscles.
- Jaw Exercises: Gentle jaw exercises can help stretch and strengthen the muscles in the jaw. One such exercise is slowly opening and closing your mouth, keeping your teeth slightly apart.
- Avoid Hard or Chewy Foods: Avoiding hard or chewy foods can help prevent further strain on your jaw muscles, exacerbating the pain.
- Massage: Massaging the jaw muscles with your fingers effectively relieves tension and reduces pain.
- Use a Night Guard: If you grind your teeth at night, using a night guard helps prevent further damage to your jaw muscles and reduce pain in the morning.
- Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers: Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, can help reduce jaw pain and inflammation.
Factors that may cause jaw pain include stress, bruxism, temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), and sleeping on one side. If you are experiencing jaw pain in the morning, lifestyle changes, such as stress reduction techniques, changing your sleep position, medication, or a mouthguard can help alleviate your symptoms.