tooth hurt

Why Does My Tooth Hurt in the Morning?

July 1, 2022

Do you ever wake up with a toothache in the morning? If so, you’re not alone. Many people have similar tooth pain in the morning, but the causes could be from very different health or dental-related issues that range from mild to quite severe.

This article will go over the most common reasons why you wake up with tooth pain and what you can do to get some relief from the pain as well.


Cavities are the cause of many toothaches due to being left untreated in the mouth. Cavities are permanently damaged areas in the hard surface of your teeth that develop into tiny openings or holes from bacteria in your mouth eroding away the enamel and dentin. Cavities are caused by poor hygiene, genetics, eating sugary snacks, among other reasons. When your cavity goes untreated, it can get worse until it invades your tooth’s pulp where the nerves are and this begins to create pain and discomfort.


To treat cavities, see your dentist immediately. They will take out the decay and put in a filling, making your tooth cavity free.

Gum Disease

Another cause of tooth pain could be gum disease, also called periodontal disease. Gum disease is an infection of the gums that occurs when plaque buildup on your teeth causes inflammation. As a result of this inflammation, the gums around your teeth can become red, swollen, and tender. This infection is typically caused by having poor brushing and flossing habits which allows plaque (a sticky film of bacteria) to build up and harden on teeth. When gum disease progresses, you may start to see gum recession and even bone loss around your teeth. These can lead to tooth pain, tooth decay, loose teeth, infections in the mouth, and even tooth loss.


To control the infection and cure gum disease before it advances, your dentist may give you topical or oral antibiotics. Make sure to always have good oral hygiene habits to avoid this all together.


Grinding or clenching of teeth, often at night, is called bruxism and is also a reason you may be experiencing tooth pain in the morning. Bruxism can turn into a nightly habit which can have severe effects on your teeth, such as leading to TMD, which is a disorder of the jaw muscles, temporomandibular joints, and the nerves associated with chronic facial pain. Bruxism can also cause ear pain, facial pain and headaches as well.


If you are suffering with bruxism, you can get a mouth guard over the counter or have your dentist make a custom one for your mouth. Avoiding stress and getting enough sleep is also helpful to curb teeth grinding.


Sinus infections can also cause morning tooth pain. Sinusitis is an inflammation of the sinuses that causes congestion and creates a thick nasal discharge. The symptoms can include facial pressure, headaches, fatigue, coughing, sore throat and fever. Sinusitis can be caused by allergies or upper respiratory infections.


Sinusitis can be treated with other counter allergy medication, nasal spray, decongestants as well as rest.

Tooth Impaction

Impacted teeth is another cause of toothaches when you wake up. Teeth become impacted when wisdom teeth grow improperly, either partially or fully to the gum line but don’t break through the gum tissue. Tooth impaction can result in inflammation and pain, as well as infection or damage to the teeth surrounding the impaction.


If you think your teeth may be impacted, contact your dentist right away for an appointment.

Tooth Abscess

Another possible cause of tooth pain in the morning could be a tooth abscess. An abscess is a pocket of pus that forms around the root of an infected tooth. This infection can be very painful and will often manifest with swelling, redness, and throbbing because the nerves in your teeth are inside the tooth’s pulp, so the bacteria invades the nerves and produces excruciating discomfort.


If you think you have an abscess, contact your dentist for treatment right away. Leaving an abscess can cause it to burst and that can lead to the bacteria going down into your body, causing more issues. A dentist or specialist will need to be seen for treatment of the abscess.

Curb Tooth Pain with Expert Dental Care

Carrie Muzny D.D.S. offers the highest-quality dental services for our patients in The Woodlands and surrounding areas. Our highly acclaimed dentists are not only exceptionally trained in modern preventative techniques, but also have attained academic honors and continue to refine their craft year after year in preventative dentistry, restorative dentistry, surgical procedures, and cosmetic dentistry.

With our state-of-the-art technology and vast range of smile-perfecting procedures, we stay atop the field and deliver smiles as sunny as the state of Texas!

Let us help you get that perfect smile, contact us today. You can even request a virtual consultation!

Share This Article With Your Friends


Dental Tips

Recent Posts