Why Do I Have Jaw Pain in the Morning?

Skull showing the TMJ or temporomandibular joint

Symptoms of TMJ

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) revealed between five to 12 percent of Americans have temporomandibular joint disorder, also referred to as TMJ or TMD. Many of these individuals are waking up with joint pain in their jaw or suffering from a number of other symptoms. At Summit Family Dentistry in Littleton, CO, we want our patients to understand the symptoms of TMJ, so they can find relief.

Clicking Noises

Patients who have TMJ may notice they hear a clicking noise when they chew. Often, you’ll hear this noise when you open your mouth too wide as well.

Joint Locking

You might notice your joint locking up at times. This tends to occur when you open your mouth too wide or when you yawn.

Limited Movement in Your Jaw

Because TMJ affects your joints, you might notice you can’t open your mouth as wide as you once could, especially without pain or discomfort.


Your jaw joint connects your skull and your jaw. It can move in several directions and is part of the complex structure of your face. Unfortunately, if you have issues with your temporomandibular joint, you may have frequent headaches. It’s even possible for this problem to lead to migraines.


As mentioned above, your face is a complex structure. Many of the regions of your face can affect other areas of your head. For instance, if you have TMJ, you may hear ringing in your ears on occasion when there aren’t any external sounds that could be causing it.

Teeth Grinding

Although this isn’t a symptom of TMJ, patients who grind or clench their teeth are more likely to develop this condition.

Summit Family Dentistry Can Help with TMJ/TMD

Sometimes, patients don’t associate their headaches or ear ringing with a problem in their mouth. They attribute it to other causes. We urge our patients to take notice of these signs and realize that they don’t have to suffer. Our dentists are trained to help you find relief from your jaw pain and other TMJ symptoms. Schedule an appointment with our Littleton, CO office today.

Contact Us

Summit Family Dentistry

Summit Family Dentistry