Medical Questions > Conditions and Diseases > TMJ Forum

Excruciating Pain In My Sleep

Hi everyone this is my first time to post here. I sometimes have very excruciating pain in my jaw in my sleep. Not every night, but every few weeks or so, and its been going on for several years now. It’s weird to explain. I don’t wake up from it, it just seems like a bad dream to me, and I usually don’t remember that it happened until later that day or the next day sometimes. But when its happening it feels like my jaw is out of alignment and I am crushing my back teeth when I try to close it, and there is nothing I can do to stop it. Like I said, its very weird to describe because i’m asleep when its happening.

What I think is happening is this: I fall asleep on my side with my mouth open, my muscles get relaxed, gravity causes my jaw to become dislocated, and then I try to close my mouth while its dislocated. Then somehow I manage to get it relocated and I wake up in the morning and don’t feel any pain at all and don’t even remember that the whole thing happened until later.

So is this a common thing that happens to people? Is there anything I can do to stop it?

Also, I don’t know if this has any relevance to the condition, but I broke my jaw in a fight about 8 yrs ago.

I would appreciate it if any of you could let me know what’s going on.
Did you find this post helpful?

replied March 7th, 2006
Hi trev,
i question that you may be dreaming when this happens (flash back to the broken jaw time) because you say you aren't in any pain in the morning. I'm only guessing so don't get upset, I may be totally wrong. It's just when people brux at night, they usually wake up with either a tired jaw, sore teeth or some sort of pain or headache.

You could experiment and purchase a night guard (walmart, etc.) wear it at night for at least a month when sleeping and see what happens (the first night or two might be difficult to fall asleep if you aren't used to something in your mouth).

As I said, I might be completely off. But with the trauma of a broken jaw and the time healing, it wouldn't surprise me a bit if you were having such a reoccurring nightmare.

If the problem continues, though, you might want to check with your dentist (or oral surgeon) to get your jaw checked out.

Did you find this post helpful?
Must Read
Chronic pain affects more than 70 million Americans. But what is pain? And how can pain management help relieve different types of pain? Basic facts here....
How does the nervous system work to register pain? And what are the major causes of acute and chronic pain? Plus, who's at risk of pain here....
Acute and chronic pain manifest different symptoms. Learn the difference here and know when to seek medical help for pain....