I have a very sore jaw joint, especially after waking up. Any ideas why?

This is a common problem which mainly affects adults. There are numerous causes including trauma, awkward biting and stress. This is due to excessive grinding (bruxing) of the teeth which can make the chewing muscles around the mouth tender and inflamed. It often happens subconsciously when you are asleep. It is important to contact your dentist if this problem arises.  

Simple jaw exercises or the application of hot and cold may ease the tension or spasm in the muscles.  

A splint that is like a night guard can also be made by your dentist to prevent your teeth contacting during grinding. This is a relatively straightforward procedure where your dentist takes impressions of your teeth.  

Otherwise painkillers or other over-the-counter (OTC) remedies like anti-inflammatories may help relieve the symptoms.