One of the worst things that could happen when you try to get a good night’s sleep is to get a toothache that hinders your ability to do so. This often leaves one to wonder how to get rid of a toothache at night, but the answer isn’t always clear.
From natural remedies to what you need to do to put a stop to it for good, we’re going to cover it all in this comprehensive dental guide. It’s our way of putting an end to the curiosity and allowing you to embrace a solid answer that you can count on for many years to come.
First and foremost, here is why many people get toothaches at night.
You went the whole day without your teeth giving you any problems whatsoever. Now as the sun has set and you get ready to wind up your day with a good night of sleep, you’re faced with an unbearable toothache at night. Without any hint of what’s causing it.
To help you better understand why this could be happening, the top 5 causes of toothaches at night have been outlined for you below. Maybe it will help you hit the nail right on the head.
1. At nighttime, we tend to have fewer distractions than we do during the day.
While this is usually only the case with minor toothaches, it can be the truth behind all types of toothaches. Our days tend to get busy, and we have things to get done which distract us from things such as toothaches. Then as the night hits, we tend to unwind and become less distracted than we are during the day, providing the opportunity for a toothache to be felt the most.
2. If you grind your teeth, it is more likely to happen at night than during the day.
Tooth grinding (also referred to as bruxism) tends to happen without one even knowing that they’re grinding their teeth. Most of the time this will happen when asleep, as it’s commonly done subconsciously. The only way to know if this is the case is if you wake up in the middle of the night with a toothache or with a sore jaw.
3. Sinus infections could be showing their symptoms more at nighttime.
Many people who have sinus infections might not experience any symptoms during the daytime, only to have them take hold in the evening or later at night. In most cases, you will get a toothache on your upper teeth if a sinus infection is a reason for it. As it creates pressure and inflammation it could also be causing pressure on your teeth which makes them hurt.
4. Your diet could be contributing to the toothache you have at night.
While we tend to watch what we eat for breakfast and lunch, the same is not true when it comes to what we eat at night. Many people tend to eat sweet desserts and even partake in a late-night snack full of sugar. When this happens, it tends to get stuck in our teeth or gums.
One thing about plaque is that it loves sugar and it even uses it to spread. So, if you forget to brush your teeth at night, this could be the reason that a tooth becomes aggravated enough to present you with a dreaded toothache.
5. When lying down, increased blood flow creates added pressure on our teeth.
Many of our patients have come to us to let us know that they get a toothache only at night lying down, and it’s actually a lot more common than it might seem to be at first. The reason for this is that when one is lying down, the blood flow to their head increases. When this happens, it puts more pressure on sensitive areas (such as within the mouth), which could cause one to feel their toothache even if they didn’t feel it all during the day.
What can be done to get rid of an unbearable toothache at night?
Having a toothache at night means that you can’t rush to your dentist most of the time. Instead, you just want to be able to get rid of the pain so that you can rest up for your next busy day. With that said, here are some home remedies you can embrace if you do have a toothache in the middle of the night.
· An ice pack could help alleviate the pain of a toothache.
This is especially helpful if you’re experiencing any type of swelling around your jaw, as it could help reduce the swelling at the same time. Just get an ice pack and wrap it in a washrag. Keep it on the side that hurts for 15 minutes. In some cases, you may want to take it off for 15 minutes and repeat the process until the swelling goes down and/or the pain lessens.
· Chew on a piece of garlic to help you through that dreaded moment.
If you can stand the taste, this is a proven home remedy that has been used for as long as many can remember. Just chew on it and let it sit where the painful tooth is. Garlic contains a compound known as Allicin, which has the ability to act as an antibiotic to help kill off the bacteria that commonly leads to having a painful tooth.
· Clove oil is often a forgotten form of pain relief used for painful teeth.
As one of the original home remedies, clove is usually placed on the area where pain (either by using the paste described in the next paragraph or using a cotton ball that has been soaked in clove oil) has come to the surface. Its ability to act to combat tooth pain is thanks to a compound that it contains known as Eugenol.
Eugenol numbs the area where it is applied. For the clove to be used for toothaches, you will need to soak the cloves in water. This will create a paste that can be placed on the area where the pain is an issue keeping you up at night when you should be sleeping instead.
· Elevate your head to try to help decrease the blood flow to your head.
Since blood flow increases when you lay down at night, the best way to revert the effects that could lead to pressure being placed on teeth that have become a hindrance is to elevate your head to help decrease the blood flow. This is as simple as using an extra pillow or two.
· Ointments are an alternative to pain medications that could provide relief.
While over-the-counter pain medications are the first thing that most people resort to, oral ointments could yield better results. You simply put it on the part that is hurting, and it will numb the area. Most of these ointments use Benzocaine to produce this effect.
· Proper oral hygiene could help minimize the risk of toothaches coming to the surface.
Food or other things that get stuck in your mouth or gums could yield toothaches, and also create other dental issues as well. Just as with any other type of dental problem, a proper oral hygiene routine is the best way to minimize the risk of having toothaches no matter what time of day or night that it could be.
· Simply wash your wash out with mouthwash, as this could help in certain cases.
The alcohol that’s in mouthwash can help act as an antibiotic to fight off the bacteria that is often the root cause of toothaches. Not only does it act as a disinfectant, but it could also help you numb the infected teeth at the same time.
· Try a simple saltwater rinse as it helps fight bacteria that could cause toothaches.
The best way to do this is to mix salt with warm water to create what’s referred to as a saltwater rinse. Swish it around in your mouth and spit it out. It will act as an antibiotic that has the ability to fight off the bacteria that’s known to cause your teeth to become painful.
· Use over-the-counter pain medications to help get rid of tooth pain.
Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen can be used to help eliminate the pain associated with toothaches that you may only feel at night. Keep in mind that this will not work for major toothaches, instead it is usually only effective for mild to moderate toothaches. Make sure that you stick to the recommended dosage that can be found on the product packaging.
If these methods fail, you may need to seek out emergency toothache relief.
Even if they do help, know that the toothache could be a sign of a bigger problem that needs to be attended to by your dentist. However, there are times when these remedies might not help and you might have to seek out a dentist who has emergency appointments available after hours (like we do here at Best Dental in Houston).