Reasons Why Toothache Hurts More at Night

Causes, Remedies, Prevention, When to Seek Help


Have you ever noticed that toothaches can feel worse at night? It’s a common experience that many people go through. You’re not alone!

This article will dive into the reasons behind nighttime toothaches and what you can do about them. We’ll cover:

  • causes
  • remedies
  • prevention strategies
  • professional intervention

So, let’s explore why those nighttime toothaches can bother you and how you can find relief.

Nighttime Toothache: Causes

Here are five possible reasons why a toothache could be more severe at night:

1. Sensitivity When Lying Down

Ever wonder why that toothache worsens when you’re trying to sleep? Part of the reason is how blood flows in your head changes when you lie down. This blood flow change might put extra pressure on your teeth, leading to more noticeable pain.

2. Teeth Grinding (Bruxism) and Stress

Did you know some people grind their teeth unconsciously, especially during sleep? This teeth grinding, called bruxism, can worsen your toothache at night. Stress often plays a role in bruxism, so if you’re feeling stressed, your teeth might be taking the hit.

3. Sinus Troubles and Toothache

It might seem strange, but sometimes a toothache is connected to your sinuses. When your sinuses are congested, the pressure can affect your upper teeth, making them ache. This can be more bothersome when lying down as the pressure changes inside your head.

4. Infections and Abscesses

When a tooth is infected, the blood flow around that tooth increases. At night, that extra blood flow might make your toothache more intense. Infections and abscesses are serious issues that can cause pain, especially when trying to rest.

5. Nerve-Related Pain

Imagine your toothache as a spotlight on your pain. During the day, you’re distracted by many things, so the pain might not stand out as much. But with fewer distractions, nerve-related tooth pain can take center stage at night and feel worse.

Understanding these causes can help you figure out why your toothache acts up at night and what you can do to find relief.

Nighttime Toothache: Remedies

Dealing with a toothache at night? These remedies can help ease the discomfort and let you get some rest:

  • Over-the-Counter Pain Relief: Reach for ibuprofen or acetaminophen. These over-the-counter pain relievers offer temporary relief, making those late-night toothaches more bearable.
  • Numbing Gels for Quick Relief: Have a dental gel with benzocaine? Apply it to the sore area. It works like a quick numbing spell, giving you a break from the pain.
  • Soothing Saltwater Rinse: Mix warm water with salt and gently rinse your mouth. This simple remedy can help reduce inflammation and fight off bacteria, which might add to your toothache.
  • Head Elevation for Less Pressure: Stack up some pillows and prop your head up while sleeping. By doing this, you might ease the pressure on your sensitive teeth and find some relief.
  • Embrace Night Guards: If teeth grinding is your trouble, consider using a night guard. It’s like armor for your teeth, preventing grinding and reducing the pain it can cause.

Try these remedies and find the comfort you need to sleep through the night. Remember, while these solutions can provide relief, addressing the underlying causes is essential for long-lasting comfort.

Nighttime Toothache: Prevention Strategies

Preventing irritating nighttime toothaches is possible with these proactive strategies:

  • Maintain Good Oral Hygiene: A healthy mouth is a happy mouth. Make brushing and flossing a daily routine, and don’t skip those regular dental check-ups. Taking care of your teeth now can prevent toothaches down the road.
  • Manage Stress for Healthier Teeth: Stress and teeth grinding often go hand in hand. Explore stress reduction techniques like meditation, exercise, and relaxation. Keeping stress in check can help save your teeth from unnecessary grinding.
  • Stay Hydrated for Tooth Protection: Drinking water isn’t just good for your body—it’s great for your teeth, too! Staying hydrated promotes saliva production, a natural shield for your teeth. A well-hydrated mouth is less likely to experience sensitivity.
  • Be Choosy with Foods: Some foods can trigger tooth sensitivity, especially when prone to toothaches. Avoid overdoing it with acidic, cold, or hot foods. Moderation is key to keeping tooth sensitivity at bay.

By adopting these prevention strategies, you can significantly reduce the chances of nighttime toothaches and maintain a happier, healthier smile.

When to Seek Professional Help

While some toothaches can be managed at home, certain signs indicate it’s time to reach out to a dental professional:

Lingering pain: If your toothache persists for more than a couple of days despite trying remedies, it’s a clear sign that you should schedule a professional dental evaluation. Lingering pain could point to an underlying issue that needs expert attention.

Sudden increase in pain: If you notice a sudden, sharp escalation in pain, especially if it’s accompanied by swelling around the affected area, it’s crucial to seek help promptly. This abrupt intensification could be a sign of a more serious dental problem.

Long-lasting sensitivity: Tooth sensitivity to hot or cold substances is expected. If it continues even after you’ve removed the source of the sensitivity, it’s wise to consult a dentist. Prolonged sensitivity might indicate an underlying problem that requires professional assessment.

Gum troubles along with a toothache: If you experience gum issues like inflammation, bleeding, or tenderness in addition to a toothache, it’s a good idea to make an appointment with a dental professional. Gum problems are often linked to tooth issues and should be addressed promptly.

At Great Lakes Dental, we are trained to diagnose and treat various dental conditions. If your toothache keeps you up at night, it’s time to figure out why.

Seeking professional help is the best course of action to ensure your oral health is in good hands.

Great Lakes Dental Experience

Amid those midnight discomforts, understanding why toothaches can feel worse at night is a step toward finding relief. We’ve explored the causes behind this phenomenon, from changes in blood flow to teeth grinding, infections, and more. Remember, when it comes to toothaches, knowledge is your ally.

It’s time to seek professional help if any of the following accompanies your toothache:

  • persistent pain
  • sudden intensification
  • prolonged sensitivity
  • gum issues

Prioritizing your oral health isn’t just about immediate relief; it’s about investing in your long-term well-being.

Great Lakes Dental experts in New Baltimore, MI, possess the knowledge and skills to diagnose and treat your dental concerns effectively.

Don’t let nighttime toothaches disrupt your peace. Take proactive steps to ensure your smile remains bright, comfortable, and healthy. Your dental health is worth every effort, and reaching out to professionals can make all the difference. Call (586) 725-5500 or schedule your appointment online.

Remember, a pain-free night’s sleep is within reach with the right knowledge and care.

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