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Remedies to Ease Tooth Pain at Night

Tooth pain is a common problem that can range from mild discomfort to severe, unbearable pain. The underlying cause of tooth pain can vary, ranging from tooth decay and gum disease to oral infections or injuries. Regardless of the cause, the pain can be frustrating and debilitating, making it challenging to perform even the simplest tasks in your daily routine.

What makes tooth pain even more challenging is when it strikes at inconvenient times, such as in the middle of the night when you cannot see a dentist right away. This can lead to sleepless nights, making you feel tired and irritable the next day, affecting your productivity and overall well-being. In some cases, the pain can become so severe that it can impact your emotional health, causing anxiety, stress, and even depression.

Why does tooth pain get worse at night?

Have you ever experienced tooth pain that seems to get worse at night? It’s not uncommon for tooth pain to feel more severe at night, and there are several reasons why this might be the case.

Firstly, changes in blood pressure can affect the nerve endings in your teeth, making them more sensitive to pain. When you lie down, blood pressure tends to decrease, which can cause your tooth pain to feel more intense.

Inflammation in the gums or tooth roots can also worsen when you lie down, which can contribute to increased pain. When you’re upright, gravity helps to drain fluids away from your head and face, which can help reduce inflammation. But when you lie down, fluids can pool in the affected area, leading to increased inflammation and discomfort.

Finally, the tension in your jaw muscles from clenching or grinding your teeth can also contribute to night-time tooth pain. When you’re asleep, you may be more likely to clench or grind your teeth without realizing it, which can cause your tooth pain to feel more severe.

Common remedies to ease tooth pain at night

Dealing with tooth pain at night can be challenging, but there are several tips and home remedies that you can try to manage your symptoms.

  1. Sleep in an upright position: Elevating your head can help reduce blood pressure in your head and face, which can alleviate tooth pain. Try propping yourself up with pillows to keep your head elevated while you sleep.
  2. Use a cold compress: Applying a cold compress to the affected area can help reduce inflammation and numb the area, providing temporary relief from tooth pain. You can use a bag of ice or a cold gel pack wrapped in a cloth to apply the cold compress.
  3. You can also take an over-the-counter pain reliever as per the dosage instructions on the packaging until you can see your dentist. Ibuprofen is often a good choice but it can have a blood-thinning effect, so it is better to avoid it if you take a prescription blood-thinner medication. In that case, paracetamol is a good alternative. Always follow the dosage instructions on the packaging.
  4. Over-the-counter, oral gels containing benzocaine, such as Oral-eze and Nyal Toothache Drops, can also be helpful but should never be used for children under age two. Gels and creams containing benzocaine can cause rare but deadly side effects in children, especially those younger than two years of age.
  5. Rinse with salt water: Salt water can help reduce inflammation and promote healing in the affected area. Mix a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water, and swish the solution around in your mouth for 30 seconds before spitting it out.
  6. Clove oil: Clove oil has natural analgesic properties that can help reduce tooth pain. Dip a cotton swab in clove oil, and apply it directly to the affected tooth.
  7. Peppermint Tea Bag: Peppermint is a tasty and natural remedy for relieving tooth nerve pain. You can make this treatment by brewing a cup of peppermint tea. After steeping the tea bag for a few minutes, remove it from the cup. Once the tea bag is warm (but not hot), apply it to the affected area of your mouth. If you enjoy a cooling sensation, you may wish to place the tea bag in the freezer for a few minutes before use. This can be a particularly calming and enjoyable method of alleviating toothache, especially at night.
  8. Garlic: Garlic is a natural remedy that is renowned for its medicinal qualities, much like clove oil. Allicin, the primary component found in garlic, possesses potent antibacterial properties that can help eliminate the bacteria responsible for cavities in the mouth and can also help numb the pain in your troubled tooth. If you have a few garlic cloves on hand, you can crush them into a paste and apply it to the affected area. If you prefer, you can add a small amount of salt to the paste.

By trying these tips and home remedies, you can alleviate your tooth pain and get a better night’s sleep. However, it’s important to remember that these remedies are only temporary solutions, and you should still see a dentist as soon as possible to address the underlying cause of your tooth pain. 

Avoid the Pain: Tips to evade a toothache again!

In addition to home remedies, there are several other things you can do to evade a toothache and manage your symptoms. Here are some additional tips to help you feel more comfortable.

  1. Avoid hot or cold foods and beverages: Extreme temperatures can exacerbate tooth pain, so it’s best to avoid hot or cold foods and beverages. Stick to room temperature or lukewarm items instead.
  2. Eat soft foods: Chewing on hard or crunchy foods can be painful if you have a toothache. Stick to soft foods like soups, mashed potatoes, and smoothies until you see your dentist.
  3. Avoid chewing on the affected tooth: If possible, avoid chewing on the affected tooth to reduce further irritation and pain.
  4. Practice good oral hygiene: Brush and floss regularly to help prevent tooth decay and gum disease, which can contribute to tooth pain.
  5. Use a mouthguard: If you grind your teeth at night, using a mouthguard can help prevent further damage and alleviate tooth pain.
  6. Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of water can help flush out bacteria and reduce inflammation in the mouth.

Remember, if your tooth pain is severe, it’s important to seek professional dental care as soon as possible. Ignoring severe tooth pain can lead to serious complications, so don’t hesitate to reach out to your dentist for help.

When to see a dentist

The best way to prevent tooth pain is by practising good oral hygiene and scheduling regular dental check-ups. If you experience a toothache during the night, it’s crucial to seek dental treatment as soon as possible. While home remedies may offer temporary relief, they are not a permanent solution. If you notice other signs of an infection along with the toothache, such as fever or swelling, it may indicate the need for antibiotics to clear up the infection. It’s essential to address these issues promptly to prevent further complications. With the right care and treatment, you can manage your symptoms and get the relief you need.

For additional resources on managing tooth pain or finding emergency dental care, please visit The Australian Dental Association (ada.org.au) or contact your local dental clinic.

This article is for general information only and is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. All information presented on these web pages is not meant to diagnose or prescribe. In all health-related matters, always consult your healthcare professional.