Waking up in the middle of the night due to extreme tooth pain that hinders sleep is not a good experience. This throbbing discomfort disrupts the rest time but also signals a deeper dental issue. It is better to not fall for quick fixes and get in touch with a dental care specialist for the appropriate treatment.

Why Does Your Toothache Worsen At Night?

Toothaches may increase their level at night due to multiple reasons. When we lay down to sleep, our blood flow increases to the head that puts extra pressure on sensitive areas like the mouth, increasing the pain sensation.

Moreover, our brains have fewer distractions at night making us more aware of the sensations going on in our bodies, which is why we are more alert to even the least of things. Late-night, high-sugar meals, can cause plaque buildup, aggravating toothaches.

Other than that, if you have the habit of involuntary teeth grinding, it may be the reason why your tooth goes into extreme pain, making it difficult to sleep.

The most common causes of toothaches at night include:

  1. Cavities: Holes in teeth are one of the most common reasons why your tooth might be feeling sensitive, sending in the sensation of pain and making it difficult to sleep. These dental cavities serve as an inlet to trigger a pain response.
  2. Periodontal Disease: Your pain might be due to infection of the supporting structures around the teeth.
  3. Damage: If you have a half-broken tooth, a chip, or a crack in teeth from trauma, all can cause mild to severe tooth pain, especially when chewing or exposed to temperature extremes.
  4. Sinusitis or Ear Infections: Your ear is located near the jaws and that is why pressure from sinus infections can affect dental nerve endings, causing sore teeth, jaw pain, and facial discomfort.
  5. Tooth Nerve Pain (Pulpitis): If your tooth decay has gone to the worst level and caused inflammation of the pulp, extreme tooth pain while you sleep is a given.

Managing Nighttime Tooth Pain

As soon as you make that appointment, here are a few things that can be done to avoid extreme tooth pain at night.

  1. Follow Proper Oral Hygiene: Do not skip regular brush and floss gently before you go to bed. This practice helps remove any food particles or plaque that could be irritating the tooth and causing pain.
  2. Warm Saltwater Rinse: Salt in warm water solution is a good antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. Swish it around your mouth for about 30 seconds to help reduce inflammation and kill bacteria.
  3. Cold Compress: Put a cold compress or an ice pack wrapped in cloth to the outer area of your cheek where the tooth is having extreme pain for 15-20 minutes to numb the area and peaceful sleep.
  4. Elevate Your Head: Use an extra pillow to prop your head up while sleeping to reduce blood flow.
  5. Avoid Trigger Foods: Do not include hot, cold, sweet, or acidic foods or beverages that worsen tooth sensitivity and pain.
  6. Over-the-Counter Pain Relief: You can ask your local pharmacist to provide over-the-counter pain medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen to help manage the pain and improve sleep quality.

Closing Note

If your tooth pain is so extreme that it does not let you sleep, combine these detailed strategies to effectively manage toothache. We hope that this blog serves its purpose of answering most of your queries. If you have concerns or want to know more about how we can be of help, get in touch with Dr. Rosita Hamidi, a graduate of the University of Texas Dental Branch, Houston, at Smile Time Dental. Visit our clinic or call (281) 245-0711 to schedule a same-day appointment.

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