Let’s face it; there isn’t an ideal time to have a toothache—in fact, these issues seemingly have a knack for occurring not just out of the blue, but also when it’s least convenient. But have you ever experienced a toothache that seemingly becomes worse during the night? Needless to say, this can make trying to get a good night’s sleep a bit of a challenge! Here’s more about what causes toothaches to intensify during the night and how your dentist can help!
What Causes Toothaches to Worsen at Night?
There are several possible explanations for a toothache intensifying at nighttime. A few common reasons include:
- Late-night snacking – If you’re prone to snacking on sugary or starchy items before bedtime, you’re giving bacteria additional opportunities to wreak havoc inside your mouth all throughout the night. Be sure you’re brushing before bedtime, especially after snacking!
- Fewer distractions – At nighttime, there are simply fewer distractions that might take your mind off of your toothache, which might make you feel more attuned to your discomfort.
- Increased blood circulation – When you lie down to sleep, more blood is able to rush to your brain; this increase in circulation means experiencing more tooth pain than if you were standing.
- Bruxism – If you’re prone to grinding or clenching your teeth, whether it’s conscious or unconscious the habit can cause all sorts of oral health issues including jaw pain and sensitivity.
- Unaddressed oral health issues – Of course, issues such as cavities, decay, and gum recession can also flare up and cause oral discomfort at nighttime.
How Can I Address the Issue?
No matter what’s causing your toothache, it likely isn’t something that will dissipate on its own; the pain is merely a symptom, meaning that the actual problem will need to be identified and treated appropriately! This is where professional treatment comes into play; however, there are also things you can do prior to seeing your dentist:
- Take over-the-counter pain medications as needed; anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen are usually quite effective.
- Place a cold compress or ice pack against the side of your mouth that hurts.
- If you have sinus pressure or a sinus infection, consider taking a decongestant.
- Prop your head up with a couple of extra pillows so that you’re sleeping with your head elevated.
- Use one of several different (and safe) at-home toothache remedies, such as a lukewarm saltwater rinse or placing a teabag against the side of your gums.
In any case, extreme tooth pain, swelling, or persistent bleeding needs to be handled in a quick manner. That said, knowing more about what causes tooth pain and what exacerbates it during the nighttime can help you take better care of your smile and ensure that you’re getting enough sleep!
About the Practice
The team at Dallas Esthetics proudly serves patients and families in the Dallas, TX area from their office at Preston Sherry Plaza. Under the leadership of Dr. Frank L. Higginbottom, Dr. Richard B. Derksen, and Dr. Sloan W. Hildebrand, they offer a wide range of preventive, restorative, and cosmetic treatment options. If you have any questions about the article or you or a loved one is suffering from a persistent toothache, don’t hesitate to contact them today to get the help you need! Telephone: (214) 827-1150.