Toothaches are one of the most dreadful dental issues that a person can experience in their life. They are the most distressing and uncomfortable feeling, which has the potential to disturb a sound sleep. Toothache can occur as a sharp shooting or stabbing pain. Moreover, it can occur due to several reasons such as tooth decay, muscle pain, tooth abscess, joint disorder, and tooth fracture.
Pain caused by tooth infection is the most dangerous because it further aggravates during the night and disturbs one’s precious sleep. Toothaches are often continuous and may interfere with the daily activities scheduled for the next day.
Therefore, it is essential to know the different ways to manage a toothache at night, especially when you do not have access to professional dental care. Some of these remedies include the use of OTC pain relievers, clove oil, essential oils, and herbal treatments.
Today’s article will highlight the causes of tooth pain and discuss the different ways of managing toothache at night.
Table of Contents
What causes toothache at night?
Some of the possible reasons that cause toothache particularly at night include –
- Poor oral hygiene causes the accumulation of food debris between the teeth. Additionally, it increases dental plaque and bacterial growth, potentially damaging the tooth structure.
- Increased risk of cavities creates a hole in the tooth due to the decay and can damage the tooth’s deeper layers.
- Lying down in a horizontal position often increases in pressure due to the increased blood flow in the head and neck region. This increased flow of blood often increases the pressure on the sensitive areas which may aggravate the sensation of a toothache ultimately disturbing the sleep.(1)
- Cracked, fractured, broken, or chipped tooth caused due to some traumatic injury may cause mild to severe tooth pain. The severity of the toothache usually depends on the extent of the damage. Regularly chewing on hard objects can aggravate such type of pain. Therefore, be mindful of what you eat. (2)
- Referred pain from the Sinus or Ear Infection can also cause toothaches. This happens because of the pressure build-up from sinus infection develops around the area just above the molar tooth roots.
- Tooth pulp pain is also known as Pulpitis, is a potential cause of severe tooth pain. Pulpitis can be reversible or irreversible, depending on the extent of the damage. It mainly occurs when tooth decay infects the pupal tissue.
- Bruxism – a habit of grinding the teeth while experiencing stress throughout the day can lead to toothache at night due to the strain on the jaw. (3)
How to manage toothache at night?
Some of the natural home remedies that can help you manage toothache at night and have an undisturbed sleep are as follows –
Oral hygiene maintenance
- Brushing your teeth with desensitizing toothpaste can reduce tooth pain and sensitivity that might disturb your sleep. Moreover, it helps to remove the food debris that may have lodged after a meal.
Often the toothbrush cannot reach the areas between the teeth. Therefore, regular flossing can significantly remove any food particle that may have been stuck between the teeth, thus preventing such toothache.
- Warm Salty Water and Peroxide mouth rinse is a unique combination used for rinsing the mouth after having food. Periodontitis is a severe gum disease that generally occurs as a result of poor oral hygiene. It often causes soreness, bleeding gums, and loose teeth in the bony socket. The peroxide mouth rinse helps to reduce the disease-causing plaque and bacteria, thereby reducing toothache.
This mouth rinse can be made by diluting food-grade hydrogen peroxide with equal parts of water. Add one to two teaspoons of salt into the mixture. Swish the solution in the mouth. Be cautious not to swallow it as hydrogen peroxide is caustic. (4)
- Whiskey mouthwash – This essential tip involves sipping some whiskey, swishing it in the mouth and then spitting it out. Do this just before sleeping after toothbrushing and flossing. Many people have reviewed this technique and said that the mouth gets clean while the pain also subsides to some extent.
- Salts and Baking Soda combination is an effective home remedy that is used to treat an abscessed tooth. It is usually recommended to take equal proportions of salt and baking soda powder. Take a cotton pad, dip it in water, and dab the dampened cotton on the powder mixture. Then the cotton pad should be placed in between the teeth and the cheek. Do not place the cotton directly inside the tooth cavity. Let the cotton ball be inside the mouth overnight. This will help to relieve a toothache. (5)
- Clove Oil – this technique is an ancient and effective practice. It is very beneficial for reducing toothaches. Cloe oil is typically used by dipping a cotton pad in the oil. Take the cotton and insert it in the tooth. You can also apply it on the gums. Usually, clove oil contains eugenol, one of the main compounds in cloves, that acts as a pain reliever and inflammation.
Another way of using clove is to soak clove buds in water and ground them to make a paste. Apply the paste to the affected tooth. You can also put the paste in an empty tea bag and place it in the mouth. Moreover, you can chew or suck on a single clove bud and let the clove extract flow around the affected tooth to relieve pain.
- In case of extreme pain, it is advised to take a painkiller and check with a dentist as soon as possible. Over the counter pain medications like paracetamol and acetaminophen can be used with a caution of not overdosing.
- Garlic – The antibacterial effect of garlic helps to kill harmful bacteria in the mouth. Garlic is a common household ingredient. It consists of Alicen, which is the main compound in garlic. Alicen has a strong antibacterial effect that helps to relieve toothache and protect the tooth from cavity formation or tooth decay.
You can use garlic by merely chewing a clove of garlic and allowing it to sit near the tooth. Doing so may help to relieve tooth pain. However, in most cases, garlic has a strong and pungent taste, not tolerated by everyone. Therefore, be cautious while using garlic as a tooth pain-relieving remedy.
- Swishing peppermint tea in the mouth or sucking on peppermint tea bags may also temporarily relieve toothache. Peppermint usually contains antibacterial and antioxidant compounds. Menthol is an active ingredient in peppermint, which has a mild numbing effect on sensitive areas in the tooth and gums.
Manage the swelling
- Applying cold compressions by using a Pack of Cold Ice – usually, heat can increase the blood pressure and make a toothache worse. Therefore, an ice pack compress is used to relieve pain. You can make your ice pack by soaking a cloth in icy water. Place the pack externally over the affected area for at least 15 minutes to get relief from toothache.
- Sleeping in an elevated position has known to be very effective in treating toothache at night. One of the common reasons for pain at night is increased pressure on the head while lying horizontally. Therefore, seeking an elevated position, such a stacking two or three pillows under the neck, can elevate the head while sleeping. You can also get a toothache from a cavity. If this is the issue, you can Get fillings at a general dentist in massapequa.
Take away message
Toothache is the most painful dental experiences dreaded by every patient. It disturbs the sleep, affects the emotions and overall health of the person. Usually, toothache occurs during the night because of increased blood pressure while lying down in a horizontal position.
Several dental conditions like tooth decay, tooth fracture, broken filling, tooth abscess, and gum disease can cause pain in the night. It is essential to identify the potential cause of the pain and manage it at home until visiting the dentist. Some of the home remedies include the use of cold compress, garlic, clove oil, peppermint, oral hygiene maintenance, and pain relievers. While you may try to manage the pain at home, it is essential to book a dental appointment for the next day to ensure complete dental evaluation and proper treatment. This will help to maintain the long-term prognosis of the tooth.