toothache at nightA toothache is always a bad thing to have, but a toothache at night is especially troublesome. People need their sleep to rest and to heal, and if they have tooth pain, they can’t do either. If you’re suffering with tooth pain at night you need two kinds of help: direct help from a Grand Rapids dentist and a short term solution for the pain itself. Here we will talk about those solutions and how you can apply them. 

Causes of Toothaches

You can get a toothache any time of day, of course. The most common reason for tooth pain is because something is stuck between your teeth or between your teeth and gums. Lots of little food particles like seeds, popcorn kernels, meat or apple skin can get lodged in your mouth and cause discomfort. The easiest solution for this is to brush your teeth and floss carefully until the food gets dislodged. 

At night many people grind their teeth, and this can cause pain or soreness in your mouth and jaw and even headaches if it goes unaddressed. If you have a cavity or an infection in your mouth that is causing the pain, grinding your teeth will not make it better and can make it much more painful. Wearing a mouthguard is the best solution for teeth grinding, but it won’t help an underlying condition. 

What Are Some Remedies for a Toothache at Night? 

The reason people notice a toothache at night is because lying down increases the flow of blood to your head, and that increases the sensation of throbbing. If you are having a problem with tooth pain and brushing and flossing doesn’t help, the first thing you should do is schedule an emergency dental appointment with your dentist. In the short term, to help you sleep better, you can try these home remedies while you wait: 

Sleep with your head elevated – try adding additional pillows or sleeping sitting up. This will keep the blood from pooling in your head, and improve circulation and swelling. 

Put clove oil on the tooth – Soak a cotton ball with clove oil, and then put it on the painful tooth. This natural remedy has been used for centuries for effective short-term pain relief. 

Rinse your mouth with saltwater – Mix salt in warm water and rinse with it. This can help clear out debris and clean out any infected areas. 

Use a cold pack on the sore spot – Put a cold compress on your face or in your mouth where your tooth aches and hold it there to reduce pain and swelling.

Take over-the-counter pain medicine – Using Tylenol or ibuprofen will help to lower the pain of an infected tooth. Be sure to use the appropriate amount. Taking too much pain medication can cause other problems and dangers. 

Any of the above solutions are only meant to be short term until you can talk to your dentist. If you do have an infection or a cavity, it will need to be seen by a professional. Don’t put off scheduling an appointment because you think it will go away. A mouth infection is dangerous, and a cavity needs to be filled before it gets larger. The first sign may be a toothache at night – don’t ignore it!