Toothache is a painful condition that can disrupt your daily routine. It can cause discomfort that affects your ability to eat, drink, talk, or even sleep. However, the pain can get worse at night, making it difficult to catch some rest. If you have ever experienced a toothache that only bothers you at night, you know how daunting it can be. In this blog post, We will help you understand the causes, symptoms, and potential treatments for toothaches at night. We will also provide practical tips on how to prevent and manage toothaches effectively.
What Causes Toothaches at Night Only?
Toothache at night only can result from several causes. One common cause is the inflammation of the tooth pulp, also known as pulpitis. The pulp is the innermost layer of the tooth and contains sensitive nerve endings. When this tissue becomes inflamed, it can cause severe pain that worsens at night when lying down. Pulp inflammation also is the main cause of child tooth pain at night.
Pulp inflammation may occur due to a cracked or chipped tooth, deep cavities, gum disease, grinding teeth during sleep (bruxism), or trauma. When you lay down to sleep, the blood flow to the tooth increases, which puts more pressure on the inflamed nerve endings. This can aggravate the pain, making it worse and more noticeable.
Other causes of toothache at night include:
- Gum disease (gingivitis and periodontitis)
- Dental abscess
- Trapped food particles between teeth
- Loose dental fillings
- Bruxism (grinding teeth during sleep)
- Sinus infections
- Eruption of wisdom teeth
- Impacted wisdom teeth
- Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ)
Sinus infections can put pressure on the upper teeth, which may trigger a toothache. Bruxism and temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) can lead to jaw muscle and joint tension, resulting in toothache.
Signs and Symptoms
The symptoms of toothache at night may vary depending on the underlying cause, but some common signs include:
- Pain that is sharp, throbbing, or constant
- Sensitivity to cold and hot food or drinks
- Swelling of the jaw or gums
- Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep due to pain
- Pain worsens when lying down or biting down on the affected area
- Headache or earache near the affected tooth
If you notice any of these symptoms, visit your dentist as soon as possible to determine the cause and receive appropriate treatment.
Home Remedies for Toothache That Only Occurs at Night
If the pain is unbearable and preventing you from sleeping, some home remedies may help provide temporary relief.
- Take over-the-counter medications: OTC pain relievers may include ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or aspirin to reduce inflammation and stop tooth nerve pain.
- Keep your head elevated: Elevating your head above your body can prevent blood from rushing to your head, which could exacerbate toothache pain and potentially disrupt your sleep.
- Avoid spicy, crunchy, and sticky foods: These types of food can irritate the affected area and worsen the pain.
- Rinse your mouth with mouthwash: To effectively disinfect and alleviate discomfort in your teeth, consider using an alcohol-based mouthwash.
- Place a cold compress on your cheek: This can help reduce swelling and ease the pain. You can use a cold pack or wrap an ice cube in a cloth and place it on the affected area for 15 minutes.
These at-home remedies may provide some short-term relief from the pain, however, it is essential to visit your dentist as soon as possible for a proper diagnosis and treatment.
Treatment for Toothache That Only Occurs at Night
Treatment of a toothache at night depends on the underlying cause. Your dentist may recommend one or more of these treatments to soothe tooth pain:
- Dental fillings: If a cavity causes toothache, a dental filling can help restore the tooth’s function and shape.
- Scaling and Root Planing: This procedure is used to remove plaque buildup from below the gums. This helps to reduce inflammation in the gums and treat gum disease.
- Root canal treatment: This procedure involves removing the inflamed nerve inside the tooth. Then, the area is sealed with a dental filling.
- Antibiotics: If the cause of the toothache is an infection, antibiotics may be prescribed.
- Tooth extraction: If the tooth is severely damaged or impacted, extraction may be recommended.
- Night guards: If bruxism is the cause of the toothache, your dentist may recommend wearing a night guard to protect your teeth while you sleep.
Sinus infections can also cause toothache at night, so your dentist may refer you to an ENT specialist.
To reduce your risk of toothache that occurs only at night, maintain a good oral hygiene routine. Brush your teeth twice daily, floss daily, and use mouthwash to remove any leftover food particles and bacteria that can cause decay and gum disease.
If you have bruxism, consider using a mouth guard to protect your teeth from damage.
Visit your dentist regularly for a professional cleaning and checkup. This helps ensure any minor issues can be quickly addressed before they turn into major problems.
Toothache at night only usually results from inflammation of the tooth pulp due to cracking, chipping, cavities, trauma, or gum disease. When you lay down to sleep, the blood flow to the tooth increases, which in turn puts more pressure on the inflamed nerve endings.
Home remedies, such as OTC medications, elevating your head, and cold compresses, may provide temporary relief. However, you must visit a dentist as soon as possible for an accurate diagnosis and treatment to properly address the issue.
The treatment of toothache at night depends on the underlying cause. Your dentist may recommend root canal treatment, antibiotics, or even tooth extraction.