If you’ve ever had a nagging toothache, you probably remember how much you dreaded the evenings. Toothaches are bothersome any time of the day, but they’re prominently worse during the night. There are several reasons that this is true, and we’re listing some of them in this article. Read on to understand why your toothache is keeping you up at night, and get tips on how to relieve the pain so you can get a good night’s rest.
Reason #1: More Blood Flow
The main reason why toothaches are more painful at night is our sleeping position. Laying down causes more blood rush to our heads, putting extra pressure on sensitive areas, such as our mouths. We don’t feel that throbbing sensation as much during the day because we’re mostly standing or sitting.
Reason #2: Our Brain Has Fewer Distractions
At night, we are more aware of the sensations in our bodies because there are fewer distractions. We may think that our toothache is worse, but in truth, it is not—we just feel it more as we clear our minds to fall asleep.
Reason #3: Late-Night Meals
If you’ve eaten sweets for dinner or had a sugary midnight snack, some of that food get stuck in between our teeth or gums. Because plaque thrives on sugar, forgetting to brush your teeth after a late-night meal can aggravate a toothache.
Reason #4: Unconscious Grinding
Some people unknowingly grind their teeth at night. They may wake up from their sleep, writhing in so much pain because teeth grinding puts much stress on the jaws, teeth, and gums. This can be a severe condition and needs proper care and treatment.
How to Lessen Toothaches at Night
If your toothache feels unbearable in the middle of the night, it means it’s too late to go to the dentist. Fortunately, there are some ways to give you temporary relief so you can manage the pain and go back to sleep:
Avoid eating cold, acidic, or sugary food before going to bed. These can aggravate any cavities that have formed in your teeth. After brushing, rinse with a mouthwash that contains alcohol or salt. These have antibacterial components that help reduce inflammation caused by plaque and cavities.
For mild to moderate toothaches, try taking over-the-counter pain medications, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen. Just remember to stay within the recommended dosage indicated in the instructions. You can also try using medicated ointments available at your local drugstore. These come in gels or creams that contain numbing ingredients to give you temporary relief.
You can also try applying a pack of ice on the affected side of your face or jaw. Cold compress constricts the blood vessels in the area, numbing the pain for a while.
Lastly, sleep with your head elevated. Propping your head with pillows will lessen the blood flow going to your head. This may give you enough relief until you can finally fall asleep.
Bear in mind that these pain relief tips are only temporary—they won’t work in the long run, and they will not cure whatever it is that’s making your tooth hurt. Hopefully, they will get you through the night so you can call your dentist immediately in the morning.
If you’re looking for a local dentist to help you with your aching teeth, get in touch with us today for a free consultation!