If you’re dealing with a nagging toothache at night, and without much relief, it’s time for some professional attention. Having a reliable dentist on hand is ideal, especially if there’s a need for an immediate appointment. Needless to say, alleviating the pain and then following up with proper treatment is the proper strategy. If necessary, there’s always emergency care (or urgent care).
There are a number of reasons you might get a toothache at night
At some point or other, you’re going to be hit with a toothache – and the pain will come in varying degrees – sometimes a dull throb, sometimes a sharp pain, and sometimes severe discomfort. Worse still, a toothache at night can affect your sleep, which just exacerbates things even more.
- To start, food particles lodged between the teeth or gums can be causing distress.
- Secondly, you may be grinding your teeth at night, making things worse.
- And finally, blood flow when lying down can cause serious throbbing.
Find out what is causing your toothache
- A cavity is actually the most common cause of a toothache. Because its actually a hole in your tooth, the pain could range from mild to sharp while causing additional tooth sensitivity.
- With periodontal disease, there’s more than just a toothache – this is a gum affliction that can cause swelling and tenderness of the gums. In fact, all of it can be accompanied by bleeding.
- A cracked or chipped tooth can also cause pain – from mild to severe, all depending on the gravity of the tooth damage. Exposure to hot or cold temperature extremes can make things worse.
- A toothache from a sinus infection results from pressure that builds up above the molar teeth. This pressure causes pain because the dental roots (nerves) are affected around the jaw area.
- Another cause of tooth pain is pulpitis – a condition where decay and infection affect the pulp. The infected pulp is inflamed; there’s noticeable swelling, and all of it causes pressure and pain.
If you can’t get to the dentist at night and have to wait until morning
If you have a persisting toothache at night, and just can’t get to the dentist, there are a number of temporary measures that might ease the pain and provide some relief throughout the night.
- Sleeping with the head elevated (several pillows) will prevent blood flow causing pressure
- Brushing and flossing can help remove trapped food particles that may be perpetuating pain
- Clove oil (soaked in cotton) can be placed over a painful tooth (works well for cavity pain)
- Rinsing your mouth with hot salt water is useful when gums are infected and causing pain
- Over the counter medication (ask the pharmacist) is ideal for short-term pain management
- For swelling (face or gums), an ice compress around the discomfort is sure to dull the pain
Clearly, these are only short-term measures that provide temporary relief. Indeed, a toothache will only get worse if unattended. What’s important is to seek professional care immediately. If you have a toothache at night it’s simply a sign that something is not right. And whether it’s a routine cavity or a more serious infection, a visit to the dentist will ensure the right treatment.