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Have you ever woken up with a sharp tooth pain at night? One of the worst consequences of toothaches is, arguably, sleepless nights. It can be extremely uncomfortable and painful to have a tooth ache at night, making you lose out on your precious sleep. When it comes to treating your pain at night, you may not be able to completely get rid of it but there sure are ways to reduce it.

Causes of toothache

Here are some reasons for having toothaches.

  1. One of the most common causes of toothache is tooth decay. Decay can lead to cavities, which form when bacteria and acids eat away at the outer layer or enamel of your tooth. This reveals the inner tissues of your tooth, leaving it unprotected, which is why you could have toothaches which can range from mild to severe.

  2. Some people also get toothaches due to sinus infections. As the infection drains from the head it creates pressure and pain, which results in toothache, especially at night.

  3. Dental abscess is another reason for toothaches at night.

  4. If you’re one of the lucky few who’s getting a wisdom tooth, then that may give you some uncomfortable and painful toothaches, which get worse at night.

  5. Other causes include gum disease, trauma or injury to the tooth or jaw, tooth filling getting out of place and grinding teeth among others.

Ways to manage tooth pain at night

If you’ve been plagued by such an unbearable toothache, here’s how to get rid of tooth ache at night1:

  • Avoid aggravating foods–

    It’s helpful if you avoid foods that will aggravate the pain just before you go to bed. Anything that is acidic, hard, too hot or too cold should be avoided.

  • Keep your head elevated–

    By propping your head in a slightly elevated position, you will ensure that the blood doesn’t rush to your head, which may cause intense pain and keep you up all night.

  • Painkillers–

    You can use certain over-the-counter painkillers to relieve the pain. This works well if you have a minor toothache. Apart from the pills, there are also gels and ointments available that help minimise the pain for a sufficient period of time, long enough for you to fall asleep. Ask your dentist for the right prescription.

  • Use a cold compress–

    Right before you go to bed, rest the side of your face that is hurting on an ice pack. This will help numb the area and you’ll notice the pain minimising.

  • Rinse with a mouthwash–

    Make sure to rinse your mouth with an alcohol-based mouthwash to kill the bacteria as well as help make your mouth numb.

Natural remedies to get rid of tooth ache

If you prefer resorting to home remedies to help ease your tooth pain at night, here are some common and effective ways2.

  1. Rinsing your mouth with salt water is one of the most popular home remedies to alleviate tooth ache. An antibacterial agent, salt may also help in reducing inflammation.

  2. Clove is another classic example of a good pain reliever. It helps numb the area and also reduces pain and inflammation. Gently chewing on a single clove and allowing it to rest on the affected area is a good way to use clove.

  3. Other natural ingredients that are known to help alleviate tooth pain at night are:

    • Garlic–

      Crush a clove of garlic to make a paste and apply on affected area.

    • Peppermint tea–

      Place a warm, used peppermint tea bag on the tooth to get rid of tooth pain.

    • Guava leaves–

      You can chew on a guava leaf or crush some leaves and add to boiling water. You can use this guava leaf water to make some sort of mouth wash.

    • Wheatgrass–

      Extract the juice out of wheatgrass by using a juicer or manually with a mortar and pestle. This can be also used as a mouth wash.

Your guide to good oral hygiene

The best way to avoid toothaches at night, or any time of the day is by inculcating healthy oral care habits. This will ensure you have a healthy mouth and will also contribute to your overall health. The below guidelines will help you get started.

  1. Brush your teeth twice daily using a good fluoride toothpaste. It is one of the most basic and important steps in any oral care routine. Using a good toothbrush makes a difference too. Go for Oral-B’s iO Series Electric Toothbrush that comes with a new iO technology combining micro-vibrating bristles with Oral-B's dentist-inspired round brush head for a fresh, clean mouthfeel and 100% healthier gums in just a week.

  2. Floss your teeth regularly after every meal. This ensures any food particles stuck in between your teeth are removed, preventing cavities. Oral-B Essential Mint Floss comes with shred-resistant technology, providing ease in removing food particle from hard-to-reach corners and crevices. It is also mint flavoured to give you a fresh minty taste after every use.

  3. Use a good anti-bacterial mouthwash before going to bed.

  4. Adopt a healthy lifestyle and follow a healthy diet. Avoid consuming too much sugary drinks and foods as they may prove harmful to your teeth as well as your health.

Most people find relief from toothaches with over-the-counter medication or natural remedies. If your toothache subsides in around 24 hours, then you needn’t worry. However, if you experience persistent pain for over two days that is severe, or is accompanied by fever or trouble in swallowing or breathing, you must visit the dentist. Practice good oral care and hygiene to avoid toothaches and other dental issues.


What is the fastest way to stop a toothache at home?

Some of the most effective and speedy home remedies are applying a cold compress, rinsing with salt water, placing peppermint tea bags or clove on affected tooth.

Why is toothache at night worse?

The reason why our toothaches at night get more painful is due to our position when we sleep. When we lay down, blood rushes to our head and adds pressure on sensitive areas.

How should I sleep with tooth pain?

When you have toothache at night, you can try sleeping with your head in an elevated position. This will prevent blood flow to head that causes added pressure and provide some relief from the toothache.