Why does my Toothache Hurt More at Night? – How to Get Rid of a Nagging Toothache at Night?

After a long day, you finally lie down for a while in order to relax? Although, you end up experiencing a nagging toothache at night, which does not let you sleep and soothe? Does this severe toothache become unbearable? Do not worry at all! We are here now.

Toothache is a painful discomfort, especially at night. However, there are some things you can do to temporarily relieve yourself and get some sleep. We are going to shed light on different safe manners that can help you treat a toothache at night, and we are as well going to detect the causes of this annoying night pain that you have in your mouth.

A person that is having tooth pain at night.

What is Toothache?

Toothache is a very common pain that can be detected in a tooth, belong to a group of teeth or even be more diffuse. The source of a toothache can be diseases of the teeth and mouth, but also other conditions that can be found outside the mouth. In any case, however, no matter how unpleasant it is, it warns us that something is wrong.

Only your dentist can determine the true cause of your toothache. Sometimes the pain comes from other areas and is reflected in the jaw, so it creates the impression that the teeth are aching.

Toothache can be short or persistent, constant in intensity or worsening, while occurring spontaneously or after eating sweet and very hot or cold foods and beverages. It may be accompanied by other symptoms, such as redness of the gums, swelling of the area that is visible externally, bleeding, the presence of pus, runny nose, headache, and so on.

An illustrative photo showing what can cause tooth pain and tooth damage.

What are the Causes of a Toothache?

Toothache is an unpleasant condition which is usually more painful at night. The reason why this happens is the increased blood pressure in the head when you lie down.

Caries is the main cause of toothache. Other causes can include gingivitis, sinusitis, ear infections and similar conditions, which lead to inflammation in the area around the mouth and jaw.

A toothache occurs due to inflammation of the pulp which is the soft and sensitive substance located in the inner layer of the tooth. It contains soft, thin tissue, consisting of sensitive nerves and blood vessels.

One of the causes of dental inflammation of the pulp is the wear of the teeth which leads to the formation of cavities on the hard surface of the tooth. Loose or broken fillings in a tooth, receding gums and peritoneal abscesses are also causes of toothache.

Why is my Toothache Worse at Night?

Large cavities in the teeth deepen as time goes on. With this development, it reaches the vessels and the nerves inside the teeth. The root canals become infected. This inflammation spreads to the canals and bones around the root.

As blood pressure in the head and neck rises at night, the effects of bacteria and inflammation on the surrounding tissues become more difficult. The mechanism that repairs our body works more actively at night. As cell activation increases in “damaged” areas, such as inflammation and bruising, stress and pain develop. This throbbing pain can even wake the person from sleep.

A person holding his mouth tight from having pain in his tooth.

What are the Symptoms of a Toothache?

Toothache and jaw pain have common symptoms. There may be severe pain when pressing either on hot or cold stimuli. The pain may persist for more than 15 seconds after the stimulus is removed. As the area of ​​inflammation increases, the pain becomes more intense. The feeling of pain may be reflected in the cheek, ear or jaw. Other signs and symptoms that may lead you to seek care include the following:

  • Pain when chewing
  • Sensitivity to hot or cold
  • Bleeding or sagging (receding) of the gums around a tooth
  • Inflammation around a tooth or swelling of the jaw
  • Tooth injury or trauma to the area
Male patient at dentist telling the dentist about his toothache pain.

How to Get Rid of a Night Toothache at Home?

It is vital to visit a dentist as soon as possible. These relief manners are temporary. If left untreated, your toothache can lead to more serious problems.

Measures that can relieve the pain, until the visit to the dentist, are:


Acetaminophen and ibuprofen will effectively reduce a mild to moderate toothache. Be sure to follow the recommended dosage given in the instructions.

If, however, the pain is more intense you will need to contact your dentist immediately in order to recommend you something stronger.

Cold compresses

Cold compresses help reduce the intensity of toothache. Moreover, you can wrap some ice in a towel and apply it to the sore spot.

Hold the compress for 15-20 minutes.

Topical oral gels

Try topical tooth gels such as Orajel. Look for the gel that contains benzocaine and an antiseptic ingredient. Make sure you wash your hands whenever you apply and use it according to the instructions.

Raising your head

The accumulation of blood in the head can cause additional pain and inflammation. For some people, lifting their head with an extra pillow may relieve them enough in order to fall asleep.


Allicin is a compound which is located in fresh garlic. This has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. It is created when the cloves are crushed, chewed, chopped or sliced. You should use fresh garlic because you will not find allicin in garlic powder. In order for this treatment to be effective, let the chewed garlic stay on the affected tooth (do not stick it). You can also make a paste with crushed garlic and salt. Use a cotton swab in order to apply the paste to the tooth.

Washing your mouth with salt water

Mouthwashes with saline are a well-known medicine for toothache. Salt water has antibacterial properties and as well temporarily relieves pain.

Mint tea

Mint tea can also temporarily relieve your toothache. Researchers, note that mint contains antibacterial and antioxidant compounds and causes numbness in the area of pain.

Baking soda with hot water

Baking soda keeps not only the fridge fresh but at the same time your mouth. If you have sensitive teeth, gargling with water and a baking soda solution can help reduce the pain. Minimizes the annoying bacteria and plaque that cause toothache. Or dampen a cloth or cotton ball and dip it in a tablespoon of baking soda. Apply it to the tooth until it is covered. With the remaining soda, add a little water and make it into a mouthwash.

A graphical image illustrating the nerve of a tooth while having pain.

What you Should NOT do About your Night Toothache?

Applying substances such as aspirin, alcohol, cologne to the area of the aching tooth will not bring it into relief and may damage the surrounding tissues. For this reason, it is essential that you consult a dentist as soon as possible for specific and efficient solutions.

When to Seek Medical Help for your Toothache?

You should contact your dentist if you suffer from toothache, when:

  • The pain does not relief with over-the-counter medications, such as simple painkillers.
  • You experience severe pain after removing a tooth. This can happen on the second or third day after the teeth are extracted. It is commonly the result of the dissolution or detachment of the clot that forms immediately after extraction, causing the bone to be exposed until a new clot form, which will cover the exposed bone. The condition is known as alveolar osteoarthritis or “dry alveolar syndrome”. If this happens, you should see a dentist within 24 hours.
  • The pain is related to swelling of the gums or face or you even have pus or other secretions around a tooth. Fever is an important sign of infection in dental diseases such as gingivitis and periodontitis. Simple dental caries does not cause fever. These signs may indicate an infection that is surrounding the tooth, gums or jaw bone. Fever and swelling may also indicate the presence of an abscess. Dental abscesses may require antibiotics and surgical opening (drainage) of the abscess. When this procedure has to be proceeded inside the tooth (endodontic drainage), then treatment is performed with denervation of the root canal.
  • Broken or injured teeth appear after an accident and in this case, you should contact your dentist as soon as possible. Submerged teeth as well as tooth loss (dentition) are considered a dental emergency. Tooth loss due to injury (traumatic loss) is treated differently in children who have lost their new teeth than in older children and adults with injury to their permanent teeth. If a child’s permanent tooth has been knocked out and completely removed, then try rinsing it gently and implanting it as soon as possible while also seeking immediate dental care. If you cannot put it back in place, put it in a small amount of milk or even water and ask for dental care.
  • The pain is located in the corner of your jaw. If your mouth hurts a lot every time you open it, it is possible that the temporomandibular joint is injured or inflamed. This can happen after an injury or just after trying to eat something that is too large in volume. Your dentist will suggest appropriate solutions to this problem.
  • Pain felt in your wisdom teeth. As the wisdom teeth (third molars) emerge (rise) in the mouth they cause inflammation of the gums around the visible part of the tooth. The gums in the area may become inflamed. The tooth most commonly involved in this condition is the last third molars. The pain can extend to the jaw and ear. Swelling may occur in the affected area and the jaw may not close properly. In severe cases, sore throat and lower back pain can make swallowing difficult.
Mother and her child in the photo are brushing teeth in the bathroom.

Prevention Against Toothache

To prevent toothache, you must maintain meticulous oral hygiene. Regular flossing and regular brushing are required. The filling and application of fluoride by the dentist play an important role in preventing tooth decay, which can cause severe toothache.

Should you Be Worried about your Toothache?

For conditions that are not due to problems with the teeth and jaws, their timely diagnosis and treatment relieves you of pain. Toothache is not a pain that should be ignored. Whether it is a seal or something more serious.

Whatever the cause of the toothache, it is important to remember that you need to contact your dentist as soon as possible. Any “treatments” at home offer only temporary relief.

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