After a long day, you get under the covers, lay back on your pillow, and close your eyes. However, instead of peacefully drifting off to sleep, you lay awake as your toothache begins to throb. Sound familiar? Normally, priority number one would be to call your dentist’s office for an emergency visit. However, since they most likely aren’t open, keep reading for a few tips for sleeping peacefully with a nagging toothache at night.
Why Toothaches Are Noticeable at Night
Oral pain of any kind necessitates a trip to your dentist’s office – even if your toothache only seems to bother you at night. With that being said, there are a few reasons you may notice it more when you’re trying to sleep. First, many patients (unintentionally) clench or grind their teeth at night, further exacerbating the issue. Second, lying down increases the blood flow to the head, compounding the throbbing feeling.
6 Tips for Sleeping Soundly with a Toothache
Quality sleep is essential. In addition to helping you concentrate better and improving your mood, getting a good night’s rest will also boost your immune system. The good news is that you can use the below tips to doze peacefully until your dental appointment:
- Avoid eating certain foods before bed – Acidic, sugary, and cold foods can all intensify your toothache.
- Complete your oral hygiene routine – Brushing, flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash will remove debris that could be causing the discomfort while also preventing any further decay or damage.
- Rinse with a mixture of salt and water – Rinsing with a mixture of salt and warm water will kill harmful bacteria and reduce your risk of infection.
- Sleep with your head elevated – Prop up a few pillows to prevent your blood flow from rushing to your head, making your tooth pain worse.
- Use a cold compress – A cold compress (or towel-wrapped ice pack) can reduce inflammation and numb the area.
- Take OTC pain medication – As a short-term solution, you can take over-the-counter pain medication as directed to relieve your discomfort.
When to Schedule an Appointment with Your Dentist
As mentioned above, abnormal symptoms of any kind, including toothaches, require an emergency visit to your dentist. From there, they can conduct a brief oral exam to determine the culprit. Next, they will create a custom treatment plan so they can swiftly intervene with the right restorative care. Once complete, you’ll be sleeping soundly again!
About the Author
Dr. Nicholas Brong earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery from the University of California in San Francisco in 2012. Ever since, he has spent his days helping patients of all ages get the high-quality preventive, cosmetic, and emergency dentistry they need. Outside the office, he prioritizes continuing education to stay at the forefront of his field. Throughout the years, he has completed advanced training at notable institutes like the University Associates in Dentistry and the Dental Implant Institute of Chicago. If you’ve been struggling with a toothache or simply need a routine checkup, don’t hesitate to visit his website or give him a call at 507-288-1066.