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Why Does Your Toothache Get Worse at Night?

January 24, 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — AdvancedDental @ 5:11 pm
A woman with a toothache lying in bed

At first, an aching tooth may not seem that bad. It can feel like something you’re able to “power through” and endure for a while. However, that approach won’t always work in the evening. The truth is that a toothache could quickly worsen just before bed. Should that happen, your dental pain won’t be as bearable. Your Greenfield dentist is happy to explain the details. To that end, here are several reasons why a toothache can worsen at night.

Why a Toothache Can Worsen at Night

While a tooth’s aches vary over time, various factors can elevate the pain at night. Some of the most common ones are:

Late-Night Snacking

Sure enough, late-night, sugary snacks can be satisfying. Still, this eating habit can intensify a pre-existing toothache.

You see, these nighttime treats are packed with sugar. The latter attracts harmful bacteria onto your smile’s surface. From there, the microbes will eat the sugar and erode your enamel. Potentially painful tooth decay is the result.

Teeth Grinding

In reality, it’s pretty standard for people to grind their teeth at night. This grinding can then worsen someone’s toothache.

Remember, grinding your teeth wears them down and irritates them. The pain of lost enamel could easily worsen a toothache.

Lying in Bed

You may already know your posture can bring relief or discomfort. Even so, were you aware lying down can aggravate tooth pain?

The reason comes down to pressure. When lying in bed, your head becomes level with your heart, lungs, and limbs. This leveling shifts your blood flow and pressure to your face. If this pressure persists, the extra force can press on your mouth and upset a toothache.

Fewer Distractions

If you’re like most, you keep your room quiet when sleeping. Ironically, though, this calm environment may lead to worse tooth pain.

In a quiet, noise-free room, you won’t have as many distractions. You’ll just be waiting to fall asleep. That said, this lack of stimuli can draw you to focus on your toothache.

How Should You Respond?

Before seeing a dentist the following morning, try managing your nightly toothaches. Some good ways include:

  • Prop Your Head – If you prop your head with extra pillows, you’ll reduce blood flow to your face.
  • Take Pain Killers – It’s not hard to dull an achy tooth with a store-bought pain medicine like ibuprofen. A decongestant could also reduce sinus pressure in your mouth.
  • Get a Night Guard – If the pain stems from teeth grinding, consider a nightguard. It’ll protect your pained tooth from excess force.

Given the points above, you see why a toothache can worsen at night. Therefore, try the nighttime responses above and visit your local dentist!

About the Practice

Advanced Dental Treatment Center is based in Greenfield, WI. Led by Drs. Carini and Farr, our practice strives to provide top-tier dental care. That means we offer preventive, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry, as well as emergency oral treatments. Our team is also able to ease patient anxiety with several dental sedation options. For more details or to book a visit, you can reach us on our website or by phone at (414)-209-7465.

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