How to Relieve a Toothache at Night

A toothache is no fun any time of day, but it’s especially disruptive at night. Here are some steps you can take to help you fall and stay asleep with a toothache. (Be sure to call your dentist in the morning to ask about setting a same-day appointment to treat this dental emergency.)

  • Take pain medicine: A quick, simple way to deaden a mild-to-moderate toothache is to take over-the-counter painkillers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. For your safety, always follow the dosage on the packaging.
  • Apply a cold compress: Wrap a bag of frozen peas in a towel and place it to your cheek where the affected tooth is located. This restricts blood flow in this area to reduce pain and inflammation so you can sleep. For the best results, apply the compress for 15 to 20 minutes on and off in the evening before going to bed.
  • Elevate your head: Propping up your head with two pillows reduces blood flow to your aching tooth. This may relieve the pain so you can fall asleep.
  • Apply medicated ointment: Over-the-counter oral numbing gel is an effective way to reduce the discomfort of a toothache at night.
  • Rinse with saltwater: As a natural antibacterial agent, saltwater makes an effective mouth rinse. Add one-quarter teaspoon of salt to one-half cup of warm water. Swish a small amount in your mouth for 10 to 15 seconds, and then spit. The pain relief should be immediate.
  • Rinse with hydrogen peroxide: If your toothache is caused by gum disease, a hydrogen peroxide rinse should help. Dilute food-grade hydrogen peroxide with an equal amount of water. You can also use a whitening mouthwash that contains hydrogen peroxide. Swish for 10 to 15 seconds, and then spit.
  • Make peppermint tea: Peppermint contains menthol and antibacterial compounds. Swishing peppermint tea around your sore tooth or sucking on a peppermint tea bag can temporarily relieve your nighttime toothache.
  • Apply a clove paste: Cloves contain eugenol, an analgesic with a mild numbing effect. Wet a small amount of ground cloves with water to form a paste and apply it to your sore tooth. You can also suck on a single clove and rest it near the painful area for relief.
  • Chew on garlic: Garlic is widely used for its antibacterial effects. When placed in the mouth, a clove of garlic can kill the bacteria causing your toothache. Just be prepared for an intense taste and the lingering effects of garlic breath.

While these at-home remedies provide temporary relief for a toothache at night, you should never ignore lingering mouth pain. Toothaches could indicate an abscess, cracked tooth, trauma to the jaw, or gum disease, all of which require professional treatment.

If a tooth is bothering you, contact Glenwood Premier Dental at (732) 264-4477 right away. Our dentist in Hazlet will make every effort to see you the same day and relieve your pain once and for all!

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