Sleep is extremely healthy for your body, not to mention that being well-rested just feels great.
However, a toothache can get in the way of your sleep. Even a small ache on one of your teeth can have you staring at the ceiling for hours, wishing that your teeth hadn’t cursed you with this pain.
Try some of these tips to get rid of nightly toothaches and get your sleep back.
Over-The-Counter Pain Medication
Over-the-counter pain medications such as Ibuprofen are extremely effective at dulling the pain from a toothache. Over-the-counter medication take around 20-30 minutes to start working, so take the medication a bit before bedtime so the pain’s already dulled when you crawl into bed. Just make sure to follow the dosage instructions to avoid any negative effects.
You can also try numbing pastes/gels to dull a toothache. Most of these pastes/gels use benzocaine as the numbing agent; it’s fine for you to use numbing products with benzocaine, but don’t use it on children under 2 years old.
Elevate Your Head
When your head is lying flat, blood can pool in your head. This increases the pressure on sensitive areas in your mouth, which leads to a worse toothache. Prop your head up on a pillow to prevent blood from pooling.
Avoid Acidic, Hot, Cold, or Hard Foods In the Evening
Foods that are too hot or too cold can worsen your nightly toothache if you have them at any time of the day, but especially in the evening. Acidic food and drink such as coffee or citrus fruits can increase toothache pain as well.
If you have a cavity, these foods can really cause a lot of pain in your mouth, so it’s important to get any cavities fixed as well.
Rinse With Warm Saltwater
Warm salt water is a tried and true method for killing bacteria that may be contributing to your toothache. Rinse your mouth with warm salt water 2 times a day: once during the day, and once before bed.
To make your rinse, mix in a teaspoon of salt with about 100 ml of warm water. Swish for about a minute, focusing on the affected area. When you’re done, spit the solution out.
Use An Icepack On Your Jaw
Ice packs can reduce toothache pain if the toothache is accompanies by tenderness or inflammation. Wrap an ice pack or a bag of frozen veggies in a towel and ice the affected area for 10 minutes every hours until it’s bedtime.
Unclench Your Jaw
Tons of people walk around unknowingly clenching their jaw on a daily basis. When your jaw is clenched, you’re constantly grinding your teeth against each other.
Combine that with other issues a clenched jaw causes (headaches, jaw tightness, muscle spasms) and falling asleep will be almost impossible.
Try to be more mindful of what your jaw is doing throughout the day. Every so often, consciously unclench you jaw. Do it enough times and it might become a habit.
Visit the Dentist
In many cases, toothaches are a symptom of some underlying dental problem, such as a cavity. In other cases, you might be grinding your teeth while asleep at night, leading to what appear to be mysterious toothaches.
If you’ve experienced toothaches recently, schedule an appointment with Absolute Smile.
We want to find the cause of your toothache as soon as possible to minimize any damage to your teeth.