9 Ways to Relieve a Toothache While You Sleep

Posted on June 14, 2021 in Dental Procedures, General Dentistry

Having a toothache during the day can be a very painful experience. Having a toothache at night can create a completely different level of misery. Not only does the tooth hurt, but it can also keep you awake and, with fewer distractions, you’ll be more aware of the pain. Plus, you’ll have to find relief using regular household items.

Thankfully, there are plenty of toothache remedies you can find around your house for a quick fix until you can call our office for professional treatment the next morning.

9 Simple Home Remedies for a Toothache

1. Over-the-Counter Pain Medications

One of the simplest ways you can relieve a toothache at home is by taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medications. In a pinch, over-the-counter pain medications like ibuprofen (Advil), acetaminophen (Tylenol), or naproxen (Aleve) can help mitigate the painful symptoms of a toothache.

Be sure to read the labels carefully, stick to the bottle’s recommended dosage, and be sure the NSAID you choose won’t interfere with any other prescription or over-the-counter medications you are currently taking.

2. Clove

Found in most cupboards around the world, clove is a favorite spice for baking and cooking a variety of delicious foods, and a compound that’s present in cloves, called eugenol, has analgesic (numbing) effects when applied topically.

Mix ground cloves with water to create a paste that can be applied directly to the area where you’re experiencing pain. If you only have whole cloves, you can suck on one for a while and hold it in your mouth near the affected tooth. Be careful not to fall asleep with a whole clove in your mouth.

We also do not recommend this toothache relief method for children since spicy cloves can be hot and the whole ones also have sharp points that can be painful if swallowed.

3. Garlic

If you can stand the pungent taste of a fresh clove of garlic, then this remedy is perfect for you. Garlic cloves contain a compound called allicin that has remarkable antibacterial properties. If an infection in an abscess or a cavity is responsible for your toothache, then chewing a clove of garlic could help relieve your pain.

4. Peppermint Tea

Peppermint has antibacterial properties and contains menthol which provides a soothing and numbing effect. Brewing a cup of peppermint tea and swishing it around your mouth can help to soothe toothache pain. Peppermint tea can also help to calm you and settle an upset stomach, which will make it easier to fall back to sleep.

5. Elevate Your Head

When lying flat in your bed, blood and other fluids can pool in your head, creating additional inflammation and pressure around an already painful toothache. Add an extra pillow or two to put gravity to work. Elevating your head will prevent blood from pooling, allow fluids to drain, and help to reduce swelling around your throbbing toothache.

6. Cold Compress

Applying a cold compress to your cheek will constrict blood vessels and reduce the swelling associated with toothache pain. You can apply one during the night or try holding a cold compress to the affected area for 15 to 20 minutes before going to sleep in order to prevent pain from occurring once your head hits the pillows.

7. Salt Water Rinse

Mix a bit of salt in warm water and swish it around your mouth, focusing on your painful tooth. Salt water not only has antibacterial properties that will help reduce inflammation, but it can also effectively dislodge any food particles or debris that could be irritating your tooth.

8. Over-the-Counter Ointment

It’s always a good idea to keep a tube of over-the-counter toothache ointment on hand in case of nighttime pain. These medicated ointments contain benzocaine, a numbing agent, that will provide relief from a toothache when applied topically.

Remember, though, that these medications are not recommended for children.

9. Hydrogen Peroxide Rinse

Like rinsing with salt water, rinsing with hydrogen peroxide will also help control bacterial growth in your mouth and reduce painful inflammation. Be sure to use a food-grade hydrogen peroxide that’s been thoroughly diluted in water.

Also, never have a child swish with a hydrogen peroxide solution because it can be dangerous if swallowed.

When to See a Dentist: Professional Toothache Treatment in Hilliard, OH

Toothaches occur for a variety of reasons including sensitivity, cavities, injuries, sleep bruxism, infections, and more. Anytime you have a toothache, you should schedule an appointment with a dentist to have your teeth and gums examined so that you can resolve the underlying problem that’s causing you pain.

When you schedule an appointment for your toothache with our dentists at Smile Hilliard, we’ll thoroughly examine your teeth and gums and talk with you about your symptoms and dental history. If necessary, we might recommend taking a set of dental x-rays to help us diagnose any problems that could be occurring inside your teeth or below the gum line. Once we’ve diagnosed the underlying cause of your toothache, we will provide you with a variety of treatment options to eliminate your toothache at the source so you can finally get some rest.