There's nothing worse than a persistent toothache, especially when it comes at night and keeps you up. If your tooth pain is persistent or comes and goes, it's important to schedule a check-up with your Las Vegas dentist to determine the cause of the pain and follow up with the best treatment. Toothaches can be caused by many things, some more serious than others. Here's a look at what may be causing your nighttime tooth pain and what you can do.
Bruxism or Tooth Grinding
Bruxism is a common condition that can make your teeth hurt at night when you subconsciously clench your jaw and grind your teeth. Grinding usually occurs at night while sleeping so many people have no idea they even grind their teeth. If you wake u pat night with a sore jaw, a toothache, or a headache, it may be bruxism. Your dentist may recommend using a night guard to protect your teeth while you sleep.
Cavity or Tooth Fracture
When you have the start of a cavity or a small fracture in a tooth, you may not notice it at all during your day-to-day activities. When you lay down on the couch or get into bed, you may notice a sudden toothache or dull throbbing. This happens because changing your position causes blood to rush to your head and exert more pressure on your tooth. Pain that worsens when lying down or pain that wakes you up at night can also be caused by an abscessed tooth, a serious condition in which the tooth has become infected.
You Are Free of Distractions
If a toothache only appears at night, it may be that your tooth hurts throughout the day but you don't notice it because you're distracted by daily activities. This is usually the case with mild toothaches as the pain becomes more intensely felt once you lie down and have nothing else to think about.
What You're Eating at Night
Eating cold, hot, acidic, or high-sugar foods at night may make your teeth sore or extra sensitive, especially if your teeth are already damaged by early cavities or gum disease. If you have gum disease, food may become stuck in the pockets of your gums and cause minor swelling and irritation.
A toothache doesn't necessarily mean it's time to see your Las Vegas dentist: it can be a sinus infection causing the pain in your tooth, especially if the upper rear teeth are affected. Pain in your upper teeth is a common sign of sinus problems as the pressure and inflammation in the sinuses puts pressure on nearby teeth.
Tips to Ease a Nighttime Toothache
When you're dealing with tooth pain at night and can't see a dentist at least until the morning, these tips can temporarily ease the discomfort and help you get a good night's sleep.
- Use an ice pack to dull the pain if you have swelling of the gums or face.
- Rinse your mouth with warm salt water to ease the pain of a gum infection.
- Place a cotton soaked in clove oil over the tender tooth.
- Try brushing and flossing. You may have food trapped between your teeth and gums.
- Elevate your head to reduce pressure around your teeth that can contribute to the pain.