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How to Fall Asleep with Tooth Pain
We’ve all been there before: tossing and turning in bed, trying to find a comfortable position that will allow us to drift off into dreamland—but alas, tooth pain prevents us from getting the rest we so desperately need.
Whether it’s a sharp twinge or dull ache, tooth pain can make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep.
If you’re dealing with tooth pain and are looking for ways to get some relief (and finally get some shut-eye), we’ve got you covered. Read on for our tips and tricks on how to fall asleep fast with tooth pain.
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Why can’t I sleep with a toothache?
The causes of poor sleep with a toothache can be attributed to the intense pain which can stimulate the nerves and activate the brain, keeping one awake. Toothache alters a person’s sleep position and makes it harder to get comfortable in bed. The major causes of toothache that can disrupt sleep include tooth decay, grinding teeth, infected gums, abscessed tooth, and sinusitis.
Avoiding extremely cold or hot food and drinks, or those that are acidic or sugary can help ward off toothaches at night. Lastly, lying down can increase blood flow to the head, compounding the throbbing feeling, thus making it more difficult to fall asleep.
What causes tooth pain at night?
One of the main causes of tooth pain at night is food particles stuck between the teeth or gums. Eating dinner or a late night meal without brushing can result in food particles becoming lodged and causing irritation.
Grinding one’s teeth due to stress can also lead to a sore jaw and teeth, as well as aggravating an existing toothache. Increased blood flow to the head at night can make nerves more sensitive, exacerbating the pain. The lack of natural painkillers like endorphins at night can make the toothache more prominent.
Sleeping with dentures in your mouth can have negative effects on your oral health, bacteria can build up on your dentures which can lead to infection and tooth pain.
How to fall asleep fast with a toothache?
If you are dealing with a toothache, propping up your head with two pillows can reduce blood flow to the aching tooth, which may help relieve the pain and allow you to fall asleep. Over-the-counter oral numbing gels may help reduce the pain of a toothache.
If your toothache is caused by braces you can use dental wax at night. This will help keep your braces from irritating your cheeks and gums, allowing you to get a good night’s rest.
If your toothache is caused by gum disease, a hydrogen peroxide rinse may help. Keep in mind, however, that it is important to contact your dentist as soon as possible to address the underlying issue.
Tips on how to fall asleep with tooth pain
The most effective ways to reduce toothache pain are to apply a cold compress, take over-the-counter pain medications, and use numbing gels or ointments. Consider applying a numbing gel or ointment that contains benzocaine to the affected area. This can help provide additional relief.
1. Take Pain OTC Medications
Take an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or aspirin, as directed until you can see a dentist. Apply a numbing paste or gel that contains benzocaine to the affected area to dull the pain long enough to fall asleep.
2. Try Relaxation Techniques
Relaxation techniques to help someone fall asleep with tooth pain include elevating the head with an extra pillow or two, applying an ice pack or cold compress to the affected area, and sleeping while sitting up slightly – just like in medieval times. You can try the 478 technique whether it works for you or not.
Additionally, some people may find relief from pain by pooling blood in the head, wrapping an ice pack or cold compress in a clean towel and resting it on the cheek over the area of pain, and using a pillow to keep their head elevated, and sleeping with a weighted blanket to enhance comfort.
3. Soothe Your Sore Teeth with Cloves
Cloves can be a great way to soothe a sore tooth while sleeping. Here are the steps for using cloves to ease tooth pain during sleep:
- Make a paste with ground cloves and water.
- Apply the paste directly to the affected tooth.
- Alternatively, if you have whole cloves, you can suck on one for a while and hold it in your mouth near the affected tooth.
- You can also use clove oil as a home remedy to relieve toothaches. Dilute a few drops of clove oil with a teaspoon of olive oil, and use a cotton ball to apply the solution directly onto the affected tooth.
4. Use a Cold Compress
Using a cold compress, such as an ice pack, can help reduce the pain associated with a toothache, allowing someone to fall asleep. The cold temperature will help constrict the blood vessels in the area, numbing the pain and reducing any potential swelling.
Applying a cold compress to the area for 15-20 minutes every few hours in the evening can also help prevent pain when going to bed.
5. Massage Your Jawbone
Massaging your jawbone can help you fall asleep with tooth pain as it can reduce tension in the jaw, increase blood circulation, and relieve pain. This can be done by applying light pressure to the jawbone and massaging it in a circular motion.
This type of massage helps relax the jaw muscles, which can reduce the pain caused by clenching or grinding the teeth. Additionally, it increases the blood flow to the area and encourages healing and inflammation reduction. Try using a weighted eye mask which also has some effect on your calmness.
6. Avoid Stimulating Foods and Drinks
What foods and drinks should be avoided to fall asleep with tooth pain? It is best to avoid acidic, cold, or hard foods before going to bed if you are suffering from a toothache as they can aggravate your pain and make it harder to fall asleep.
- Stay away from
- citrus fruits,
- dairy products,
- ice cream,
- sugary snacks and drinks, like candy and soda, should also be avoided as they can create more cavities and worsen your toothache.
Instead, opt for soft, warm foods such as applesauce, soup, mashed potatoes, and baked beans.
7. Take a Short Walk
Taking a short walk can help you fall asleep with tooth pain because it can provide a distraction, which can help lower stress and cortisol levels, allowing you to relax and get to sleep.
In addition, walking can increase endorphins, which are natural painkillers, making it easier to sleep despite the pain.
8. Try Acupressure
Acupressure can be a helpful way to ease toothache pain while sleeping. By applying firm, steady pressure to key meridian points throughout the body, you can release “feel-good” endorphins and reduce toothache pain.
These pressure points are associated with toothache relief:
- Small Intestine
- Large Intestine
9. Take Advantage of Nighttime Distractions
One way to fall asleep with tooth pain is to take advantage of nighttime distractions. Keeping your mind off the pain can help you fall asleep easier and faster. Listening to a podcast or white noise or reading a book can help you focus on something else and reduce your toothache pain.
Additionally, doing some light stretching or yoga can help keep your mind distracted and relaxed. With practice, you can use these nighttime distractions to help you get the rest you need.
10. Cleanse your mouth with salt water
Rinse your mouth with a mixture of salt and warm water. Make sure there’s no debris located around your tooth. This will kill harmful bacteria and reduce your risk of infection.
Salt water has natural antibacterial properties that can help reduce inflammation, while also removing any food particles or debris that may be stuck in the teeth or gums. In addition, the warm water can help soothe any discomfort. It’s recommended to rinse your mouth with salt water for about 30-60 seconds, two to three times per day, especially before bedtime. Doing so can help fight off any bacteria that may be causing the pain and help you get a good night’s sleep.
What are some home remedies for tooth pain?
Home remedies for tooth pain can provide temporary relief, allowing you to get a restful night’s sleep. Some of the most popular natural remedies include
- chewing on garlic cloves or raw onion,
- flossing teeth,
- consuming peppermint tea,
- applying a vinegar and brown paper mixture,
- using a wet cotton ball dipped in a powder mixture of baking soda and salt,
- and creating a ginger-cayenne paste.
How can I prevent toothache pain from recurring?
Make sure to visit the dentist every 6 months for a check-up and a cleaning. This will allow your dentist to identify and treat small problems before they become severe.
- Maintain good oral hygiene habits by brushing twice a day and flossing daily.
- Minimize sugar intake as much as possible. This will prevent bacteria from producing acids that lead to cavities.
- Avoid acidic, sugary, and cold foods before bed, as they can worsen the pain.
- Make sure to get plenty of quality sleep. This will help boost your immune system and reduce inflammation.
Why is toothache worse at night?
Toothaches can be quite painful during the day, but they may seem to get worse at night. There are several potential causes for this phenomenon.
- When a person lies down, more blood rushes to their head, increasing the pressure and pain from a toothache
- There are fewer distractions at night, allowing the pain to become more prominent
- Certain meals before bedtime, such as those with hot, cold, sugary, acidic, or starchy elements, can exacerbate the problem.
- If a person has been grinding or clenching their teeth during the day, this can lead to greater strain on their jaw at night.
- Lying down reduces the production of natural painkillers like endorphins, making the toothache more difficult to bear.