Why Do My Teeth Hurt More at Night?

May 3, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — flowellsimply @ 4:24 am
patient suffering from a toothache

Have you ever suffered a toothache that seemed to become worse at nighttime? Needless to say, this can make it quite difficult to get a good night’s rest—and sometimes the cause isn’t clear at all! Here’s more from your emergency dentist about some of the common causes for tooth pain worsening during nighttime, along with some tips for addressing it and getting back to bed!

Possible Causes for Nighttime Tooth Pain

Here are a few of the most common reasons for tooth pain worsening at night:

Increased Circulation

When you’re lying in bed, you actually experience an increase in circulation and more blood can rush to your head area. This can result in increased discomfort if there’s a present oral health issue.

Late-Night Snacking

If you’re prone to midnight munchies or snacking around bedtime, you’re giving bacteria the chance to wreak havoc inside your mouth while you sleep! Starchy and sugary particles will remain on your teeth until the morning, which can irritate cavities and cause discomfort.


This is a condition characterized by the grinding or clenching of your teeth, and it often occurs during the nighttime. The unconscious habit can cause all kinds of issues including jaw pain and sensitivity. Fortunately, it can be treated with the use of things like customized oral appliances.

Broken Dental Appliances

Cracked or damaged restorations and dental appliances don’t always hurt or cause discomfort throughout the day, but can sometimes feel uncomfortable at night due to excess pressure.

Fewer Distractions

It’s also worth mentioning that there are simply fewer distractions to take your mind off of your pain at nighttime, which can potentially exacerbate your discomfort and make it seem worse than it is!

Tips for Addressing Nighttime Tooth Pain

Tooth pain isn’t something that should be needlessly endured or left to worsen; the pain is a clue that something’s wrong, and the problem won’t magically disappear on its own! This is what makes professional treatment so important; your dentist has the tools and knowledge to tackle whatever issue is causing your tooth pain to flare up at nighttime. Don’t hesitate to contact them if you’re losing sleep due to tooth pain!

Luckily, there are many things you can do at home to manage your discomfort before visiting your dentist. Consider the following:

  • Use over-the-counter pain relievers as needed, such as anti-inflammatories like Ibuprofen.  
  • Place a cold compress against the side of your mouth that hurts for about 20 minutes at a time.
  • If you have sinus pressure or a sinus infection, take a decongestant.
  • Sleep with your head elevated.
  • Consider using other safe at-home toothache remedies such as lukewarm saltwater rinses or placing a teabag against the side of your gums.

About the Practice

At Simply Dental of Lowell, we’re thrilled to be able to provide an exceptional level of care for patients and families in the Lowell, MA community. Our practice offers a wide range of preventive, cosmetic and restorative services, as well as emergency dentistry for all of your urgent needs. If you have any questions about the blog or you need urgent care, contact us today! Telephone: (978) 485-2929.

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