Nighttime toothache remedies

Nighttime toothache remedies

How to Find Relief from Toothache and Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Toothache at night Image source: Justin Paget/Getty Images

Having a toothache at night can be an excruciating experience. It can make falling asleep or even staying asleep very difficult. The pain can be relentless, making it hard to find any relief. But don’t worry, there are a number of remedies that may help you find relief and get a good night’s sleep.

In this article, we will explore nine home remedies for relieving a toothache at night. These remedies include over-the-counter pain medications, cold compresses, elevating your head, medicated ointments, saltwater rinses, hydrogen peroxide rinses, peppermint tea, cloves, and garlic. Each of these remedies has the potential to alleviate the pain and provide some much-needed relief.

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Nine Ways to Treat a Toothache at Night

1. Oral pain medication

One of the quickest and simplest ways to reduce mild-to-moderate toothaches is by taking over-the-counter pain medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil). Always follow the recommended dosage on the packaging. If the toothache is severe, it is best to see a dentist and discuss stronger pain relievers.

2. Cold compress

Using a cold compress can help ease the pain of a toothache. Applying a bag of ice wrapped in a towel to the affected side of the face or jaw helps constrict the blood vessels in the area, reducing pain and promoting sleep. Applying a cold compress for 15–20 minutes every few hours in the evening may also help prevent pain when going to bed.

3. Elevation

Elevating your head with an extra pillow or two may relieve the pain enough for you to fall asleep. Pooling blood in the head can cause additional pain and inflammation, so elevating your head can help alleviate these symptoms.

4. Medicated ointments

Some medicated ointments, such as numbing gels containing benzocaine, can help reduce toothache pain. It’s important to note that benzocaine is not suitable for use by young children.

5. Saltwater rinse

A simple saltwater rinse is a common home remedy for toothaches. Salt water acts as a natural antibacterial agent, reducing inflammation and protecting damaged teeth from infection. Rinsing with salt water can also help remove any food particles or debris stuck in the teeth or gums.

6. Hydrogen peroxide rinse

Rinsing with a diluted hydrogen peroxide mouthwash can help reduce plaque and symptoms of gum infections like periodontitis. It’s crucial to dilute food-grade hydrogen peroxide with equal parts water and swish the solution in your mouth without swallowing it. This remedy is not suitable for children.

7. Peppermint tea

Swishing peppermint tea or sucking on peppermint tea bags may temporarily relieve toothache pain. Peppermint contains antibacterial and antioxidant compounds, while menthol, an active ingredient in peppermint, can have a mild numbing effect on sensitive areas.

8. Clove

Eugenol, one of the main compounds in cloves, acts as an analgesic, numbing the area and reducing tooth pain. To use clove for a toothache, soak ground cloves in water to make a paste and apply it to the tooth, or put it in an empty tea bag and place it in your mouth. Alternatively, gently chewing or sucking on a single clove can also provide relief. However, this remedy is not suitable for children due to the risk of swallowing too much clove.

9. Garlic

Garlic, with its strong antibacterial properties, may help kill the bacteria in the mouth that lead to cavities and tooth pain. Chewing a clove of garlic and allowing it to sit near the tooth may help relieve pain. Keep in mind that the taste of raw garlic can be too strong for some people.

Causes of Toothaches

Tooth decay is a common cause of toothaches. If left untreated, tooth decay can lead to cavities, exposing the nerve and causing pain. Sinus infections can also cause toothaches in some cases. Other potential causes include losing a filling, dental abscesses, trauma to the jaw, emerging wisdom teeth, food stuck in the teeth or gums, grinding teeth at night, and gum disease.

Why Toothaches Feel Worse at Night

Toothaches can be painful during the day, but they often feel worse at night. There are a couple of reasons for this. Firstly, when lying down, blood rushes to the head, causing increased pain and pressure from the toothache. Secondly, there are fewer distractions at night, making it harder to ignore the pain and fall asleep.

When to See a Dentist

It is crucial to see a dentist as soon as possible if you have a toothache at night. Home remedies can provide temporary relief, but they are not permanent solutions. If the toothache is accompanied by signs of infection, such as swelling or fever, antibiotics may be necessary. Also, if a cracked or decaying tooth is the cause of the pain, a dentist can offer permanent solutions such as cavity treatment, root canals, or extractions. Ignoring tooth decay can lead to more serious issues, including abscesses, gum disease, and tooth loss.


Dealing with a toothache is a painful experience, especially at night when it can disrupt your sleep. While the home remedies discussed in this article can provide temporary relief, they are not permanent solutions. If you experience a toothache for more than a day or two without any signs of a sinus infection, it is important to see a dentist for a proper diagnosis and treatment. Remember, proper dental care is vital for your overall health and well-being.

Note: Some of the home remedies mentioned in this article are available in stores and online. You can find them by clicking on the links below:

Original article source: How to treat a toothache at night. Published on MedicalNewsToday.