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It’s Bedtime & My Tooth Hurts…What Should I Do?  

March 29, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — cascobay @ 12:25 pm
young woman trying to sleep

It has been a long day, and you’ve done everything you need to before going to bed. There is just one thing: your tooth is throbbing. What started as a dull ache is now a toothache that is impossible to ignore. Oddly enough, it seems to start really hurting right before you go to bed. Why is this happening, and more importantly, what can you do to make it stop so you can get some shuteye? As it turns out, this isn’t a unique problem, so there are a few simple solutions you can take advantage of right away.

Cause #1: Brushing & Flossing

While this might sound unintuitive, brushing and flossing a tooth that already has a cavity or is extremely sensitive can actually irritate the nerve and nearby tissue, causing it to become inflamed and hurt more than normal.

Solution: Should you stop brushing and flossing? Of course not! The key is to use a light touch when cleaning around the tooth in question. It’s extremely important to maintain your oral hygiene to prevent additional toothaches and keep your current problem from becoming worse.

Cause #2: Laying Down

Whenever a person lies down, more blood rushes to the head. This increased blood flow can cause more pressure to develop within an already hurting tooth, making it even more unpleasant.  

Solution: Your best friend in this scenario is a pillow or two. Basically, if you sleep with your head slightly elevated above your chest, this will reduce the uptick in blood flow. It might take a night or two for you to get used to it, but it’s effective for providing short-term relief.

Cause #3: Medication

Before you’re able to see your dentist, taking an over-the-counter pain reliever can help with a toothache, but the medication will have likely worn off by the time you go to bed.

Solution: Take whatever medication you’re using for your toothache about an hour before you plan to go to sleep. This way, it should start working by the time your head hits the pillow (or pillows if you take the advice from above). Applying some clove oil topically to the area can help as well—just be sure to do this AFTER you brush and floss.

Ultimately, all of these solutions are just temporary measures. If you want to truly stop your toothache, you should try to see your dentist as soon as possible. They can identify the root cause, offer a solution, and then provide it so the pain goes and stays away. Most dentists do their best to see patients who are in pain the same day that they call, so don’t worry about having to wait! In the meantime, however, these tips should help you get the rest you deserve.

About the Practice

Casco Bay Smiles is led by Dr. Rob McVety and Dr. Kieffer, two dentists with an extensive amount of experience helping patients overcome all types of dental pain. You can trust that they will see you quickly and will only use the most effective methods and technology to solve your problem. To schedule an appointment, click here or give us a call at (207) 517-7008.

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