Treating a toothache at home may include pain medication, or other methods such as using an ice pack or elevating your head. Your dentist can help you assess the reasons for your toothache if it lasts more than 2 days.
If you have a toothache, chances are it’s getting in the way of your sleep. While you may not be able to get rid of it completely, there are some home treatments you can try to ease the pain.
Treating a toothache at home usually involves pain management. Here are a few ways to ease your pain so you can get a good night’s sleep.
- Use over-the-counter pain relievers. Taking medications such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), acetaminophen (Tylenol), and aspirin can help ease mild toothache pain. Using numbing pastes or gels — often containing benzocaine — can help ease the pain long enough for you to fall asleep. Do not use benzocaine products to treat infants or children under 2 years of age.
- Hold your head up. Keeping your head higher than your body prevents blood from flowing to your head. If blood pools in your head, it can make the toothache pain worse and may keep you awake.
- Avoid eating acidic, cold, or hard foods right before bed. These foods can aggravate your teeth and any cavities that have already formed. Try to avoid foods that cause pain.
- Rinse your teeth with mouthwash. Use a mouthwash that contains alcohol to both disinfect and numb your teeth.
- Use an ice pack before bed. Wrap an ice pack in a cloth and rest the painful side of your face on it. This can help ease the pain so you can rest.
Therapeutic methods have been used by natural healers to treat oral diseases including toothache at night. According to a
Talk to your doctor and dentist before using natural remedies. Be careful about any allergies or reactions to the plants or oils used.
Toothache can be caused by something happening to your teeth or gums. They can also be caused by pain in other parts of your body. Common causes of tooth pain are:
- Mouth or jaw injury. These can occur from blunt force trauma to the face.
- Sinus infection. Drainage from sinus infections can cause toothaches.
- Tooth decay. When bacteria cause tooth decay, the nerves in your teeth can become exposed, causing pain.
- Losing a fill. Losing a filling can expose the nerve in the tooth.
- Abscess or infected tooth. Sometimes called a dental abscess, this condition is described as a pocket of pus inside the tooth.
- Food or other debris clenched between your teeth. Organic and inorganic substances trapped between your teeth can cause pressure between the teeth.
- Teething or wisdom teeth coming through. If your wisdom teeth come through and break through the gums, they can press against other teeth.
- Temporomandibular joint disorders. TMJ is classified as pain in your temporomandibular joint, but it can also affect your teeth.
- Gum disease. Gum disease such as gingivitis or periodontitis can cause a toothache or pain.
- Sharpen. You may grind or clench your teeth at night, which can cause additional pain.
Monitor your toothache for the next 24 hours. If it subsides, you may just have an irritation. Make an appointment with your dentist if:
- the pain is severe
- your toothache lasts longer than two days
- you have a fever, headache, or pain when you open your mouth
- you have trouble breathing or swallowing
Depending on the cause of your toothache, your dentist will determine a treatment that best suits your condition. If you have tooth decay, they can clean and fill a cavity in your tooth.
If your tooth is split or cracked, your dentist can repair it or suggest replacement with a false tooth. If your toothache is due to a sinus infection, the symptoms will usually resolve once your sinus infection clears, sometimes with the help of antibiotics.
Be sure to see your dentist if your toothache lasts more than two days or causes you severe discomfort.