Why Do My Teeth Hurt At Night? 6 Possible Reasons


A toothache is painful and annoying during the daytime, and it gets worse at nighttime. Getting a toothache can make a person feel lazy to talk or eat during the day. To have it happen at night can make both falling asleep and staying asleep very difficult.

What is a toothache, and why do my teeth hurt at night? Why does the pain seem to get worse during the night? This article will look into possible causes of toothache at night and some remedies to ease the nagging pain.

What is a toothache?

Toothaches come in many forms. Some are throbbing all day long through your face, and some are sharp. Teeth typically hurt because of an infection in the gums around the tooth or inside the tooth.  

Not all infected or dying teeth cause toothache. However, you might consider seeing your dentist if your teeth hurt so badly that you need to ease the pain using remedies. 


Why Do Teeth Hurt at Night?

Your teeth can hurt at night for many reasons. If the toothache worsens when you’re trying to sleep, you would want to stop the pain fast. Not being able to sleep because of extreme pain is unpleasant. Waking up feeling tired the following day is even worse.

Whenever we lay down to sleep, our blood pressure increases. The increased blood pressure pushes against the nerves and blood supply to your teeth, causing it to flare up whenever you are laying down in bed.  

Some of the most common reasons why the teeth hurt more during the evening are:

Increased Immune System

During the day, the immune system’s battle against bacteria or infections is the lowest, and it reaches peak activity at night. There is less cortisol in your blood at night time. During this time, white blood cells detect and fight infections in the body, provoking infection symptoms such as fever, sweating, congestion or chills. As a result, you feel more pain and sicker during the night, which also applies to toothache.

Sleeping Position

Your toothache may appear worse when you get into bed. Pain in the back, neck, or waist can arise because of your sleeping position. More blood flows to your head and face when you lie down. The blood flow then puts considerable pressure on the sensitive areas in the mouth.


On a related note, nasal fluid or mucus from the nose will be trapped and accumulate in the sinus cavities when laying. The blockage triggers pain and increases pain in the affected tooth; hence your toothache becomes more noticeable and extremely painful.

Decreased Distraction and Increased Awareness

During the day, the routine of daily life – school, work, socializing and other activities – can keep you distracted that you barely notice the toothache. It might not be the case at night time when you are more relaxed. 

You can rest and unwind from all the distractions in the evening, and unfortunately, the pain becomes obvious. You may feel more painful toothaches in the evening, even though it might not be the case.

You Have Cavities

If you experience a throbbing or sharp pain from a specific part of your mouth, inform your dentist. Larger cavities can develop into an abscessed nerve, which causes additional pressure. This pressure makes them hurt more in the evening when you go to bed. The most typical indication is a pimple-like swelling on your gums.

What You Ate for Dinner or Late-Night Snacks

Having snacks, meals, or drinks that are hot, cold, acidic, sugary, or starchy will worsen existing issues with your teeth. A large meal can cause significant discomfort throughout the entire evening too. Sweet, sticky foods can also get stuck between the teeth, adding more pain. These foods can aggravate your teeth and any cavities that may have already formed. It is best to avoid foods that trigger pain when you have a toothache.

Teeth Grinding

Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, usually happens subconsciously and is caused by issues such as stress, anxiety or sleep apnea. You might also grind your teeth at night when you sleep. The constant pressure from clenching between the upper and lower teeth can cause the pain to be more pronounced. This habit puts a lot of pressure on the jaw, teeth and gums. 


Some people subconsciously grind their teeth while sleeping at night. The pressure between the upper and lower teeth can cause the pain to be many times more pronounced. This habit can make you wake up or squirm due to pressure on the jaw, teeth, and gums. Grinding your teeth while sleeping can worsen toothache pain and require proper treatment.


Tips to Relieve Toothache Before Sleeping at Night

Treating a toothache at home usually involves pain management. If the pain is unbearable in the middle of the night, you need remedies to give you temporary relief. Here are a few tips to relieve your pain to get a good night’s sleep:


Take Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers

One of the most effective ways to treat a toothache at night is to take over-the-counter painkillers such as ibuprofen and paracetamol. These drugs may help reduce inflammation and alleviate dental pain until your dentist’s appointment.  


Use A Cold Compress

If you are awake at night because of a toothache, you can use a cold compress to help relieve the pain. Wrap some ice cubes in a towel or cloth and apply to the affected side of the face or jaw. Applying a cold compress helps “tighten” the blood vessels in the area, reducing pain and allowing you to sleep. Doing this for 15-20 minutes every few hours before going to bed can help with the pain tremendously.


Gargle With Saltwater or Hydrogen Peroxide

Gargling with saltwater does more than help with a sore throat; it can help ease toothache too. Salt water contains excellent natural antibacterial agents to help reduce inflammation in the tooth area. Rinsing the mouth with warm salt water can help remove any food particles or debris stuck between the teeth or gums. 


Mix one teaspoon of salt with a glass of warm water and rinse as needed. Remember not to swallow the mixture. 

To reduce toothache, you can also use a mouthwash that contains hydrogen peroxide. Gargling with hydrogen peroxide can reduce plaque, thus relieving tooth pain. Like the salt water mixture, mouthwash is not meant to be swallowed.



There are many ways to relieve a toothache at night. We recommend you seek medical help to ease the pain before it worsens. While tips and advice can be beneficial, in the long run, your best option is to seek medical assistance from a qualified dentist. If the pain becomes unbearable, you can also contact the Eastman Dental emergency line for help.

The tooth does not hurt for no reason. If you experience toothaches that won’t go away, it is best to make an appointment with your dentist. Together, you and the Eastman Dental team can ensure your oral health is taken care of.