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5 Tips for Sleeping Soundly with a Toothache

June 22, 2021

Filed under: Uncategorized — dentalcentreteam @ 9:37 pm
Woman awake because of a toothache at night

We all know how important sleep is to ensure that you are both restful and productive the following day, but getting some Z’s can be difficult if you are dealing with a nagging toothache that isn’t going away on its own. You know that you need to see your emergency dentist in the morning, but how do you wait until then? Read on to learn some tips to relieve tooth pain so you can sleep soundly until morning rolls around.

Use Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers

Pain medication that you find over the counter can be very effective when it comes to minimizing dental pain. Medicines like ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and aspirin can relieve minor pain from a toothache. Numbing pastes and gels, often containing benzocaine, can help to dull your pain long enough to fall asleep. Just remember not to use any products with benzocaine to treat children under the age of 2.

Elevate Your Head

When you are laying your head down, more blood makes its way to your head and can intensify your toothache even worse than it already is. To help prevent this, try to keep your head elevated as much as you can. Use a few extra pillows to prop up your head or try sleeping in a recliner.

Avoid Certain Foods Before Bed

Some foods can aggravate your toothache and make it more difficult for you to sleep. Stay away from foods that are particularly acidic, cold, or hard so that they don’t trigger any further pain by aggravating cavities or other issues.

Use a Cold Compress

Using a cold compress helps to constrict the blood vessels in the area and numb some of the pain that you are experiencing. Cold temperatures also help to reduce both inflammation and swelling which is especially helpful if your toothache is the result of trauma. Just wrap a bag of ice in a towel and place it on the affected area for about 20 minutes at a time.


Rinse your mouth with saltwater. This will help to wash away any food particles that are stuck between the teeth. It is also a natural disinfectant, helps to reduce inflammation in the mouth, and aids in healing oral wounds. Just mix half a teaspoon of salt into a glass of warm water.

It can be difficult to sleep with an aching tooth, but by using the tips listed above, you can get some rest until you can see your dentist in the morning.

About the Author

Dr. Jack Fan earned his dental doctorate from the New York University College of Dentistry and is committed to continuing education to keep his knowledge and skills sharp. If you have a nagging toothache, he would be happy to take a look and help you get some relief. For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit his website or call (512) 892-7800.

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