Why Do My Teeth Hurt at Night? Understanding the Causes and Solutions

There are several possible reasons why your teeth may hurt at night, including tooth decay, grinding or clenching, gum disease, sinus infections, or nerve damage. It’s important to see a dentist to determine the exact cause and receive appropriate treatment.

Possible Causes of Nighttime Tooth Pain

As someone who has experienced nighttime tooth pain, I know how frustrating it can be to try and get a good night’s rest.

There are several possible causes of nighttime tooth pain; understanding them can help you find relief.


One possible cause of nighttime tooth pain is bruxism, which is the grinding or clenching of teeth.

This can put pressure on the teeth and cause pain, especially at night when you may not be aware that you are doing it.

Bruxism can also lead to other dental problems, such as worn-down teeth and TMJ disorder.

Gum Disease

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is an infection of the gums that can cause tooth pain.

This is because the infection can spread to the roots of the teeth, causing them to become sensitive and painful. Gum disease can also cause other symptoms, such as bleeding gums and bad breath.

Tooth Decay

Tooth decay, also known as cavities, is another possible cause of nighttime tooth pain.

This is because the decay can expose the nerves in the teeth, causing them to become sensitive and painful. In severe cases, tooth decay can also lead to infection and abscesses.

Sinus Infection

A sinus infection can also cause tooth pain, especially in the upper teeth.

This is because the sinuses are located close to the roots of the upper teeth, and the pressure from the infection can cause pain in the teeth.

Other symptoms of sinus infection include congestion, headache, and facial pain.

Overall, there are several possible causes of nighttime tooth pain, and it is important to see a dentist if you are experiencing persistent pain.

They can help diagnose the cause of the pain and recommend the appropriate treatment.

Prevention and Treatment

Good Oral Hygiene Habits

I always make sure to brush my teeth twice a day, in the morning and before bed. Brushing assists in eliminating plaque and food particles that with canning cause tooth rot and gum sickness.

I also floss once a day to remove any food particles that may be stuck between my teeth. In addition to brushing and flossing, I try to limit my intake of sugary and acidic foods and drinks.

These can erode tooth enamel and cause sensitivity and decay.

I also make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day to help flush away any bacteria and food particles that may be lingering in my mouth.


If you grind your teeth at night, a mouth guard may be recommended by your dentist. Mouth guards can help protect your teeth from damage caused by grinding and clenching. They can also help relieve any pain or discomfort associated with bruxism.


Over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help relieve minor tooth pain. Numbing pastes or gels containing benzocaine can also be applied to the affected area to help relieve pain.

Professional Dental Care

Regular dental checkups and cleanings can help prevent tooth pain and identify potential issues before they become more serious.

Your dentist may also recommend treatments such as fillings, root canals, or extractions to address any underlying issues causing tooth pain.

In addition to regular dental visits, professional teeth cleaning can help remove any plaque or tartar buildup that may be contributing to tooth pain.

Your dentist may also recommend fluoride treatments to help strengthen your tooth enamel and prevent decay.

Maintaining good oral hygiene habits, using mouthguards if necessary, taking pain relievers or numbing agents when needed, and seeking professional dental care can help prevent and treat tooth pain at night.

When to See a Dentist

Knowing when to see a dentist is important if you are experiencing tooth pain at night.

While some toothaches can be treated with home remedies, others require professional treatment Here are a few signs that you ought to see a dental specialist:

The pain is severe and persistent

  • You have a fever or swelling in your face or gums
  • You have difficulty opening your mouth or swallowing
  • You have a foul taste or odor in your mouth.
  • You have a broken or knocked-out tooth

During your appointment, your dentist will examine your teeth and gums and may take X-rays to determine the cause of your tooth pain. Depending on the diagnosis, your dentist may recommend a variety of treatments, including:

  • Filling a cavity
  • Root canal therapy
  • Extracting a tooth
  • Prescribing antibiotics

How Can I Stop My Teeth From Hurting At Night?

Here are some tips that may help reduce tooth pain or sensitivity at night:

  • Use a desensitizing toothpaste made for sensitive teeth. These contain compounds that help block the tooth’s pain pathways. Apply it before bed.
  • Take an over-the-counter pain medication like ibuprofen or acetaminophen before bed to reduce inflammation and pain through the night.
  • Use a cold compress on the painful area for 10-20 minutes before bed. The cold can dull pain signals.
  • Avoid very hot or cold foods/drinks before bed as temperature extremes can aggravate sensitivity.
  • Use an oral anaesthetic gel containing benzocaine on the painful areas before bed to numb the area temporarily.
  • Try a saltwater rinse before bed to reduce bacteria-causing pain or sensitivity.
  • Wear a night guard if you grind your teeth at night, which can cause pain.
  • Ensure your teeth are thoroughly brushed and free of food debris before bed to avoid pain from trapped particles.

If the pain persists for over a few days, it’s a good idea to see your dentist to check for and treat any underlying dental issues causing nighttime discomfort.

Why Do I Get Horrible Tooth Pain At Night?

There are a few potential reasons why tooth pain can worsen at night:

  1. Lying down position – When you lie down, more blood rushes to your head, increasing pressure and pain in a damaged or infected tooth.
  2. Fewer distractions – During the day, you may be able to temporarily ignore or get distracted from tooth pain. At night, when it’s quiet, the pain can seem more intense without other stimuli to divert your attention.
  3. Grinding teeth – Some people grind or clench their teeth more at night during sleep, which can aggravate tooth pain.
  4. Inflammation – Tooth pain is often caused by inflammation around the tooth or underlying bone. Inflammation can increase at night when you’re lying horizontally.
  5. Temperature changes – Going from a warm room to a more relaxed bedroom can cause the fluids inside a damaged tooth to contract and expand, increasing pressure and pain.

The throbbing pain often gets worse at night because there are no other stimuli to provide distraction. See your dentist promptly if night tooth pain persists, as it can indicate an infection, crack, grinding, or need for a root canal. Taking anti-inflammatory medication before bed can sometimes provide relief.

How Do I Stop My Teeth From Hurting Suddenly?

Here are some tips that may help stop sudden tooth pain:

  1. Take over-the-counter pain medication: Anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or naproxen (Aleve) can help reduce inflammation and pain. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) can also relieve pain.
  2. Use a cold compress: Applying a cold pack or ice wrapped in a towel to the outside of your cheek near the painful tooth can help constrict blood vessels and reduce swelling.
  3. Rinse with salt water: Swishing warm salt water around the sore tooth can help dislodge food particles and reduce inflammation. Mix 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water.
  4. Avoid extremely hot or cold foods/drinks: These temperature extremes can aggravate tooth pain. Stick to lukewarm beverages.
  5. Use a dental cement or filling material: If you’ve lost a filling, temporarily reapply it with an over-the-counter dental cement or filling material to cover the exposed area.
  6. Take a pain reliever with benzocaine: Some OTC oral pain gels or liquids contain benzocaine to numb the area temporarily.
  7. See your dentist: If the pain is severe or persists for more than a day or two, you should get it evaluated professionally to check for an abscess, crack, or other issue needing treatment.

The key is reducing inflammation until you can get to the root of the problem. See a dentist promptly if home remedies don’t provide relief.

What If Nothing Is Helping My Tooth Pain?

If you are experiencing severe or persistent tooth pain that isn’t relieved by over-the-counter pain medication, here are some suggestions:

  • See a dentist as soon as possible. Tooth pain can be a sign of an infection, crack, abscess or other serious dental problem that requires professional treatment.
  • In the meantime, try rinsing your mouth with warm salt water to help disinfect and reduce swelling.
  • Apply a cold compress on your cheek over the area of the painful tooth to help reduce inflammation.
  • Take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication like ibuprofen to reduce pain and swelling.
  • Avoid very hot or cold foods/drinks that may cause pain flare-ups.
  • If it’s after hours, go to an emergency dental clinic if the pain becomes unbearable. Severe, unrelenting tooth pain can be a dental emergency.
  • Don’t wait too long to get it checked out, as dental infections can spread and worsen if left untreated. Your dentist may need a root canal, extract the tooth, or provide antibiotics for an infection.

The key is not to let lingering tooth pain go unaddressed, as it often indicates an underlying problem that requires professional dental treatment. See your dentist promptly.


After researching the topic of why teeth hurt at night, I have learned that there are several possible causes. Some of the most common reasons for nighttime toothaches include grinding teeth, sinus pressure, and infections in the gums or teeth.

Taking care of your teeth and gums is important to prevent toothaches and other dental problems. Brushing twice daily, flossing daily, and visiting the dentist regularly can help keep your teeth healthy and pain-free.

If you experience tooth pain at night, several home remedies and treatments may help alleviate the discomfort. These include rinsing your mouth with warm salt water, applying a cold compress to your cheek, and taking over-the-counter pain medication.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do my teeth hurt at night?

 There can be several reasons for this, including teeth grinding, sinusitis, dental infections, tooth decay, or jaw problems.

How can I tell if my tooth pain is serious?

If your tooth pain is severe, persistent, or accompanied by other symptoms like swelling or fever, you should see a dentist as soon as possible.

Can stress cause tooth pain at night?

Yes, stress can cause teeth grinding or clenching, which can lead to tooth pain and jaw discomfort.

How can I prevent tooth pain at night?

Some tips for preventing tooth pain at night include practicing good oral hygiene, avoiding caffeine and alcohol before bedtime, and wearing a mouthguard if you grind your teeth.

Can a sinus infection cause tooth pain at night?

Yes, a sinus infection can cause pain in the teeth and jaw, which may worsen at night.

How do dentists treat tooth pain at night?

The treatment will depend on the underlying cause of the tooth pain. Dentists may prescribe pain relievers, and antibiotics, or recommend dental procedures like fillings or root canals.

What are the symptoms of teeth grinding?

Symptoms of teeth grinding include jaw pain, headache, worn down teeth, and clicking or popping in the jaw joint.

How can I stop grinding my teeth at night?

Strategies for stopping teeth grinding include relaxation techniques, stress reduction, and wearing a mouthguard at night.

Can tooth decay cause tooth pain at night?

Yes, if tooth decay reaches the nerve of the tooth, it can cause severe tooth pain, which may be worse at night.

How can I relieve tooth pain at home?

Some home remedies for tooth pain include rinsing with warm salt water, applying a cold compress, taking over-the-counter pain relievers, and avoiding foods and drinks that are very hot or cold. However, it’s important to see a dentist if the pain persists.

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