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How to sleep with a toothache? Positions and remedies…
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Man lying on his sofa suffering from his toothache


How to sleep with a toothache? Positions and remedies…

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After a long day, you probably want to just get into your comfortable bed and go to sleep peacefully. But, when you have a nagging toothache, this can be hard to do.

Oftentimes, people don't even start feeling their toothache until they lay their head down at night.

Unfortunately, you likely can't see your dentist in the middle of the night, so you're stuck with a throbbing tooth all night.

In this article, your hybrid foam mattress specialist, Polysleep, will give you all the tips to learn how to sleep with a toothache at night.


Causes of toothache


Various factors could be at the root of your toothache. The main causes are:

  • Tooth decay

  • Grinding teeth

  • Infected gums

  • Abscessed tooth

  • Sinusitis

Regardless of the cause, a toothache at night becomes a huge burden to catching some good shuteye. So, it becomes especially important to figure out how to sleep with a toothache.


Why does a toothache hurt worse at night?


A toothache is more painful at night

A midnight toothache stimulates your nerves intensely. This sensation keeps you awake by activating your brain. Along with keeping you awake, toothaches can cause problems with you staying asleep.

There are various reasons why your toothache might become worse at night when you're trying to get some sleep. Some of those reasons are:

  • What you ate for dinner.

Toothaches seem to become worse after dinner, and the throbbing could continue through the night, especially if you ate a big meal. Also, if you had anything cold, hot, acidic, sugary, or starchy as part of your meal, it could worsen existing teeth problems that could result in more pain.

  • Jaw clenching throughout the day.

If you’re under tension or stress, you might clench your jaws or grind your teeth unintentionally or unknowingly during the day. This could lead to a buildup of pain that you feel during the night.

  • Your sleep position.

When you get into your bed and lie down, more blood rushes to your head, adding considerable pressure in your mouth's sensitive areas. That results in a more pronounced toothache because of your sleep position.

  • Brushing your teeth before bed.

Brush your teeth before going to bed

While nighttime brushing and flossing is paramount to sound dental hygiene, it can irritate an affected toothache region, especially if your toothbrush has hard bristles.

  • Reduced distractions.

For many people, nighttime is a time to relax. With less normal daytime diversions, your mind may be less engaged, leaving you more prone to focus on the discomfort of your toothache.


How to improve your sleep?


If you're wondering how to sleep with a bad toothache, know there are many ways of relieving it.

Obviously, you should make an appointment with your dentist to have the problem looked at.

However, in the meantime, here is a couple of ways to improve your sleep when you have a toothache:

Avoiding carbonated drinks, getting painkillers, and applying an ice pack are all effective ways to improve your sleep

  • Take medication.

Over-the-counter pain medicines, like acetaminophen or ibuprofen, can significantly ease dental pain to help you get some sleep. You can also apply a local anesthetic that you rub on the painful area.

  • Avoid certain food and drinks.

Avoiding extremely cold or hot food and drinks or those that are acidic or sugary (even during the day) can help ward toothaches off at night.

  • Use an ice pack prior to going to bed.

This can help numb the area, constrict blood vessels, and deaden the pain so you can fall asleep.


Best position to sleep with a toothache


The best way to sleep with a toothache is to elevate your head while you're in bed. Doing so helps limit the effect of increased blood pressure to your head. You may have to put in some trial-and-error to find a comforting sleep position while elevating your head.

It can help to use a quality pillow. Hybrid foam pillows are comfortable and will allow you to elevate your head.


Natural remedies to sleep with a toothache


Man drinking his peppermint tea, this being a good natural remedy to relieve toothache

Here are some home remedies for a toothache:

  1. Tea tree essential oil for a toothache:

Many people use essential oils for relieving tooth pain. Tea tree oil is the best of them for stopping it. In fact, the oil from tea trees has inherent antibacterial properties.

  1. Cinnamon for a toothache:

You may be wondering “Is cinnamon good for a toothache?”, and the answer is yes. There are various active ingredients in cinnamon that could potentially ease toothache temporarily.

  1. Salt and warm water for a toothache:

Swish a saltwater rinse around the inside of your mouth. A good combination is eight ounces of warm water with a ½ teaspoon of table salt. Don't swallow the mixture, spit it out.

  1. Peppermint tea:

To get temporary toothache relief, try swishing peppermint tea around in your mouth before bed.

What about a toothache home remedy for kids?

For children, providing a warm saltwater rinse before bed and then lying down on a comfortable hybrid foam pillow would be ideal.


How to get rid of a toothache in 5 minutes


Again, elevating your head on a quality pillow, like our fully customizable pillow, is one of the quickest ways to see some pain reduction.

Or you can try a dab of clove oil on a cotton swab and hold it to your affected tooth for five minutes.


Five pressure points for a toothache


The five pressure points for a toothache

Acupressure can ease toothache pain through the release of “feel-good” endorphins. You administer acupressure by applying firm, steady pressure using your middle and index fingers to key meridian points throughout the body.

The five pressure points for a toothache are:

  • Small Intestine 18 (SI18): Widely used for easing toothaches, tooth decay, and swollen gums.

  • Gallbladder 21 (GB21): Great for helping with neck and facial pain, as well as headaches.

  • Large Intestine 4 (LI4): Ideal for stress, headaches, and above-the-neck pain (like toothaches).

  • Stomach 6 (ST6): Best for mouth and tooth ailments.

  • Stomach 36 (ST36): Usually for tiredness, nausea, and stress (all things a toothache can cause).

You may choose to use acupressure for temporary toothache pain, but it shouldn’t be a substitute for appropriate dental care. 

Learn more: Pain at night?

Woman sitting on her sofa suffering from muscle problems in her back and neck

Tips for a Better Sleep


Whether you're trying to figure out how to sleep with a toothache or not and you just want a better night's sleep, here are some tips:

  1. Choose a good pillow.

Toothache or not, choosing a good pillow to promote better sleep is important. You might want to try an adjustable hybrid foam layer pillow such as our Polysleep pillow.

  1. Try a hybrid mattress for better sleep.

Sleeping on a quality hybrid mattress can help you obtain better sleep.

For instance, our Zephyr mattress provides you with a transitional central-zone support layer. A denser foam is used to support your midsection and hips. It also provides ideal temperature regulation with the GelFlex Plus foam topper which cools you when you're hot and warms you when you're cold.

In short, taking medication, swishing with warm water and salt, and elevating your head using a hybrid foam pillow are ways to sleep with a toothache. Moreover, using a hybrid foam mattress can help.

Until you can get to the dentist and have your toothache treated, it's important you find a way to sleep with a toothache because sleep is very crucial.

Discover our Zephyr Mattress!

Polysleep's Zephyr Antimicrobial Certified Mattress 

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