Unlocking the Mystery of Nighttime Toothaches: Causes, Coping Strategies & Solutions for Restful Sleep - Medical Pulse



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Toothache is an often unbearable pain that can occur at any time. However, it seems that this pain intensifies at night, making sleep impossible and increasing our stress levels. In this article, we will explain the possible causes of nighttime dental pain and give you practical tips for relieving this pain while waiting for an emergency appointment. We also remind you of the importance of not ignoring this pain and specify that the St Charles Clinic is open 7 days a week to respond to dental emergencies in Vieux-Longueuil.

Possible causes of nighttime tooth pain

Several factors can cause nighttime dental pain:

  • Caries: Caries are caused by the progressive degradation of tooth enamel due to poor oral hygiene or a diet too rich in sugars. They can cause intense pain when they reach the dental pulp.
  • Pulpitis: Pulpitis is an inflammation of the dental pulp which can be caused by deep decay, trauma or inadequate treatment. This inflammation usually causes a sharp throbbing pain that gets worse when you lie down.
  • Gum infection: Gum infections, such as gingivitis or periodontitis, can also cause nighttime tooth pain. These infections are often caused by a buildup of plaque and tartar on the teeth and gums.
  • Bruxism: Bruxism is the involuntary grinding or clenching of the teeth, usually during sleep. This habit can lead to premature wear of teeth and cause pain in the jaw, face and even ears.
  • Sinusitis: Sinusitis is an inflammation or infection of the sinuses that can cause pressure on the dental nerves and thus cause nighttime tooth pain.
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Why does tooth pain get worse at night?

There are several reasons why dental pain seems to intensify at night:

  • When we lie down, blood flow to our head increases due to gravity. This can intensify the inflammation and therefore increase the sensation of pain.
  • During sleep, we tend to be less aware of our surroundings and more focused on our internal sensations. So, we may feel our ailments more when we are lying in bed without any distractions to divert our attention.
  • Certain habits, such as bruxism, occur mainly during our sleep and can therefore cause nighttime dental pain.

Practical tips for relieving nighttime dental pain while waiting for an emergency appointment

It is essential to consult an oral health professional quickly when you suffer from dental pain. However, while you wait for your emergency appointment, here are some simple suggestions to help you sleep better despite the pain:

  • Taking over-the-counter pain relievers: Medicines such as ibuprofen or paracetamol can help temporarily relieve pain. Be sure to follow the package directions and not exceed the recommended dose.
  • Use a cold compress: Applying a cold compress to the cheek on the affected side can help reduce inflammation and ease the sensation of pain.
  • Make a mouthwash with warm salt water: Rinsing your mouth regularly with a solution of warm water and a teaspoon of salt can help disinfect and soothe sore areas.
  • Sleeping with your head elevated: Use several pillows to elevate your head so that too much blood does not rush to your head and exacerbate inflammation.
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Don’t Ignore Nighttime Dental Pain

It is crucial not to ignore nighttime dental pain and to consult a professional quickly. The St Charles Clinic, located in Longueuil, is open 7 days a week to respond to dental emergencies in Vieux-Longueuil. Don’t hesitate to make an appointment as soon as possible to treat the underlying cause of your pain and get back to peaceful sleep.

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