How to Sleep With Toothache

Sleeping with a toothache is not easy. It can be downright painful. But there are ways to make it more comfortable and to get some relief from the pain. So, whether you are wondering how to sleep after tooth extraction, or are looking for some easy ways to soothe swollen gums, here are a few tips for sleeping with a toothache.

1. Use a cold compress to reduce swelling and inflammation

When you have a toothache, you can use a cold compress to help reduce the swelling and inflammation. Simply put a cold, damp cloth on the outside of your cheek over the affected tooth.

Hold it there for several minutes at a time. You can also put an ice pack on the area. Essentially, a cold compress works by numbing the area and reducing blood flow. This can help to reduce pain and swelling before you fall asleep.

Related: 5 Myths About Sleep

woman holding cold compress to jaw

2. Take ibuprofen or acetaminophen for pain relief

Ibuprofen and acetaminophen are both medications that can be taken for relief from toothache pain. Ibuprofen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, while acetaminophen is a pain reliever.

It is generally safe to take ibuprofen and acetaminophen at the same time, just be careful not to take more than the recommended dose. Additionally, if you are currently taking any other over-the-counter pain medications, it is important to check for any potential interactions.

3. Rinse your mouth with salt water several times a day

To make a saltwater mouthwash, dissolve 1/2 teaspoon of salt in 1 cup of warm water. Swish the rinse around in your mouth for 30 seconds and spit it out. Repeat several times a day. The salt will help to reduce the swelling and inflammation, and will also help to kill any bacteria that may be causing the toothache.

4. Avoid crunchy or chewy foods

When you have a toothache, it’s important to avoid crunchy or chewy foods. These can aggravate the pain and make it worse.

Stick to soft, bland foods that won’t cause any discomfort. This will help to soothe the soreness and promote healing. 

Some popular dishes to try when you have a toothache are listed below:

  • Soup
  • Mushy peas
  • Porridge
  • Yogurt
  • Ice cream
  • Mashed potato

close up of man in yellow shirt holding jaw in pain and half eaten popsicle

5. Suck on ice chips to relieve pain and discomfort

Sucking on ice chips at bedtime can help to relieve pain and discomfort from a toothache. The coldness of the ice can help to numb the area and reduce inflammation. For a tasty alternative home remedy, try freezing cubes of sugar-free flavored water.

6. Take a bath

After a long day, taking a bath can help you to relax before bed and relieve a nagging toothache. The warm water will help to soothe the area and the bubbles will help to keep your face clean. You can even add a few drops of lavender oil to the bath for an added calming effect.

7. Drink some peppermint tea

There is a lot of research out there to suggest that mint teas can numb the pain and soothe sore gums. Simply brew your favorite blend and slowly sip to feel the benefits. You can also apply a warm mint tea bag to your tooth for an additional boost.

8. Position yourself carefully

When you have a toothache, it’s important to take care of yourself and get some rest. Sleeping with your head elevated can help reduce the pain and inflammation caused by toothache especially if you have recently undergone a wisdom teeth removal procedure. By keeping your head elevated, you can keep any unwanted pressure off of your tooth, which can ease any pain.

Always speak to a dentist if your toothache gets worse

Ultimately, if you find yourself in the unfortunate position of having a persistent toothache at night that stops you from sleeping, you must contact your dentist. There are many different reasons why people experience tooth pain and some of these may be serious enough to require emergency medical intervention.

If your toothache worsens or if there are any other symptoms present alongside the pain such as fever, swelling, or redness in the gums, then you should make an appointment to see your dentist as soon as possible. Toothaches can be caused by many different things including cavities, infections, and abscesses.

Moreover, if you have recently undergone a wisdom tooth extraction procedure, this could also be contributing to the pain. Above all, no matter what the cause of your toothache, try to avoid sleeping on your side, and remember to keep up with your oral hygiene by brushing your teeth regularly and using mouthwash.

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