Treating a toothache at home may include pain medication, or other methods like using an icepack or elevating your head. A dentist can help assess the reasons for your toothache if it lasts more than 2 days.

If you have a toothache, you may find the pain and discomfort is impacting your sleep. While you may not be able to get rid of it completely, there are some home treatments you can try to help manage the pain.

Treating a toothache at home usually involves pain management. Here are a few ways to dull your pain so you can get a good night’s sleep.

  • Use over-the-counter pain medication. Using medications like ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), acetaminophen (Tylenol), and aspirin can relieve minor pain from a toothache. Using numbing pastes or gels with benzocaine can help dull the pain long enough for you to fall asleep. Don’t use any products with benzocaine to treat infants or children under age 2.
  • Keep your head elevated. Propping your head higher than your body can keep the blood from rushing to your head. If blood pools in your head, it might intensify the toothache pain and possibly keep you awake.
  • Avoid eating acidic, cold, or hard foods right before bed. These foods can aggravate your teeth and any cavities that may have already formed. Try to avoid foods that trigger pain.
  • Rinse your teeth with mouthwash. Use a mouthwash that contains alcohol to both disinfect and numb your teeth.
  • Use an ice pack before bed. Wrap an ice pack in cloth and rest the painful side of your face on it. This can help to dull the pain so you can rest.

Therapeutic methods have been used by natural healers to treat oral diseases including toothaches at night. Some natural remedies may include:

Talk with a doctor and dentist before using natural remedies. Be mindful about any allergies or reactions to the plants or oils used.

Toothaches can be caused by something happening to your teeth or gums. They also can be caused by pain in other parts of your body. Common causes of toothaches include:

  • Mouth or jaw injury. These can occur from blunt force trauma to the facial area.
  • Sinus infection. Drainage from sinus infections may cause tooth pain.
  • Tooth decay. When bacteria causes tooth decay, the nerves in your teeth may be exposed, causing pain.
  • Losing a filling. If you lose a filling, the nerve inside the tooth may be exposed.
  • Abscessed or infected tooth. Sometimes called a dental abscess, this condition is described as a pocket of pus in the tooth.
  • Food or other debris wedged in your teeth. Organic and inorganic matter wedged in your teeth can cause pressure between the teeth.
  • Teething or wisdom teeth erupting. If you have wisdom teeth coming in, as well as breaking through the gums, they may be pressing against other teeth.
  • Temporomandibular joint disorders. TMJ is classified as pain in your jaw joint, but can also affect your teeth.
  • Gum disease. Gum diseases like gingivitis or periodontal disease can cause toothaches or pain.
  • Grinding. You may grind or clench your teeth at night which can cause additional pain.

Monitor your toothache over the next 24 hours. If it subsides, you may just have an irritation.

Make an appointment with your dentist if:

  • the pain is severe
  • your toothache lasts longer than 2 days
  • you have a fever, headache, or pain when opening your mouth
  • you have trouble breathing or swallowing

How do you get rid of a toothache ASAP?

Some ways to help you get rid of a toothache quickly include taking over-the-counter pain relievers, rinsing your mouth with mouthwash or salt water, eating soft foods, and using a pain-relieving gel.

How do I relieve tooth pain so I can sleep?

Before bed, you can take an over-the-counter pain reliever and rinse your mouth with salt water or mouthwash to help reduce pain. Adding an extra pillow beneath your head to keep it elevated may also help relieve the pain.

Why is tooth pain worse at night?

Your tooth pain might be worse at night for several reasons. When you lie down, blood may pool in your head and add pressure, causing tooth pain. Pain may also be worse at night due to not being distracted by the events of the day. Finally, the pain may also get worse when the pain relievers start to wear off.

Depending on what caused your toothache, a dentist will determine a treatment that best fits your condition. If you have tooth decay, they may clean out and fill a cavity in your tooth.

If your tooth has split or cracked, a dentist may repair it or suggest replacement with a false tooth. If your toothache is due to a sinus infection, symptoms will typically subside once your sinus infection goes away, sometimes with the help of antibiotics.

Make sure to consult a dentist if your toothache lasts more than 2 days or causes you severe discomfort.