Why Are Toothaches Worse at Night?

Why Are Toothaches Worse at Night?

February 2, 2023

Nothing is worse than struggling with dental pain when trying to fall asleep. There are numerous reasons behind it. Although home remedies can temporarily offer relief from a toothache, they cannot replace professional dental care services at Emerald Dental Spa. Read below to know why toothache can occur at night.

Common Reasons Behind NightTime Tooth Pain

Below are the reasons why tooth pain can occur right before going to the bed:

Unconscious Grinding of Teeth

If you have a habit of grinding your teeth at night, it can cause so much pain in the tooth. The condition usually places too much stress on the gums, teeth, and jaws. They can make the small ligaments that hold tooth roots in position sore. That is why it causes a toothache.

Chronic teeth clenching and grinding are due to numerous issues like TMJ disorder, stress, anxiety, and sleep apnea. If you have not got sleep apnea treatment, get it today. Until then, you can use a nightguard while sleeping.


Another common cause of tooth pain can be cavities. Holes can usually form on teeth due to a poor diet. Cavities can cause mild to sharp tooth pain. Bigger cavities in the abscessed tooth nerve can cause extra pressure. They can also result in a fistula on the gums. Thus, if you feel a sharp pain in a particular area of your mouth, talk to the dentist Union NJ immediately.

Broken Dental Appliance or Tooth

Broken or chipped teeth and other dental work may cause nighttime toothache. If you grind your teeth at night or use a removable retainer while sleeping, the broken area can irritate. Talk to the dentist straight away when you see broken teeth or appliances.

TMJ Disorders

Dysfunction of the temporomandibular joint disorder can lead to ear pain, headache, and jaw or neck pain. It can also cause tooth pain due to constant clenching and grinding of teeth.

Although TMJ is a little bit behind the back teeth, the pressure it causes might put extra force onto the tooth roots. It makes the teeth turn sore and cause pain. Therefore, if you have symptoms like popping or clicking of the jaw, jaw pain, or tooth pain at night, it might be a TMJ disorder and require TMJ treatment at the dental office near you.

Late Night Meals

Do you have a habit of munching on snacks or other meals before going to bed? If yes, stop it immediately. Doing this might make the tiny bits from these beverages or foods collect in the areas throughout your mouth.

This leads to receding gum lines, leaky dental fillings, or irritation in the existing cavity. It’s mainly when you do not floss or brush at night. If you have cavities in your mouth, taking sweets during the night can result in a toothache.

Gum Recession

Gum recession exposed tooth roots. These roots are connected directly with the tooth nerve. As you know, tooth roots are naturally sensitive. Taking cold water right before brushing your teeth at night can result in tooth pain. Thus, if you take medicine before sleeping, using a sensitive toothpaste or gum grafting treatment can help. Also, before flossing and brushing your teeth at night, check your mouth for signs of gum recession by using a mirror.

Lying Down

When we lie down to sleep, it increases blood pressure. This can push against the blood supply to the teeth and nerves. The blood flow and pressure can also move toward the mouth, brain, and sinuses. This can lead to pressure in your mouth and cause slightly sensitive regions to cause more pain.

If the pain occurs at the top of your mouth, it can be due to congestion, sinus infection, or allergies and require help from dental emergency Union NJ. The expert will also advise you to sleep with your head elevated after receiving a tooth extraction or other dental surgery.

Fewer Distractions

Your tooth pain may feel more painful at night due to fewer distractions. There is typically a lot of hustle-bustle. However, the night is quieter. It makes you notice an increase in pain because our mind has fewer things to focus on.

When to See a Dentist?

Individuals with nighttime tooth pain must get immediate medical care from an emergency dentist if:

  • The tooth pain accompanied other signs of infection.
  • The toothache is due to decayed or cracked teeth.

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