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  • Emergency Dental Care
  • July 31, 2020
  • by lotus


Painful toothache can strike relentlessly in the middle of the night, preventing you from getting a good night’s sleep and sending you into overdrive in search of tooth pain relief. And often it’s not just toothache: it’s toothache accompanied by a throbbing headache and a tender mouth, in the middle of the night. Don’t worry: there are some coping strategies you can employ to get you through the night and keep you together until you can visit your dentist for a check-up on your oral health.

What Causes Tooth Pain?

Toothache or tooth pain is a sign of an underlying problem in your oral health – and it’s the underlying issue that you need to have your dentist inspect as soon as possible. Treating the pain is really a temporary measure, until your dentist can solve the root cause of your dental pain. There are a number of causes for toothache, and these include:

Dental decay

One of the most common causes of toothache is dental decay.

Losing a filling or restoration

If an old filling or restoration comes loose, it can also expose your tooth nerve, resulting in pain.

An abscess

An abscess is a pocket of infected material that can form at the tip of your tooth root. It can be extremely painful and needs to be treated urgently.

Other causes of tooth pain include trauma or injury to the mouth or teeth, teeth grinding, gum disease, and temporomandibular joint disorders. Your dentist must assess you and find the cause of your toothache.

Managing Tooth Pain At Home

So often toothache strikes in the middle of the night when it’s difficult to get an emergency dentist appointment. This is probably because you are laying down and blood has collected in your head. The good news is there are some at-home remedies you can employ to get tooth pain relief, until you can get a dentist’s appointment.

Our tips for tooth pain relief include:

Ice packs and cold compresses

Applying an ice pack or cold compress to the outside of your face can assist temporarily with both pain and swelling. Don’t apply the compress directly to your tooth or gum area. Ice can be useful if your pain and swelling are caused by trauma or an abscess.

Use a salt rinse

Using a salt rinse is a gentle but effective way to keep your mouth clean. It is especially useful if your tooth pain has been caused by decay, or debris at the nerve is causing the pain. About half a teaspoon of salt dissolved in a 350ml glass of warm water, swished around your mouth can bring temporary toothache relief. Don’t swallow the solution!

Rinse with diluted hydrogen peroxide

Toothache that is caused by dental decay may benefit from a hydrogen peroxide rinse. Hydrogen peroxide rinses have been shown to reduce plaque build up and peri implantitis. Food grade hydrogen peroxide can be used for this purpose, and may be diluted with 50% water, to be used as a mouthwash. Take care not to swallow any of the solution.

Keep your head up

Elevating your head on a few pillows can help to reduce the pain a little, by reducing the amount of blood pooling in your head.

Use clove oil to manage tooth pain

If you have some clove oil in your cupboard you can rub some directly onto the affected gum, and it may numb the pain.

Over the counter medications

Using over the counter pain relief or anti-inflammatories can help you to get a good night’s rest. Remember to swallow these with water and not to apply them directly to your gums or teeth.

Remember that these remedies and suggestions are only intended to be used for temporary pain relief, and the real cause of the pain needs to be investigated by your dentist.

Preventative Dental Care For Better Oral Health

Twice-daily brushing and flossing is the best possible deterrent you have against tooth decay and gum disease, but sometimes not even that is enough. That’s why it’s essential to visit your dentist at least every six months so that he or she can inspect your tooth and gums and look for any early signs of tooth decay. You can’t always see what’s going on in the back of your mouth, but your dentist can, and any small cavities can be addressed before they awaken you in the middle of the night!

Please contact Lotus Smiles Dental for assistance with your oral health or for help with tooth pain relief: (03) 8737 9359.