Why are Toothaches Worse at Night?
Do you ever wonder why tooth pain is worse at night? In general, toothaches seem to worsen at night because there are fewer distractions. Yet, if you wake up with dental pain, this may be a sign you're grinding your teeth while you sleep.
Here are some of the most common reasons why your toothache may seem worse at night.
Do you like sugary foods? So do the plaque on your teeth. Plaque is an invisible film of bacteria that lives on the surface of your teeth and gums. This bacteria weakens teeth by eating sugar and producing cavity-causing acid.
As dental plaque builds on your teeth and hardens into tartar, your teeth may feel “fuzzy” or rough. Having too much plaque on your teeth will also make them feel more sensitive to temperature changes. For example, you may feel a twinge of pain when you eat ice cream or sip a cup of coffee. This is because plaque erodes tooth enamel over time.
If you eat late-night snacks, it's important you remember to brush your teeth afterward. Otherwise, the sugar will sit on your teeth until morning. People who neglect oral hygiene are more likely to develop tooth decay and gum disease.
Also, keep in mind that food particles can get caught between teeth. If you have a mild toothache, try flossing your teeth to see if you can dislodge anything. If you see something caught between your teeth but can’t remove it, schedule an appointment with our office as soon as possible.
There are fewer distractions at night to take your mind off the toothache. For this reason, some patients report feeling more. The human brain is only able to focus on so many things at a time. When you're trying to fall asleep, there's less going on to distract you from your toothache.
More Blood Circulation
When you lie down to sleep, more blood is able to rush to your head. More blood circulation means experiencing more tooth pain than if you were standing. This is because the increased blood flow exerts pressure on the painful tooth.
Do you often wake up with tooth or jaw pain? If so, you may be grinding your teeth at night. Most people who grind their teeth at night have no idea that they're doing it. Instead, they wake up with dental pain.
include worn tooth enamel and waking up with tooth pain. Sometimes this pain radiates from your teeth into your jaw and even behind your forehead. It's also not uncommon for people who grind teeth to feel sleepy during the day.
If you suspect teeth grinding is the cause of your toothache, call one of our dentists as soon as possible. Our dentists will be able to create a custom night guard. A night guard is a tray you wear over your teeth while you sleep. The protective material stops you from grinding or clenching teeth while asleep.
Call Our Dentists if Your Toothache Persists
If you haven't already, it's time to request an appointment with one of our dentists. A toothache is your body's way of letting you know something is wrong. The longer you ignore a toothache, the more serious the problem will become. For example, seeing us early can mean the difference between needing a small filling and a root canal.
This blog post has been updated.