Toothaches can be a source of wide-ranging discomfort. It can start as a dull irritation and then turn into something that makes it hard to concentrate on anything else! Unfortunately, if you don’t get to the root of the issue, it can become worse. The pain can become especially noticeable at nighttime. Read on from your emergency dentist to discover five reasons your toothache is more noticeable when you go to sleep.
#1. Increased Blood Circulation
During the day, as you sit and stand all day, you are working against gravity to maintain the blood flow to your head. When you finally lay down at night, circulation becomes significantly easier. As a result, a lot of blood suddenly rushes to your head—including your mouth. This increased blood flow can contribute to the swelling of your toothache, which in turn can exacerbate the pain that you are feeling.
#2. Teeth Grinding
Bruxism, or teeth grinding, is a very common condition that can occur while sleeping. Oftentimes, you aren’t even aware that you have this problem until your dentist notices the wearing down of your pearly whites. The constant movement of your jaw puts a surprising amount of pressure on your teeth, which would naturally make a toothache much worse than it would have been otherwise.
#3. Late-night snacking
Many people like to snack on sugary or starchy foods before bedtime. Unfortunately, this allows the bad bacteria in your mouth to grow and wreak havoc upon your teeth all throughout the night. This can, of course, worsen a toothache that is caused by an infection.
#4. Fewer Distractions
Your days are probably filled with obligations and responsibilities, so you are running nonstop. It can be easy to push through a bit of discomfort as you are busily managing your day. Most of the time, your toothache will be much more noticeable when you’re relaxing than when you’re staying active. That could simply be the reason your toothache seems worse as you’re lying in bed—there are fewer things to distract you!
#5. Unaddressed oral health issues
It goes without saying that untreated dental issues such as cavities, decay, and gum recession will become worse over time. Your oral health issues can tend to flare up at nighttime, especially after brushing and flossing your teeth or eating your nightly meal.
Your Next Steps…
If your toothache persists for more than a few days, it is best to go see your dentist. In addition to a thorough cleaning, which can prevent future issues, they will give you an exam. In many cases, it is an infected tooth that needs to be treated. They can also determine if you are suffering from bruxism and recommend a mouthguard for the protection of your teeth. Your dental team will help you get to the root of the problem and get you back on track to a happy and healthy smile!
If you’re suffering from a toothache that seems to become worse at night, you don’t have to continue to have sleepless and uncomfortable evenings! With this helpful information and the assistance of your dentist, you can return to excellent oral health.
About the Author
Dr. Sivan Patel and his team at Brite Smiles are eager to assist you with any dental emergency! He studied at the Boston University Goldman School of Dentistry and has well over a decade of experience. In addition to a full range of dental services, he is available for emergency care by offering evening and weekend appointments. To schedule an appointment, contact him through his website or call (847) 297-0808.