A general dentist performs most of the treatments commonly used in dentistry. These oral professionals spend most of their time performing preventative treatments, like tooth cleanings, but they also perform more complex treatments, like root canals. A general dentist also serves as an educator, teaching patients how to properly take care of their teeth and…
What to Do If You Have a Toothache at Night
A toothache is not an uncommon condition. Many people experience one at one time or another, in varying degrees of severity. When one hits during the night, it can affect your ability to sleep well and get the rest you need. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to relieve the pain and discomfort. In addition, you can take preventive measures to keep toothaches away altogether and enjoy good oral health.
Causes of a toothache
When a person feels pain in and around the tooth, the cause is often tooth decay. This comes because the individual has not brushed or flossed effectively. The pain and discomfort can increase as the cavity grows and spreads. If it reaches the pulp of the tooth, where nerves and vessels are, an abscess can develop. The tooth pain here can be intense and feel unbearable.
Other factors can contribute to pain in the tooth. Breaking or cracking a tooth can produce the same effect. Damaging a filling is another possible source of the pain. When gums become infected, the tissue will become irritated, and the tooth could suffer the effects too. When teeth erupt, some people experience discomfort as well.
The troubles with toothaches at night
Many times, a toothache will affect a person at night. This can interrupt sleep patterns, keeping the person up all night. Pain in the tooth during the nighttime can also be problematic because it is more difficult to get immediate help from the dentist. A general dentist’s office will be closed, so the patient may have to seek emergency help if the pain is severe.
Take pain medication
During the night, taking medication such as Tylenol and Ibuprofen can help relieve a toothache. The person should take the drugs as directed. It is important to take the correct dosage and not take doses too closely together. Alternating between these two over-the-counter medications can be effective.
Use an ice pack
Along with pain, a toothache can cause swelling around the tooth and in the jaw. Using a cold-compression pack can reduce the swelling. During the night, the individual can keep an ice pack on the affected area for about 20 minutes at a time. After this period, the person can leave the pack off and then put it back on again for another 20 minutes. This can also help to numb the pain.
Rinse with salt water
Another possible solution for a toothache is to gently rinse with salt water. For the most effective results, stir ½ a teaspoon of salt into a glass of warm water. Rinsing with warm salt water can dislodge debris from in between the teeth. The salt water can also act as a disinfectant.
Treatment at home is possible
If a toothache is bothering you at night, there are steps you can take at home to relieve the pain. Before you can get to the dentist’s office in the morning, try these possible solutions. Then, get in touch with the dentist as soon as you can the following day. The dentist can treat the cause of the symptoms, but you can minimize the pain.
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