Mirilis DDS

Mon-Fri: 9 AM - 6 PM
Sat: 9 AM - 1 PM
mirilis logo clean background white


If you’ve ever experienced the nagging toothache that seems to strike in the middle of the night, you’re not alone. Many people wonder, “Why does my tooth only hurt at night?” The truth is, there are several potential causes for nighttime tooth pain, and understanding them can help you find relief and improve your oral health.

woman in blue shirt holding her check due to tooth ache

Common Causes of Nighttime Tooth Pain

Sinus Infection

One of the most surprising culprits behind nighttime tooth pain is a sinus infection. The upper teeth, particularly the molars, share close proximity to the sinus cavities. When you have a sinus infection, the inflammation and pressure can radiate to these teeth, causing discomfort and pain, especially when lying down.

Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is a common dental problem that can lead to nighttime tooth pain. When a tooth is decaying, the nerve endings inside it become exposed to various stimuli, such as temperature changes or sugary foods. This exposure can result in sharp pain, which may be more pronounced at night when you’re trying to sleep.

Tooth Enamel and Sensitivity

The enamel, the protective outer layer of your teeth, can become worn down over time due to factors like acidic foods or improper brushing. When enamel erodes, it can make your teeth more sensitive, and this sensitivity might be more noticeable at night.

Gum Disease

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, can lead to gum recession and damage to the supporting tissues of your teeth. This can result in pain, especially when eating or applying extra pressure on your gums, such as when grinding your teeth at night.

Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth often emerge during late adolescence or early adulthood. Their arrival can cause discomfort and even severe pain as they push through the gum line. This discomfort is frequently felt at night.

Dental Abscess

A dental abscess is a pocket of pus that forms within the teeth or gums due to infection. It can cause excruciating pain, often at its worst during the night. A dental abscess is a serious problem that requires prompt attention from an emergency dentist.

TMJ Disorder

Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder can result in jaw pain that radiates to the teeth. People with TMJ disorder may experience worsened symptoms, including tooth pain, when lying down at night.

Tooth Sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity, characterized by a sharp, fleeting pain when exposed to hot or cold temperatures, can also be a cause of nighttime tooth pain. The sensitivity may be heightened when lying flat.

Dental Problems and Infections

Various dental problems and infections, such as cracked teeth or root canals, can lead to persistent nighttime tooth pain. These issues often require professional dental care to resolve.

close up photo of a tooth decay

The Best Ways to Alleviate Nighttime Tooth Pain

1. Cold Compress: Applying a cold compress to the side of your face can help reduce inflammation and numb the area, providing temporary relief from toothache pain.

2. Over-the-Counter Pain Medication: Non-prescription pain medications can help alleviate mild to moderate dental pain. Always follow the recommended dosage instructions.

3. Clove Oil: Clove oil has natural analgesic properties and can be applied topically to the affected area for temporary relief.

4. Mouth Guard: If tooth pain is related to grinding or clenching your teeth at night, a custom-fit mouth guard can protect your teeth and reduce discomfort.

5. Dental Care: Maintaining good oral hygiene, such as regular brushing, flossing, and dental check-ups, can help prevent tooth pain caused by decay or gum disease.

6. Dental Work: If the underlying cause of your tooth pain is a dental issue, such as a cavity or cracked tooth, your dentist may recommend dental procedures like fillings or crowns.

7. Emergency Dentist: For severe or persistent tooth pain, especially if it’s accompanied by swelling or signs of infection, seek immediate care from an emergency dentist.

hand putting ice cubes to cold compress

The Good News: Finding Relief and Treatment

The good news is that most cases of nighttime tooth pain can be addressed with the right approach. Whether it’s a sinus infection, tooth decay, or another dental issue, there are effective treatments available to alleviate your discomfort and improve your oral health.

However, it’s essential not to ignore nighttime tooth pain, as it could be a sign of a more serious problem. Regular dental check-ups are crucial for early detection and prevention of dental issues. Additionally, practicing good oral hygiene and avoiding sugary foods can reduce the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.

If you’ve been asking yourself, “Why does my tooth only hurt at night?” it’s time to take action. Consult with your dentist to identify the underlying cause of your tooth pain and develop a treatment plan that will help you sleep soundly and wake up pain-free.

In conclusion, nighttime tooth pain can be caused by various factors, including sinus infections, tooth decay, gum disease, and more. The best way to find relief is to address the underlying cause with the guidance of a dental professional. Remember that taking care of your oral health is essential for a pain-free and restful night’s sleep.

woman lying in bed experiencing tooth ache

Mirilis DDS: Getting the Treatment You Need

For patients of all ages experiencing nighttime tooth pain or any dental concerns, Mirilis DDS is here to provide expert care. Our experienced team of professionals is dedicated to helping you achieve optimal oral health and alleviate dental discomfort. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and get the personalized treatment you deserve. Say goodbye to nighttime tooth pain and hello to a brighter, pain-free smile with Mirilis DDS.

mirilis logo clean background white