How to Ease Toothache at Night

Many underestimate just how bad a toothache can be until they have to experience it for themselves, and dealing with it while trying to get to sleep is nearly impossible. Toothache at night isn’t ideal when you have responsibilities the next day, whether that be working or childcare or pre planned leisure activities, but there are ways to take the edge off to ensure you get some sleep. 

At The Tooth Spa, we provide a range of dental services in Leeds, including emergency dental services, and we understand that tooth pain is as unpleasant as it is inconvenient. That’s why our team has created this guide to help you ease your toothache while trying to relax and sleep. 

When Do I Need to See a Dentist?

If you’re experiencing a toothache, it’s best to get in touch with your dentist after two days if the pain does not go away, or if painkillers have little to no effect. It may be necessary to reach out to an emergency dentist if you cannot get a same day appointment – especially if you are experiencing a high temperature, have pain when you bite, a bad taste in the mouth, red gums, or your cheek or jaw is swollen. 

Some of these symptoms could indicate an infection, which can get worse if left untreated and lead to avoidable complications. To find an emergency dentist, either call NHS 111 or find a reputable and reliable dentist near you. If you’re in Leeds, The Tooth Spa provides a range of dentist and emergency dental services, so get in touch with us today! 

woman suffering toothache while in bed at night
tablet painkillers to help with toothache


For tooth pain, there are many different options available regarding painkillers to help you ease the pain. Over the counter medications include paracetamol, ibuprofen, and co-codamol (codeine and paracetamol) that should be taken as recommended on the package. While it may seem tempting, unless you have a prescription we advise against taking stronger painkillers – especially if they have not been prescribed to you. 

Another option includes numbing gel and spray, which works by numbing the area it is applied to in order to block pain. Most over the counter mouth numbing medications are designed for minor aches and pains, so will not work for tooth or gum abscesses, or pain from root canals, wisdom teeth, or dry socket. 

Sleeping Position

If you’re dealing with tooth pain, try and adjust your sleeping position by elevating your head. Blood rushing towards your head can make your toothache much worse and by elevating your head, you are draining blood away from the site and taking pressure off the nerves around the toothache. Elevating your head also improves the circulation in your body to decrease swelling, which also contributes to pain relief. 

To elevate your head, you can stack pillows behind your head and upper torso to make sure your head is above your body. Alternatively you can use an adjustable bed base but these are expensive and may not be required once the tooth pain is resolved. Or, you can use a foam wedge between your mattress and the base of your bed to create an incline to sleep on.

elevating head while sleeping to ease toothache

Natural Remedies

If you don’t want to take painkillers or mouth numbing for any reason, there are a few natural remedies you can try instead. These include: 

Saltwater Rinse: Mix half a teaspoon of salt into a warm glass of water and use it as mouthwash to swill the area. 

Cold Compress: By wrapping a hand-towel or similar around a bag of ice and pressing it to the afflicted area, you constrict the blood vessels and alleviate pain.

Guava Leaves: Containing anti-inflammatory properties, fresh guava leaves can either be chewed on or crushed and added to boiling water to use as mouthwash. 

Peppermint Tea Bags: Leave time for a used peppermint tea bag to cool down before putting it on the affected area to numb pain. 

Before using a new natural remedy, please ensure you are not allergic to any ingredients. For other natural remedies, make sure you check with your doctor before using them to avoid negative effects.

To find out more, contact The Tooth Spa today!

If you would like more information, or to arrange an appointment with the team at The Tooth Spa, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us now! In addition to emergency appointments, we also provide anti-snoring tools, fillings, oral cancer screenings, and more! We’re only a phone call away so reach out today! 

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