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Why are Toothaches Worse at Night?

Dentists Wyoming Mi Toothaches

There’s never a good time to have a toothache. But perhaps nothing is worse than experiencing dental pain when you’re trying to fall asleep. In general, toothaches seem to worsen at night because there are fewer distractions from the pain. You may also be experiencing dental pain due to teeth grinding or plaque buildup.

Continue reading to find out the most common reasons for nighttime toothaches.

Late Night Snacks

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.

If you eat late night snacks, it’s important you remember to brush your teeth afterwards. 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.

Read more: Is an electric or traditional toothbrush better? >>

Fewer Distractions

There are fewer distractions at night to take your mind off the toothache. For this reason, some patients report feeling more intense tooth pain at night. 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 brain. 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.

Teeth Grinding

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 in the morning with dental pain.

Signs of teeth grinding 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 our office as soon as possible. Our family 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 prevents you from grinding or clenching teeth while asleep.

Request an Appointment With Us

If you haven’t already, it’s time to request an appointment with one of our emergency 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.

Request an appointment with our office at the first sign of tooth pain. That way, our emergency dentists in Wyoming, MI will have the opportunity to resolve issues while they’re small and at their most treatable. Call Family Dentistry at (616) 534-5602.