Do You Have Tooth Pain In The Morning? This May Be Why | Find A Dentist | DentalVibe | Pain-Free Dentists (2023)

Do you find yourself waking up with dental pain? If you experience tooth pain in the morning, you could be clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth at night. However, those are not the only causes of morning tooth pain. Fortunately, many causes of tooth pain can be corrected at home, but pinpointing the exact reason for your dental pain is necessary to find the right solution.

Let’s look at some of the most common causes of morning tooth pain.

Why do my teeth hurt when I wake up in the morning?

If your teeth hurt or feel loose when you wake up, it could be due to one of the following reasons.

Sinus infection

If you experience discomfort with your upper back teeth, there’s a possibility you have a sinus infection. Sinus infections can lead to fluids accumulating as you sleep, resulting in pressure. Since the sinuses are located near the upper teeth, the resulting pain feels like a toothache. If you have a sinus infection, you will probably feel pain in your nose and head, along with a sharp pain in your upper teeth. Pain from a sinus infection doesn’t typically feel like a single toothache, but rather like generalized pain in the upper back teeth.

Try taking an over-the-counter sinus medicine to reduce the pain, and talk to your doctor if your symptoms don’t subside.

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Night grinding or clenching

Many people experience tooth pain in the morning due to clenching their jaw or grinding their teeth at night. In most cases, this is a result of chronic stress. It’s a subconscious habit known as bruxism and is common with adults.

One way to stop tooth pain resulting from grinding or clenching is to wear a mouthguard when sleeping. You can try an over-the-counter mouthguard designed for athletes, which can be molded to your teeth, or have your dentist make a custom night guard for you. Finding ways to manage and cope with stress can also help you kick this nighttime habit.

Gum disease

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, results from plaque sticking on your teeth, leading to tartar buildup. This irritates the gums and slowly leads to gum recession.

As you age, the gums naturally start to wear out, leaving your teeth roots exposed and vulnerable to infections. Be sure to brush your teeth before you go to bed to reduce the chances of tartar buildup, and see your dentist regularly for cleanings to prevent gum disease.

Pregnancy

Though pregnancy is not a common cause of tooth pain in the morning, it does increase the risk of gum disease. The hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy can negatively impact your dental health. Pregnant women are also susceptible to dry mouth, which also increases the risk of gum disease, as saliva is needed to wash away bacteria.

Many women are reluctant to visit the dentist while pregnant, but it’s perfectly safe to have a dental cleaning during pregnancy. Be sure to let your dentist know that you’re pregnant so that they can take any necessary precautions.

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Sleep position

Sometimes, tooth pain in the morning could be a result of something as simple as your sleeping position. If you feel pain most intense on one side of the mouth, it could be a sign of an uncomfortable sleeping position.

For instance, sleeping with your hands under your jaw could cause toothache in the morning, especially if you wear a watch or bracelets to bed. To avoid putting pressure on your face, make sure you remove jewelry before going to sleep and use a supportive pillow to raise your head.

Nerve damage

Pain in the head can be caused by a condition known as trigeminal neuralgia, which is a type of nerve damage. Any activities such as touching your face, chewing, or brushing your teeth can trigger pain. The pain usually affects only one side of the face at a time, and may feel like severe jabbing pain or spasms.

If you experience prolonged, recurring facial pain that doesn’t respond to over-the-counter painkillers, make an appointment with your doctor.

Overuse of mouthwash

While using a daily oral rinse may be beneficial, too much mouthwash can be harmful to your teeth. Most mouthwashes contain an acid that can cause damage to your teeth’s middle layer. If you use mouthwash several times a day, it can lead to tooth sensitivity. If you’re prone to using too much oral rinse, your solution for morning tooth pain could be as simple as reducing your mouthwash usage.

Dehydration

Drinking lots of water is important for your overall health as well as for your teeth, as it helps wash away bacteria and food residue that can lead to tooth decay. Also, water helps reduce the effects of a dry mouth, which increases the risk of gum disease. If you’re constantly waking up with a dry mouth and tooth pain, try to drink more water throughout the day.

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Acidic foods

Eating too many acidic foods such as soda, sugary candies, and citrus foods can destroy your teeth enamel. Once the enamel is worn out, teeth become susceptible to nerve damage, which can cause you to wake up with tooth pain. Try to reduce your consumption of acidic foods, and wait at least 30 minutes after eating before brushing your teeth, as brushing can increase the damage to your teeth when acid is present in your mouth.

You frequently vomit

Stomach acid can damage your teeth if you frequently vomit, causing erosion of the tooth enamel and leading to tooth pain. Some of the main reasons for frequent vomiting include chronic alcoholism, gastroesophageal reflux disease, and pregnancy. If you experience this problem, talk to your doctor for a permanent solution.

How to reduce morning tooth pain

Hopefully you recognize yourself in one or more of the above causes of morning tooth pain. While some causes of dental pain will require medical treatment, some of them may be successfully addressed at home. If you’ve just started experiencing tooth pain upon waking or are waiting for an appointment with your dentist, try the following tips to ease the pain.

Use oral care products for sensitive gums and teeth

Try using products designed for sensitive teeth, such as an extra soft toothbrush, floss for sensitive gums, and toothpaste that offers protection against plaque, cavities, tartar, and painful tooth sensitivity.

Keep away from certain foods and drinks

Avoid foods that are either too hot or too cold. Also, minimize sugary or acidic foods to prevent damage to your tooth enamel.

Swish saltwater in your mouth

Dissolve a teaspoon of salt in water, swish it in your mouth for half a minute, and then spit. You can do this as a routine before going to bed. The salty water is used as a cleanser, which aids in reducing inflammation and swelling, and fighting bacteria-causing infection.

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Dip cotton ball in clove oil

Dip a cotton ball in clove oil and place it on the paining area, or directly apply a few drops of clove oil on your gums. Clove oil contains eugenol, which is a natural anesthetic that may help relieve tooth pain while you sleep.

Peppermint tea

Just like clove oil, peppermint is believed to have a soothing effect in addition to its good flavor. You can choose to swallow the tea or spit it out after swishing it in your mouth.

Place an ice pack on the paining tooth

Place an ice pack on the paining tooth or affected area and wait for 15 minutes before removing it. The ice pack helps numb the nerves to provide relief.

Visit the dentist

While you can use home remedies to address some causes of tooth pain, treating a toothache caused by gum disease or a cavity requires a visit to the dentist. If you’re experiencing ongoing tooth pain, make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. Postponing necessary dental treatments often only leads to additional problems and more tooth pain.

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FAQs

Why do toothaches hurt more in the morning? ›

Many people experience tooth pain in the morning due to clenching their jaw or grinding their teeth at night. In most cases, this is a result of chronic stress. It's a subconscious habit known as bruxism and is common with adults.

When should you see a dentist about tooth pain? ›

See your dentist as soon as possible if: You have a toothache that lasts longer than one or two days. Your toothache is severe. You have a fever, earache or pain when you open your mouth wide.

What does the dentist do when you have tooth pain? ›

Treating toothache

If your toothache is caused by tooth decay, your dentist will remove the decayed area and replace it with a filling. If your toothache is caused by a loose or broken filling, the filling will be taken out, any decay will be removed, and a new filling put in place.

Should I see a doctor or dentist for toothache? ›

If you're experiencing a toothache, it's essential to see a dentist as soon as possible. Many factors can lead to toothaches, such as dental decay or gum disease. They should never be ignored because the pain will only worsen.

How do I get rid of morning toothache? ›

Since a sinus infection can cause fluids to collect as you sleep, the resulting pressure can make you wake up with a toothache. Try taking an over-the-counter decongestant to relieve the pain or talk with your doctor for a stronger solution.

How long should a tooth hurt? ›

How Long Does Nerve Pain Last in A Tooth? On average, a tooth nerve pain can last from as little as just a few days to as long as 4-6weeks or, in some instances, even longer.

How long can tooth pain wait? ›

The CDC recommends treating dental emergencies within 24 hours of their onset. The severity of the pain, the extent of the damage, and your overall health factor into how long you should wait before seeking professional assistance.

How long can you have tooth pain? ›

If you are experiencing pain due to a cavity or an infection, then your discomfort will persistently last for more than 48 hours and will continue to worsen with time.

What causes tooth pain? ›

Toothache Overview

A toothache or tooth pain is caused when the nerve in the root of a tooth or surrounding a tooth is irritated. Dental (tooth) infection, decay, injury, or loss of a tooth are the most common causes of dental pain. Pain may also occur after an extraction (tooth is pulled out).

What causes toothache at night? ›

The main reason why toothaches are more painful at night is our sleeping position. Laying down causes more blood rush to our heads, putting extra pressure on sensitive areas, such as our mouths. We don't feel that throbbing sensation as much during the day because we're mostly standing or sitting.

Can a doctor tell if a tooth is infected? ›

An X-ray of the aching tooth can help identify an abscess. Your dentist may also use X-rays to determine whether the infection has spread, causing abscesses in other areas. Recommend a CT scan. If the infection has spread to other areas within your neck, a CT scan may be used to see how severe the infection is.

How should I sleep with tooth pain? ›

Sleep with your head elevated – Prop up a few pillows to prevent your blood flow from rushing to your head, making your tooth pain worse. Use a cold compress – A cold compress (or towel-wrapped ice pack) can reduce inflammation and numb the area.

Why do my teeth feel weird in the morning? ›

The reason your teeth don't feel smooth in the morning is that plaque has built up overnight. While you sleep, you obviously aren't brushing your teeth or eating crunchy foods. In addition, your saliva production is reduced overnight so plaque and bacteria in your mouth won't be washed away.

What home remedy can I use for tooth nerve pain? ›

Twelve Toothache Remedies You Can Try at Home
  1. Ice. Applying ice to the area of the painful tooth can help to numb the pain. ...
  2. Elevate Your Head. ...
  3. Over the Counter Medications. ...
  4. Salt Water Rinse. ...
  5. Hydrogen Peroxide Rinse. ...
  6. Tea Bags. ...
  7. Garlic. ...
  8. Vanilla Extract.
19 Oct 2020

What can I take for tooth nerve pain? ›

Taking over-the-counter (OTC) pain medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil) is a quick, simple way for many people to effectively reduce mild-to-moderate toothaches. Always stay within the recommended dosage on the packaging.

Does brushing teeth help toothache? ›

You should not neglect brushing the affected tooth, as this will accelerate the rate that bacteria builds up in and around the cavity. This build up of bacteria may make the swelling, and hence the pain, even worse. Brushing your teeth will not, however, make the toothache go away (sadly).

Can a tooth stop hurting on its own? ›

While tooth pain can go away by itself in certain scenarios, it typically requires dental care. Bruxism, tooth decay, gum disease, and other causes of toothache need treatment. You should visit your dentist for an exam if tooth pain continues for longer than a few days.

How do I know if my toothache is serious? ›

See your dentist as soon as possible about your toothache if: You have a toothache that lasts longer than 1 or 2 days. Your toothache is severe. You have a fever, earache, or pain upon opening your mouth wide.

Can salt water make toothache worse? ›

Salt water rinses help decrease swelling, therefore offering pain relief. Aids in Gum Health and Soothes Bleeding Gums — If you have irritated or bleeding gums caused by toothaches, gingivitis, or canker sores, a salt water rinse can help manage the pain.

Should I still go to the dentist if my tooth stopped hurting? ›

A disappearing toothache is not a cause for celebration — rather, it is often a cause for concern. Your emergency dentist is ready to help you deal with the problem and minimize the damage to your oral health.

How far can tooth pain radiate? ›

Upper toothache pain can radiate to the lower jaw. Additionally, as the Mayo Clinic notes, a person with tooth abscess can experience pain in the lower jaw, neck, or radiating out to the ears. If left untreated, a tooth abscess can lead to complications that can be life-threatening.

Does salt water help toothache? ›

But warm salt water can help your toothache too. Salt water can help gently rinse away food particles that are stuck between your teeth. And rinsing with salt water also serves as a disinfectant and helps reduce inflammation. Mix 1 teaspoon of salt with an 8-ounce glass of warm water and rinse as needed.

Can stress cause toothaches? ›

Yes, a toothache caused by stress is possible. Stress and nerves can cause tension effects on the jaw, with stress often causing a person to grind their teeth. When you are clenching the jaw due to stress you can easily cause aches and pains, which is typically a result of wearing down the enamel.

Which teeth are connected to the heart? ›

Heart – Upper and lower third molars (wisdom teeth) Bladder –Upper and lower incisors. Kidney – Upper and lower incisors.

Why do teeth get yellow? ›

Teeth ultimately turn yellow as you get older, when enamel wears away from chewing and exposure to acids from food and drink. Most teeth turn yellow as this enamel thins with age, but some take on a grayish shade when mixed with a lasting food stain.

What does a infected tooth feel like? ›

Signs and symptoms of a tooth abscess include: Severe, constant, throbbing toothache that can spread to your jawbone, neck or ear. Pain or discomfort with hot and cold temperatures. Pain or discomfort with the pressure of chewing or biting.

How do I know if my tooth is still infected? ›

Below are some tell-tale signs of a tooth infection or tooth abscess.
  1. Extreme sensitivity to hot, cold, sugary, or acidic foods.
  2. Change in tooth color.
  3. Swelling of face, jaw, gums, or surrounding lymph nodes.
  4. Raised swelling around a tooth that may resemble a pimple. ...
  5. Bad breath or sour taste in your mouth.
17 Jun 2022

What does it look like when your tooth is infected? ›

Some visible signs can indicate a tooth abscess. Reddening of the gums can be an indicator, as can swelling, with accompanying tenderness, of the jaw, face, and/or cheek. But tooth abscess symptoms include not only what you can see but what you can feel.

Is ibuprofen good for toothache? ›

Over-the-Counter Pain Medication

“Anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen, Advil, Motrin or naproxen work well with dental pain because they reduce inflammation,” says Huang. Recent data has shown the combination of Advil (ibuprofen) and Tylenol (acetaminophen) is as effective as prescription opioids for tooth pain.

What does it mean when a toothache comes and goes? ›

Throbbing tooth pain that comes and goes can indicate tooth damage. A toothache can also be due to cavity or tooth decay. A person is also likely to experience throbbing tooth pain in the presence of tooth infection or inflammation, called pulpitis.

How long does a toothache last? ›

Anyone who experiences a toothache for longer than 1 or 2 days without symptoms of a sinus infection should see a dentist for a full diagnosis and treatment. They may need to clean out a cavity or consider more serious options, such as root canals or tooth extractions.

Why did my tooth pain suddenly go away? ›

A disappearing toothache usually means that the nerve inside the tooth has died. The infection that caused the problem in the first place may still be present and continue to attack the surrounding tissues. Without treatment, the infection could seriously damage the jawbone and even cause systemic illness.

Does brushing teeth stop toothache? ›

You should not neglect brushing the affected tooth, as this will accelerate the rate that bacteria builds up in and around the cavity. This build up of bacteria may make the swelling, and hence the pain, even worse. Brushing your teeth will not, however, make the toothache go away (sadly).

How do you know if your teeth are infected? ›

Symptoms
  1. Severe, constant, throbbing toothache that can spread to your jawbone, neck or ear.
  2. Pain or discomfort with hot and cold temperatures.
  3. Pain or discomfort with the pressure of chewing or biting.
  4. Fever.
  5. Swelling in your face, cheek or neck that may lead to difficulty breathing or swallowing.
29 Jun 2022

Is salt water good for toothache? ›

Dissolve half a teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water – warm water helps salt dissolve. Rinse your mouth with the solution, then spit it out – do not swallow it. Repeat as often as you like.

What is the home remedy of toothache? ›

You can try to get rid of a toothache in 5 minutes by rinsing with hydrogen peroxide, salt water, or wheatgrass. Next, you can apply clove oil, vanilla extract, or garlic paste to the affected area. Finally, apply a cold compress or ice pack. If the pain doesn't resolve or if it's severe, talk with your dentist.

How do you know which tooth is causing pain? ›

Understanding the type of pain you're experiencing is one of the first steps in determining what's causing the pain. The best way to know what's causing your toothache is to visit with your family dentist. X-rays and a thorough examination will help her decide on the proper treatment to relieve your pain.

What happens when a tooth dies? ›

A dead tooth occurs when those tissues are damaged and the blood supply to the tooth is lost. It may be painful or may cause no symptoms at all. A dead or dying tooth should be treated quickly because it can become infected and have negative effects on the jaw, gums and other teeth.

What causes tooth nerve pain? ›

Causes of Tooth Nerve Pain

Causes of nerve pain in teeth that affect the pulp include a cracked, chipped, or broken tooth, tooth decay or infection, a recent tooth filling, and pressure from clenching or grinding your teeth.

Will a tooth eventually stop hurting? ›

When a painful tooth suddenly stops hurting, the symptoms may indicate that the tooth is dying. The absence of pain may be a relief, but unfortunately, this does not indicate that things are getting better. In fact, once a tooth dies, your options for saving your tooth will decrease dramatically.

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