Best Ways To Sleep With Throbbing Tooth Pain At Night

An aching tooth or gum is one of the most painful things that you can experience, and it can prevent you from doing important things like sleeping and eating. It can be a sharp pain on the gum, a sensitive pain around the problematic tooth or a dull throbbing pain in the gum and teeth.

Tooth decay, tooth grinding, sinusitis and abscessed teeth are the leading causes of a toothache. But regardless of what causes the pain, it seems to get worse at night which makes it impossible to get any sleep.

When you lay flat in bed blood tends to circulate better towards the neck and head which in turn increases pressure and hence making things like swollen gums and achy teeth more painful. Also, having hot, acidic and sugary foods for dinner can make a toothache worse as you sleep.

Other things like your sleep position and increased awareness also make the pain worse at night. However, there are some fast-acting and easy remedies that you can use to ensure that the throbbing tooth does not interfere with your snooze. Here is how to sleep with a toothache.

1. ​Do A Spice Mouth Rinse

Sleep With Throbbing Tooth Pain At Night

Rinsing your mouth with spices before bed can offer you a lot of relief from a toothache which is just what you need to get some rest. Most herbs have some natural antiseptic properties and so applying them to the problematic tooth will help to reduce the pain and also in curbing the infection.

There are many spices that you can use to make the mouth rinse, but clove and cayenne pepper are the most common ones. A simple rinse remedy entails mixing a couple of teaspoons of cayenne powder with warm salt water. You should then use the mixture for gargling before bed.​

2. Apply A Numbing Paste​

how to sleep with a toothache

A numbing paste is not a permanent solution to a toothache, but it can help you get some sleep. And the chances are that you already have everything that you need to make the paste at home which means that it can be a useful remedy for those toothaches that flare-up late into the night.

To make a simple numbing paste, you will need a teaspoon of vanilla extract, one teaspoon of an oral numbing solution which you can buy over the counter, a ground aspirin tablet, and a teaspoon of baking soda. You should mix everything to create a paste and then apply it to the pain source.​

3. Choose Your Food Wisely

throbbing tooth pain ait night

What you take for dinner is vital because it can ease the problem or make it worse. Hot and acidic foods can trigger pain in swollen gums and make it hard for you to sleep. To make sure that the tooth does not prevent you from getting some rest you should use food to deal with your toothache. Eating cold foods such as fruits and frozen yogurt can help to dull the swelling and numb some of the pain. Some people will even find relief from chewing ice chips.

4. Floss Your Teeth Before Bed​

flossing before bed

Even if you do not have any problems with your teeth, you should always remember to floss. Flossing is vital for keeping your teeth healthy, but most people tend to ignore this fact as they believe that brushing is just enough. If you have a toothache, you should remember to floss before bed so as to remove any food particles between the teeth which might cause the aching or make it worse as you sleep.

5. Keep Your Head Elevated​

How To Fall Asleep When Not Tired

Finding a comfy sleep position can be a tedious task when trying to sleep with a toothache because every angle seems to make the problem worse. However, elevating your head can be very effective in reducing the pain because it minimizes the flow of blood to your head and hence reducing the pressure. 

Use some pillows to keep your head elevated but also make sure that rest of your body is comfortable enough to increase your chances of falling asleep fast. A wedge pillow is perfect when you have a toothache as it helps to keep your head upright and also maintains proper spinal alignment.

6. Put An Ice Pack In Your Pillow

reduce toothache with an ice pack

Ice is a cheap and very effective way of dealing with throbbing tooth pain but chewing ice chips might not be enough because they tend to melt quickly. Putting some ice over your pillow is an excellent way of ensuring that you get some relief throughout the night.

For this remedy, you should wrap the ice pack in a towel and place it on the pillow. The cold from the ice will numb the pain and allow you to fall asleep. A good size ice pack will take a couple of hours to melt which is enough time for you to fall asleep.

7. Take Some Painkillers

best ways to sleep with toothache at night

Even if you do not like taking pills, it might be necessary to take some painkillers if you want to get any shut-eye with a toothache. Aspirin and ibuprofen are the most common ones when it comes to dealing with a painful tooth.

You can take one of these fast-acting tablets before bed for some relief or use an old-time trick that entails crushing aspirin into a powder that you should then place on the aching tooth. It is critical to avoid overdosing on painkillers no matter how painful the teeth might be and limit the dose to one pill every four to six hours or according to a doctor’s prescription.​

8. Chew On Onion or Garlic​

how to sleep with a toothache

If you get teeth pain at night, you should start chewing on raw garlic or onion at least once every day. Also, if you find it hard to get any sleep because of an aching tooth, you should nibble on a couple of cloves of garlic to benefit from its antibiotic properties.

Placing crushed garlic mixed with salt on your aching tooth can also offer some relief. Onions, on the other hand, may give you a bad odor, but this should be the least of your concern when trying to sleep with a painful tooth. The onions have some antimicrobial and antiseptic properties which mean that they can reduce pain by killing some of the bacteria that cause it.​


Pain anywhere in your body will always make it hard for you to sleep but an aching tooth is worse than others because it is hard to ignore. The remedies above will offer you some relief so that you can get some rest before you visit your dentist for a permanent solution. There are still many other ways of sleeping with a throbbing tooth pain, and they include rinsing with hard alcohol and rubbing clove oil on the tooth.​

There are some fast-acting and easy remedies that you can use to ensure that the throbbing tooth does not interfere with your snooze. Here is how to sleep with a toothache.
  • Jane
  • Updated July 21, 2018

I am Jane Collins, a Founder and a Main Editor of I decided to create this site to share my knowledge, guides and tips to help you to have a good night's sleep.

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