A toothache is a painful inconvenience, especially at night. Having a toothache at night can make it very difficult to fall asleep or sleep.

However, there are a number of remedies that can help people find relief and fall asleep, including taking painkillers or applying a cold compress or even cloves to the tooth.

In this article, you will learn about nine home remedies to relieve a toothache overnight.

9 ways to treat a toothache overnight

It can be harder to deal with a toothache at night, because there’s not much to distract from the pain. However, one of these methods can relieve pain while waiting for the dental appointment.

1. Oral pain medications

Oral pain relievers can help treat a toothache overnight. Taking over-the-counter pain relievers is a quick and easy way for many people to effectively reduce mild to moderate toothache. If the toothache is severe, it is better to visit a dentist and tell him about stronger painkillers.

2. Cold compress

Using a cold compress can help ease the pain of a toothache. Applying an ice pack wrapped in a towel to the affected side of the face or jaw helps constrict the blood vessels in the area. Which can reduce the pain to allow the person to fall asleep. Applying a cold compress to the affected area for 15 to 20 minutes at night can also help prevent pain when going to bed.

3. Elevation

The accumulation of blood in the head can cause additional pain and inflammation. For some people, elevating their head with an extra pillow or two can ease the pain enough for them to fall asleep.

4. Medicated ointment

Some medicated ointments can also help reduce toothache pain. Over-the-counter numbing gels and ointments can numb the area.

5. Rinse with salt water

A simple salt water rinse is a common home remedy for a toothache. Salt water is a natural antibacterial agent, so it can reduce inflammation. This helps protect damaged teeth from infection. Rinsing with salt water can also help remove food particles or debris stuck in the teeth or gums.

6. Hydrogen Peroxide Rinse

Periodontitis is a serious gum infection that usually occurs as a result of poor oral hygiene. It can cause pain, bleeding gums and loose teeth in their sockets. Rinsing with hydrogen peroxide mouthwash helps reduce plaque and the symptoms of periodontitis. Always dilute food grade hydrogen peroxide with an equal amount of water. Shake the solution in the mouth, but do not swallow it. This remedy is not suitable for children, as they may accidentally swallow the mixture.

7. Peppermint Tea

A peppermint tea mouthwash can also help temporarily relieve the pain of a toothache.
Peppermint contains antibacterial and antioxidant compounds. Menthol, an active ingredient in peppermint, can also have a mild numbing effect on sensitive areas.

8. Cloves

Eugenol, which is one of the main compounds in cloves, can reduce tooth pain. Results of a 2015 clinical trial showed that people who applied eugenol to their gums after tooth extraction suffered less pain and inflammation during healing.

Eugenol: natural painkiller

Eugenol acts as an analgesic. Which means it numbs the area. To use cloves for a toothache, ground cloves should be soaked in water to make a paste. Then apply the paste to the tooth, or put it in an empty tea bag and place it in the mouth. You can also chew or gently suck on a single clove and let it rest near the aching tooth to ease the pain. It is not a suitable remedy for children, as they may swallow too many cloves. Isolated cloves can be pungent and painful if a person swallows them.

9. Garlic

The antibacterial effect of garlic can help kill bacteria in the mouth. Garlic is a common household ingredient that some people use for toothache relief. Allicin, which is the main compound in garlic, has a strong antibacterial effect that can help kill bacteria in the mouth that cause cavities and toothache. Simply chewing a clove of garlic and letting it rest near the tooth can help relieve the pain. That said, the taste of raw garlic may be too strong for some people, so it may not be the right solution for everyone.

Main causes of toothache

Tooth decay is a very common cause of toothache. Tooth decay can lead to cavities if a person does not receive treatment.
Cavities occur when acids and bacteria penetrate the enamel and eat away at the delicate tissues inside the tooth. This can expose the nerve, causing mild to severe pain.

Sinus infections can also cause toothaches in some people. Symptoms such as pain and pressure caused by the infection may be more painful at night.

Other possible causes of toothache include:

loss of a filling
dental abscesses
jaw trauma
an emerging wisdom tooth
food stuck in the teeth or gums
grind your teeth at night
gum disease

Why does toothache hurt more at night?

Toothaches can be painful during the day, but they may seem to get worse at night. This may be due in particular to the fact that when a person is lying down, the blood flows to the head. This extra blood in the area can increase the pain and pressure people feel from a toothache. Another reason many ailments get worse at night is because there are fewer distractions. With little else to do but focus on the toothache, a person may have trouble falling asleep.


Asl, MK, et al. (2013). Analgesic effect of the aqueous and ethanolic extracts of clove.

Bayan, L., et al. (2014). Garlic: A review of potential therapeutic effects.

Huynh, NC-N., et al. (2016). Rinsing with saline promotes human gingival fibroblast wound healing in vitro.

Jesudasan, JS, et al. (2015). Effectiveness of 0.2% chlorhexidine gel and a eugenol-based paste on postoperative alveolar osteitis in patients having third molars extracted: A randomized controlled clinical trial [Abstract].

Rashed, HT (2016). Evaluation of the effect of hydrogen peroxide as a mouthwash in comparison with chlorhexidine in chronic periodontitis patients: A clinical study.

Singh, R., et al. (2015). Antibacterial and antioxidant activities of Mentha piperita L.

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