How To Fall Asleep With a Toothache

There’s nothing worse than trying to fall asleep when you're in pain. It’s pretty difficult to do, since your brain is so preoccupied with the pain that sleep seems to be the last thing your body wants to do. With that being said, sleep is a vital part of your overall well being, so you can’t just stay awake all night with a toothache.

With that in mind, how exactly can you fall asleep with a toothache? It may seem impossible, but there are a few different things that you can do to get to sleep with ease when you have a toothache.

How To Fall Asleep With a Toothache, man holding his teeth with pain in bed

Knowing When to Visit a Dentist

Before we go into some of the ways that you can fall asleep with a toothache, it’s important to first mention that there are some occasions when you shouldn’t just ignore your pain. In some situations you may need to visit a dentist.

First, watch your toothache over the next 24 hours. You may find that the pain gradually subsides in that time period and everything is fine. In other situations, you may need some help from your dentist. You should certainly speak to your dentist if your pain is very severe. In addition to this, you should also visit the dentist if you find that you’re still in pain two days later. Other red flags include headache, pain or fever when you try to open your mouth. Finally, you should seek emergency help if you are struggling to swallow or breathe.

How To Fall Asleep With a Toothache

Here are just a few of the ways that you can fall asleep with a toothache.

Over the Counter Pain Medication

This is the most obvious solution. If you are struggling with a toothache one of the main things that may help is some over the counter medication. You should take something such as tylenol or Advil to ease the pain. This is ideal if the toothache is moderate to mild in terms of severity. Make sure that you pay attention to the dosage - you don’t want to take too much. Sometimes the pain may be too intense even for OTC medications though, in which case a dentist can advise you to get stronger medication or they can deal with the issue.

Elevating Your Head

Sometimes the pain and inflammation can be even worse when your head isn’t elevated since the blood can pool. If you elevate your head using a few extra pillows, you may find that you feel a lot less pain. This is handy when you’re trying to sleep.

Cold Compress

Cold Compress for toothache before bed, woman using cold compress for toothache

Sometimes a cold compress can be helpful for reducing the amount of pain that you feel thanks to a toothache.

It’s fairly simple to do this method. All you need to do is put a bag of ice in a towel, then press the towel and ice against your mouth on the side where the pain is. This will help to suppress your blood pressure in the area, thus reducing your pain. This can help you to fall asleep. You can alternatively do this every 15 to 20 minutes every couple of hours on the lead up to your bedtime.


Much like over the counter oral medications, you can also get medicated ointments that can reduce pain on the site of the toothache. For instance, you can get medication that contains substances like benzocaine. The only exception to this is if a child has a toothache, since a child can’t use benzocaine. You will need to find an alternative for a child.

Peppermint Tea

Time for tea! If you’re struggling with a toothache, you may find it helpful to swish a little bit of peppermint tea around your mouth to relieve the pain. Alternatively, you can also suck on the peppermint tea bags.

So, why does this work exactly? Well, it has been found that peppermint has antioxidant and antibacterial properties because it contains menthol. Menthol can also numb the area that’s in pain, which is an added bonus.


Garlic isn’t just useful for staving off vampires and ensuring people stay away from you. It can also contain antibacterial ingredients, and this can help to get rid of any bacteria in your mouth. This means that you are less likely to experience pain in the teeth.

All you need to do is grab a garlic clove and chew on it for a little while. This can help to minimize the amount of pain that you feel. Of course, this isn’t always a good choice for everyone since raw garlic can be incredibly strong. In this case, you may need to use a different method.


Cloves contain something called eugenol. This is effective at reducing tooth pain. In fact, some studies have proven that people were less likely to feel pain and have inflammation if they applied eugenol to the gums. The compound can act as an analgesic, so it can help to reduce pain in the area in question because it makes it numb. It is simple to use too. All you need to do is soak some cloves that have been ground in a little bit of water. This will then make a paste. You can put this paste onto your tooth, or you can put it in a tea bag that has been emptied out and put it into your mouth.

If this doesn’t sound ideal for you, you can also suck a clove or chew it a little.

This is not going to work for children - there’s a chance they could swallow too much of the clove which can be dangerous.


With these remedies, you can hopefully get a peaceful night’s sleep without any pain. Of course, if your pain gets any worse please do not hesitate to speak to your dentist for further advice.