Toothaches can start at any time, even whilst you sleep. So, if you have recently woken up with a terrible toothache, this is a normal occurrence. A toothache can start at any time. This is because the bacteria that often cause toothaches can breach the inner chamber of your tooth at any time. It doesn't matter if you are awake or not. Once bacteria reach the nerve, the pain begins.
But why is the pain so severe when you are lying down?
Dental Pain Is Worse When Lying Down
You may have noticed that your toothache pain is much worse when you are lying down. The explanation for this is simple. When lying down, the blood flowing to your head increases. This increased blood leads to more pain. When you stand up then, you should be able to feel some pain relief.
Your Tooth Can Only Hold so Much
Once infected, your tooth will begin to fill up with biological materials. These materials include things such as bacteria, white blood cells and waste products. When you lie down and the blood flow to your tooth increases, the tiny chamber in the centre of your tooth fills with even more blood. In turn, this increases the sensation of pressure and pain inside your tooth.
As a result, you might wake up in excruciating pain if a tooth infection starts while you sleep. While standing up, as well as taking some pain medication, will reduce the pain and inflammation, it won't cure the problem. If you don't see a dentist soon, an abscess, which is a pocket of pus at the tip of a tooth's root, will soon form. Abscesses aren't just painful; they are also damaging to your health.
You May Need Emergency Treatment
If you wake up with an infected tooth and the pain is unbearable, you should book an emergency dental appointment. This will allow a dentist to enter the infected tooth using special files and remove the infected tissue before the infection can spread into the bone and surrounding gum tissue.
Leaving the infection for too long could result in tissue loss. In other words, the ligaments holding your tooth in place could soon break down and cause your tooth to loosen in its socket. The pus from the infected tooth could also damage the bone holding your tooth in place. In time, your tooth could even fall out if the infection remains.
As you can see, swift treatment is the best course of action for an infected tooth. Even if you wake up late at night then, consider booking an appointment with an emergency dentist to remove the infection before it spreads.