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Picture this: You’re out on your daily jog, the sun is shining, and your playlist is pumping you up.
Everything seems perfect until, out of the blue, your teeth start to ache.
It’s a head-scratcher, right?
Have you ever experienced the discomfort of tooth pain while running?
It’s an unusual yet surprisingly common issue that can leave you puzzled and seeking answers.
In this guide, I delve into the reasons behind why your teeth hurt while running, exploring potential causes, solutions, and expert insights.
The tooth pains can range from sharp pain to mild discomfort or just a background disturbance.
So, relax, keep your running shoes aside for this 7-minute read, and let’s discover the truth behind this unexpected phenomenon.
As you lace up your sneakers and hit the pavement, you might not expect your teeth to enter the conversation.
Yet, they sometimes do, leaving you wondering about the potential culprits behind this unexpected discomfort.
Let’s get into them.
Running on concrete, asphalt, or rocky surfaces can transmit shocks and vibrations, leading to teeth clenching and potential tooth pain.
The vibrations from these terrains may worsen tooth sensitivity, dental issues, or gum disease, making tooth pain more noticeable.
Bruxism is the habit of excessively gritting or grinding your teeth together, usually without even knowing it.
When you’re in the zone, pounding the pavement during a run, going for that last mile, or even during exercise, we oftentimes unknowingly clench our teeth, creating excess pressure on the jaw and teeth.
While running, each step sends vibrations through your body, and your teeth get affected too if they’re clenched together.
This habitual clenching can cause pain in your teeth and even damage them over time.
Similar to teeth clenching, jaw clenching during strenuous physical activity is a common occurrence.
We tend to clench our jaws when we’re trying to navigate through rough landscapes, difficult situations, or when focused on a task.
This can strain the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and trigger toothache as well as jaw pain.
Your teeth are no exception to how your body reacts to weather and temperature during a run.
Typically, during tasking exercises, mouth breathing increases, which may cause any sensitive parts of your teeth to respond to temperature changes in the air going in and out as you breathe.
This can cause you to experience tooth pains based on factors like your current level of running intensity, the weather (hot or cold), and your breathing pattern.
Tooth sensitivity is a common issue where the teeth become hypersensitive to increased blood flow, temperature changes, pressure, or even certain foods.
During running, the increased airflow and exposure to cold or hot air can trigger tooth sensitivity when you breathe in and out, causing tooth pain.
Surprisingly, sinus congestion or infections can manifest as toothaches, especially in the upper teeth.
Running can worsen sinus pressure, leading to discomfort that affects not just your tooth but parts of your face as well.
If this is the case for you, then you should get it treated by a professional.
Cracks or fractures in the teeth can lead to sharp, occasional tooth pain when subjected to the impact and vibrations experienced during running.
These cracks may not always be visible, but they can cause significant discomfort.
Gum disease is any condition that affects the tissues supporting the teeth.
When running, the impact and motion can worsen gum disease symptoms.
Swollen and tender gums can become more painful when subjected to the repetitive stress of running, leading to discomfort and tooth pain.
We’ve covered the reasons why you may experience tooth pain, but what if you thought preemptively?
There are ways and things you can try to prevent tooth pain before your run.
Let’s get into them.
“In through the nose, out through the mouth.”
Try to minimize how much you open and breathe through your mouth when running; doing so can reduce the effects of weather conditions and pressures that affect your teeth.
“New shoes are always a good idea.”
Running with shoes of low quality or just worn out can heighten the pressure and vibrations you feel when running.
The vibrations, mixed with any of the factors mentioned above, can leave you with a very sore mouth and a ruined day.
Drinking water while running helps maintain oral moisture, reducing the risk of tooth pain caused by a dry mouth.
Take a moment to stir the water around your cavities.
Avoid uneven, hard, and rocky terrain that can cause jarring impacts on your teeth.
Smooth and steady surfaces are gentler on your oral health.
During extreme weather conditions, it’s wise to reconsider your running plans.
Running in severe weather can cause stress on your body, including your teeth.
Extreme cold may lead to tooth sensitivity, while extreme heat can cause dehydration and dry mouth, potentially worsening tooth pain.
Consider using a mouth guard to protect your teeth from clenching and impacts, especially during vigorous runs and workouts.
Several home remedies may provide some temporary relief from tooth pain, but it’s essential to know that these remedies are not substitutes for professional dental care.
If you are experiencing persistent or severe tooth pain, you should consult a dentist for a proper diagnosis and treatment.
Here are a few more home remedies you can try:
1. Clove Oil: Apply a small amount of clove oil to a cotton ball and place it on the affected tooth. Clove oil has natural numbing properties and can help alleviate pain.
2. Ice Pack: Apply an ice pack wrapped in a thin cloth to the outside of your cheek near the painful tooth for 15 minutes at a time. This can help reduce inflammation and numb the area.
3. Peppermint Tea: Brew a cup of peppermint tea, allow it to cool, and swish it around in your mouth for a minute or two before spitting it out. Peppermint has mild numbing properties and can provide some tooth pain relief.
4. Hydrogen Peroxide Rinse: Mix equal parts of 3% hydrogen peroxide and water. Rinse your mouth with this solution for 30 seconds, and then spit it out. Don’t swallow it. This can help reduce oral bacteria and inflammation.
5. Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers: Non-prescription pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can provide temporary relief from tooth pain. Follow the written dosage instructions.
Tooth pain during a run can be unexpected and uncomfortable.
Remember to minimize mouth breathing, invest in quality running shoes, stay hydrated, choose gentle running surfaces, and be mindful of extreme weather conditions.
Using a mouth guard during intense workouts can also help.
For temporary relief, consider home remedies like clove oil, ice packs, peppermint tea, hydrogen peroxide rinses, and over-the-counter pain relievers.
However, consult a dentist for lasting solutions and ensure your oral health is in top shape, both on and off the track.
Just like running, different exercises can increase blood flow and heart rate and cause vibrations throughout your body, including your teeth, which are factors that can cause tooth pain.
Clenching your teeth and jaw during tough exercises is another reason.
When dealing with tooth pain while running, it’s usually best to figure out what’s causing it. If you’re sensitive to temperature, inhale through your nose instead of using your mouth. Use home remedies like clove oil, hydrogen peroxide rinse, or an ice pack.
If the pain doesn’t go away, always talk to your dentist.
Your gums can hurt during a run due to increased blood flow, pressure changes, or clenching of the jaw caused by exercise.
You could also be suffering from periodontal disease, also known as gum disease.
Consult with your dentist if the pain persists.
Feeling pressure in your teeth while walking can be due to the impact and vibrations transmitted through your body to your teeth.
This can happen if you clench your teeth or have dental issues.