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Why Do My Teeth Hurt When I Run?

Tooth pain may be caused by increased blood flow—but it isn't the only potential reason
Read Time: 2 minutes
Feb 24, 2022

If you’re like many people, you may notice that your teeth seem to hurt a bit more when you run. You’re not imagining things – there is actually a scientific reason for this!

The most likely reason why your teeth hurt while running is due to increased blood flow and pressure buildup in your sinuses. This will put pressure on your teeth and cause you discomfort.

Causes of Tooth Pain During Exercise

Patient at dental consult

While increased blood flow is the main cause of tooth pain while running, you may also experience pain due to clenching, dental sensitivity, gum disease, cracked teeth, or sinus problems.

Clenching Teeth (Bruxism)

Many people clench their teeth when they run, especially if they’re doing it for the first time. This can lead to pain in your teeth and jaw. Clenching your mouth while running on pavement or asphalt is especially jarring for your teeth and can lead to more intense pain.

Dental Sensitivity

If you have dental sensitivity, even a small increase in blood flow can cause pain in your teeth. If your teeth as especially sensitive to cold weather, running or walking could lead to tooth pain as you breathe through your mouth.

Gum Disease (Periodontal Disease)

Gum disease is also a common cause of tooth pain during exercise. If you have gum disease, the increased blood flow can aggravate the inflammation and cause you pain. This is a concern you want to address with your dentist as soon as possible to prevent the disease from causing further damage to your mouth.

Cracked Teeth

If you have a cracked tooth, even a small amount of pressure can cause pain.

Sinus Problems

If you have sinus problems, the pressure from the increased blood flow can cause pain in your teeth.

Preventing Tooth Pain During Exercise

If you’re experiencing pain, it’s best to talk to your dentist to determine the cause and find a solution. In the meantime, here are a few tips to help reduce the pain:

Use a Mouth Guard

Mouthguards

If you clench your teeth when you run, using a mouth guard can help protect your teeth from the pressure. You can speak with your dentist to have a mouth guard fitted that works for your personal needs.

Keep Your Mouth Closed

If you can, try to keep your mouth closed while you run. This will help reduce the amount of pressure on your teeth. You can also adjust to breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth, keeping your teeth safe from cold inhales and free of pain.

Avoid Running on Pavement or Asphalt

If possible, try to run on softer surfaces like grass or a dirt trail. This will be less jarring for your teeth.

Avoid Running in Cold Conditions

If you’re running in cold conditions with your mouth open, you may be breathing in cold air which can cause pain for those with sensitive teeth.

See Your Dentist Regularly

If you’re experiencing tooth pain while running, it’s important to determine the cause and find a solution. Scheduling a checkup with your dentist can help you to address the issue and find a solution, weather that be a mouth guard or tackling periodontal treatment.

Struggling with Tooth Pain?

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