There are many parts of the body that might ache after a long run — and that includes teeth. Teeth hurting after a run is fairly common and can usually be fixed with self awareness and some lifestyle adjustments. However, in some cases, a visit to the dentist may be warranted.
Tooth pain is a common issue among runners that may be caused by cold sensitivity, clenching of the jaw, sinus problems, or an underlying medical problem. Try breathing through your nose, adjusting your toothpaste, and focusing on keeping your jaw unclenched. Consult a dentist if the pain persists.
So, if you’re experiencing tooth pain after your runs, don’t just ignore the symptoms. Let’s take a closer look at the various causes behind this issue and what you can do to resolve it.
Is It Normal for Teeth to Hurt After Running?
It can be rather alarming to experience tooth pain after running, since the two things don’t seem to have any physical connection. Runners are more accustomed to muscle pain, foot and ankle sprains, and stomach pains.
For this reason, having pain in your teeth after running may be especially concerning, especially if you recently began running and weren’t aware of this potential side effect.
That said, it’s actually surprisingly common for people to experience tooth and gum pain after running — or any other form of exercise, for that matter.
Why Do Your Teeth Hurt When You Run?
There are many reasons why your teeth can be affected by running, including everything from the weather to an increase in blood flow. Finding out why your teeth hurt isn’t just important for alleviating the pain, but also in case there are other underlying medical issues that should be addressed.
It’s fairly common knowledge that tooth pain can occur when teeth come into contact with cold or hot liquid. What a lot of people don’t realize is that this can also apply to air contact. Cold air is a common reason why your teeth might be hurting while you run.
Most people tend to run with their mouths open due to the greater need for air while they exert themselves, and this leaves your teeth exposed to the elements. When you breathe in through your mouth on a brisk winter day, cold air touches your teeth and tongue, and this can cause tooth pain.
Bruxism is the unconscious habit of grinding or gritting the teeth, which is a common occurrence while people are working especially hard or are feeling stressed out. If you find you clench your teeth when you’re under a lot of stress or even just running up a hill, then bruxism could be why your teeth hurt.
The reason this causes your teeth to ache is because when you run, each step you take sends reverberations up through your entire body. When your teeth are clenched, they feel that sensation as well, and it can make them hurt.
A sinus infection or a cold could be the reason why your teeth suddenly start hurting after you run. The sinuses are right behind your cheeks, eyebrows, and jaw, which can all cause pain if they become inflamed.
Oral Medical Concerns
As is the case with any new source of pain, it’s important to seek professional help, especially if the pain doesn’t subside relatively quickly. Sensitive teeth could be a symptom of a larger undiagnosed health problem, such as periodontal disease or gingivitis.
When blood flow increases with exercise, it can make an already inflamed mouth become worse, which will cause your teeth to ache as you exert yourself.
How Do You Stop Teeth Hurting After Running?
Dealing With the Cold
To deal with cold sensitivity causing your teeth to hurt when you run, try breathing through your nose and out through your mouth the next time you’re outside. Your lips, tongue, and cheeks will help keep your teeth better insulated.
If this doesn’t help you can try using a sensitivity toothpaste (on Amazon) and also consult a dentist for further treatment.
To help alleviate bruxism, work on relaxing your jaw and keeping those muscles loose while your teeth remain apart. Focusing on this formation of the mouth can help with the pain while you run.
There are also mouth guards that a dentist can outfit you with if you find you clench or grind your teeth while you sleep, which may also be occurring if you find you’re clenching your teeth when stressed or exerting yourself.
If you’re suffering from a sinus infection or other medical issue, then it’s best to seek out the attention of a dentist or doctor to help diagnose and treat the problem.
Certain dental issues, like gingivitis, can cause devastating results to your overall health if left untreated, and a lot of these diseases and infections can begin with tooth pain.