Are you like me, an avid runner that loves the feel of my feet pounding down on the pavement or out on a trail? There are few things that can discourage me from a long walk, a distance run, or a light jog in the great outdoors, except teeth pain.
Why do my teeth hurt when I run? What is the cause of such a distracting and uncomfortable situation?
There are a handful of reasons why my teeth hurt when I walk or run.
It sounds worse than it actually is! Bruxism is the unconscious habit of grinding or gritting the teeth, and many people do it when they’re stressed or working hard. Do you grit or clench your teeth when you run up a hill? What about when you’re pushing for the finish line in that half marathon? If you do, odds are that the sensation you’re feeling in your teeth is because of this.
When you run—and often when you walk—your feet are hammering on the ground. Each step can send reverberations up to the tippy top of your body, and if your teeth are locked together, they’ll feel it too.
Work on relaxing your jaw and keeping your muscles loose and your teeth apart. That can reduce the force your ivories feel with each step. Also check that your shoes aren’t worn out and are tied sufficiently tight.
Can’t stop yourself from clenching? Invest in a mouthguard.
Sometimes when your teeth hurt, it doesn’t really have much to do with them at all. Occasionally, a sinus infection or other issue can be the cause of a toothache. Your sinuses sit right behind your cheeks, eyebrows, and jaw, and can cause pain when an issue arises. If you can treat sinus inflammation or infections, you may stop your teeth from hurting while you run or walk.
Some folks have teeth that react to hot and cold temperatures, and this includes air. Is it cold where you are? That could be a reason why your teeth hurt when you run or walk. Try breathing through your nose for a bit and see if the pain subsides. If it does, you may want to talk to your dentist about how to reduce the sensitivity.
Other Oral Health Concerns
Sensitive teeth can be a symptom of a larger health issue, such as periodontal disease. As blood flow increases with your walking or running, it can exacerbate inflammation in your mouth, causing your teeth to hurt while you run. Make sure you talk to your dentist about any oral pain or discomfort you experience while exercising.