Why Do My Teeth Hurt When I Run?

Hopefully you’re running because you enjoy the sport, and not, say, because you are being chased by a bear. The problem is, tooth pain can ruin any activity, including running. So why does tooth pain often come from running.

Increased Sensitivity

The most common reasons why your teeth might hurt while running is because your teeth are always at the edge of hurting, but you only push them over the edge when running. For example, your teeth might be sensitive to cold, but only when you’re out running in the morning, drawing cold air into your mouth, do you notice it. Or you might have a cavity that doesn’t normally cause you trouble, but when you run the jolts from your steps irritate it. This can also happen if you have a filling that is made of metal amalgam or composite and isn’t strong enough to protect your tooth nerve from the jolts. Fortunately, porcelain fillings can be used to protect your teeth.

Increased blood flow can also cause marginal damage to cause more increased pain. As your blood starts pumping, areas of irritation or damage can make their presence known.

Running and Teeth Clenching

Another common cause of tooth pain is that you may be clenching your teeth while running. Setting your teeth is normal and essential to helping your body maximize its force potential during running. However, there is a point at which you might be biting down too hard, putting stress on your teeth, your jaw muscles, or other tissues. This causes your pain.

How Running Can Damage Teeth

Unfortunately, the running that may be good for the rest of your body can be hard on your teeth, and this may be to blame for the tooth pain you experience. In addition to jaw clenching that can lead to gradual wear, a recent study suggests that many runners experience serious damage to their teeth.

Damage to teeth can be caused by highly acidic—and sugary–sports drinks that runners consume. Along with this type of drinks, runners often supplement with carbs as they work out, such as energy bars and gels. And after running for a while, even a runner’s saliva can become acidic, eroding the enamel of the teeth.

If you’re a runner who is experiencing tooth pain, it’s important to get it checked out quickly to prevent the worsening of damage, find the true cause of pain, and stop it forever. Please contact Ascent Dental in the Cherry Creek area of Denver.