The 3 Most Likely Causes of Tooth Pain Whilst Running

Posted on: 21 April 2017


If you run on a daily basis, then you are no stranger to the normal range of aches, scrapes and cramps that often accompany runners as they push themselves towards the finish line. However, whilst it is perfectly normal to suffer from muscle soreness and the occasional episode of cramps while running, pain that emanates from your teeth could be a sign that it's time to pay your dentist a visit.

You May Be Gritting Your Teeth as You Run

Before moving on to the other causes of tooth pain while running, you need to rule out the possibility that you grit your teeth whilst on the move. If this is the case, then unless you have any glaring dental issues that you have been putting off, you probably don't need a dentist.

To work out if you grit your teeth as you run, go for a short jog. Be wary of being too conscious of what you are doing because then you may consciously refrain from gritting your teeth. Go through your normal routine. For example, put on your running music, take your usual route and let your mind wander as you run. You'll soon be able to tell if you grit your teeth whilst running.

If you do grit your teeth, the pain is probably due to the impact of your feet striking the ground. The jolt of each footfall sends shock waves up into your jaw, eventually leading to an ache. Stopping the habit will put an end to the pain. However, if you find it difficult to break the habit, try wearing a mouth guard to protect your teeth as your run.

One or More of Your Teeth Could Be Damaged

Damage can occur without your knowledge, either through wear and tear, or because of dental decay caused by the bacteria that live in your mouth. This type of pain is generally felt in cold temperatures. As you breathe, the cold air flows over the damaged tooth, sending the sensation of cold to the nerve in the centre of the tooth, via the weak point in the enamel. The nerve in turn sends a pain signal to your brain to inform you of the issue.

Listen to your tooth. You may need a filling to repair the damage.

One of Your Teeth May Be Infected

As you run, the flow of blood throughout your body increases, and this means that more blood is being sent to the nerve of your tooth. If the nerve is infected, you will begin to experience a throbbing pain that increases in ferocity the more you run. The infection likely occurred due to bacteria gaining access to the tooth via an unnoticed cavity.

In this instance, book a dentist appointment as soon as you can. If the infection worsens, the nerve may die. If the nerve dies, the infection will eventually reach your jawbone, creating a painful and dangerous abscess at the tip of the root.

If you experience pain during and after running, and you are sure it isn't caused by your gritting your teeth as you run, seek dental aid as soon as possible.