If you’re a runner, you may be used to pushing yourself through discomfort to reach your running goals, and discomfort in the teeth or jaw is no exception. If you’re wondering “Can running cause dental pain?” You’re not alone. Dental discomfort when running can be a common problem, but we all perform better when we are not hurting, so let’s talk about how running impacts your teeth and some things you can do to alleviate the discomfort.
A lot of discomfort in the teeth is actually caused by tension in the jaw. Many people don’t realize that they clench their jaw even while they are doing it, but it’s very common for runners to tense their muscles when they are running over uneven or difficult terrain. Try paying attention while you run to see if your jaw is relaxed enough that your top and bottom teeth are not touching. If your jaw is clenched so that your top and bottom teeth are touching, try to focus on a relaxed jaw until it becomes natural.
Sinus problems from a cold, allergies, or changes in climate can affect the nerves in your teeth and mouth and may cause dental pain. If your eyes or ears hurt, too, sinus pressure is likely the culprit. To clear your sinuses and find some relief, try using a saline solution, applying a warm compress, or taking a decongestant before or after your run. It may also be helpful to talk to your doctor about allergy medication options if this is a recurring or seasonal issue. If you’re still wondering,”Can running cause dental pain?” Sinus problems may be at the root of your dental discomfort.
Increased Heart Rate
Running is a great cardio exercise for your heart, but all that increased blood flow can lead to increased blood pressure, which can cause discomfort, too. If the discomfort you feel is a pounding or aching feeling that worsens with excessive effort, it may be helpful to increase your exercise difficulty more gradually to allow your heart and the rest of your body time to get used to it.
Changes in Temperature
Temperature is a common cause of dental sensitivity and discomfort and runners can be exposed to all kinds of weather and temperature changes while running. If your teeth hurt while running, try to pay attention to the weather when it happens, as well as if you’re breathing through your mouth or not. Simply noticing the patterns that are happening when your teeth start to feel discomfort may help you to resolve the problem by focusing on breathing through your sinuses more or avoiding extreme weather when needed.
Talk to Your Dentist
Your teeth should not hurt, so if you’re still asking “Can running cause dental pain?” and unsure of what is causing your discomfort, it’s a good idea to check in with your dentist to rule out any underlying problems, such as cavities or gum disease which can also cause tooth sensitivity that could be exacerbated by running. Your dentist can help to pinpoint the cause of the issue and provide tips to alleviate the discomfort and get you back to enjoying the sport you love without unnecessary discomfort.
Call our Phoenix, AZ, dental office to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.