Running naturally causes the body to become tired, as it requires constant exertion for long periods, and requires that the muscles flex and relax in quick succession.
And that goes without even mentioning the impact strain that comes from your feet hitting the ground again and again!
However, one strange symptom that many runners have reported experiencing during or after their runs is painful teeth.
You’d think that running wouldn’t have any impact at all on the teeth, especially considering that running involves the bottom half of the body, and less so the top half.
So why is it that so many runners have reported pain in their teeth when they are running? What causes it? And why is it so surprisingly frequent?
Whether you are suffering from tooth pain while running or not, you will want to read on below, because we are going to find out about the strange link between running and tooth pain!
Why Do My Teeth Hurt When I Run?
There are actually a number of potential reasons that your teeth may be hurting while you run.
One very common reason for painful teeth is different weather conditions.
If you are running in extremely cold weather, as you breathe in you may end up sharply inhaling very frigid air that can cause a shock to your teeth.
You are also more likely to experience this if you already have enamel erosion on your teeth because the cold air will more easily be able to reach the highly sensitive nerves in the teeth.
Increased Blood Flow
Another reason that painful teeth and running have been linked is because of increased blood flow.
When your blood begins flowing through your body faster and faster, and with more pressure, you may find that the sinuses in your face swell up slightly.
This will cause the teeth to experience some pressure, which may cause them to ache slightly.
Easily one of the most common reasons that people experience pain in the teeth while running is because of shock.
Running naturally causes the body to experience a lot of shock, as every step causes the body to impact with the ground, which sends energy up through the body.
Eventually, this shock may find its way to the teeth. If you already have issues with your teeth, then this shock may prove even more painful.
Shock can also prove impactful if you end up clenching your teeth while you run, as the vibrations caused by the shock may cause your teeth to vibrate against one another, which causes pain over time.
What Can I Do If My Teeth Hurt When I Run?
If painful teeth are becoming a frequent issue when you head out for your regular runs, then you will want to find a solution for it.
Luckily, there are a few things you can do to get on track to resolving the issue.
Seek Shock Resistance
If you suspect that your tooth pain is caused by the shock of running, you may want to find out why your body, and especially your teeth, are experiencing so much impact shock.
Are you wearing appropriate footwear while you run?
Many trainers are designed with special shock absorbers that help to keep you comfortable even during intense runs, and these can be great for minimizing the impact on the body as you run and will help to prevent pain in the teeth.
You may also want to try running on softer tracks that are designed for running, as that will significantly reduce impact shock across your body.
Stop Clenching Your Teeth
You may also want to check whether you have an unconscious tendency to grit your teeth while you run.
Many people who grit their teeth are unaware that they are doing it until they begin experiencing pain.
Next time you head out for a run, make sure to note any times you may be gritting your teeth.
If you are gritting your teeth, slowly remind yourself to loosen your jaw.
Try Running Elsewhere
If you find that you experience more tooth pain during colder months, you may want to try running in a different environment.
Consider joining a local gym that will have the heating on indoors, so that you can run in optimal conditions via a treadmill.
Then, when the weather improves, you can head back out into the world and run in the open air!
Consult Your Dentist
If you are ever concerned about your tooth pain while you run, or you find that no matter what you do to accommodate it the pain never goes away, then you can also choose to consult your dentist, to see if there may be an underlying condition and whether there are things you can do to curb the pain!
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Running Affect Your Teeth?
While the average person who may run three times a week is unlikely to see any significant impact on their teeth, athletes, and those that run more frequently, may find their tooth enamel is more likely to erode.
This is a result of vibrations in the teeth caused by the act of running.
Why Do I Taste Blood When I Run?
If you can ever taste blood in your mouth while you run, make sure not to worry, as it is most likely caused by the mucus membranes becoming slightly irritated, and bleeding slightly.
It is only a small amount of blood, but you may find that the blood finds its way to your tongue, eliciting a metallic taste.
This will heal up very quickly and is totally normal.
How Do You Breathe When Running?
Controlling your breathing while you run is key to keeping your stamina up, and allowing your body to run for much longer.
In order to make the absolute most of your breathing, make sure to engage both your nose and your mouth as you breathe, as this allows more air in and out.