Why do my teeth hurt when I run?


YOU EXPECT YOUR quads and calves to ache after a 5-miler—but your teeth?

If your ivories have started aching while you’re out for a run, there are a few potential reasons why, says Jeffrey Laubmeier, D.M.D., dentist in Lakewood, Ohio, and member of the Academy for Sports Dentistry.

Let’s start with the good: As your feet hit the ground when you run, the force of impact travels upward through your body. If you’re clenching your jaw or gritting your teeth, you’ll feel that pressure in your pearly whites, Laubmeier explains. That’s the most common culprit behind teeth pain, he adds, and easily fixable: make sure your shoes aren’t worn through, to optimize shock absorption, and try to not clench as you pound the pavement.

But aching teeth mid-run could also be a sign of a few different health concerns, Laubmeier warns. For one, the pain could be early signs of a sinus infection. In many people, the roots of the upper teeth protrude into the maxillary sinuses, the largest sinus cavities located below the cheeks and on the sides of your nose. “If the sinus lining is irritated or infected, then the nerves entering the roots of the teeth can be as well,” he explains. “Then, when the feet make an impact with the ground, the nerves of the teeth can be stimulated and cause a sharp pain.”

Pain on a run can also be a sign of dental issues—namely, an infection or cavity. When you work out in any form, it increases your blood pressure, and the boost in blood flow can exacerbate an existing dental infection, Laubmeier explains.

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