Why Do My Teeth Hurt When I Run? We Know Answer

When it comes to running, perhaps you have had your fair share of experience feeling the pleasure of the wind against your hair, the sensation of breathlessness and control, and the muscles straining as you push through another grueling workout.

At the end of it, though, you feel drained, but also alive, as the endorphins come rushing into your system and spreading feelings of exhilaration and relaxation. Running is all about contradictions, but all of them working together to make you feel good about yourself and in shape.

That said, you might experience muscle soreness the following day, which requires taking that day off to rest, even recharge, before your next run.

However, you might find it strange to discover that, besides your legs and lower body, your teeth start to hurt whenever you go out running! Unable to pinpoint the reason for this, you figure that you might not know what it will ever be.

However, like many aspects in life, there is always an answer to something unknown. That is why we are here to help you uncover just what is the cause of this mystery.

Read on to learn more about why your teeth hurt when you run, as well as find some remedies to alleviate that.

Soon enough, you will be able to go back to your normal routine of running, without teeth pain. Without further ado, let’s get started!

What Are Some Causes Of Teeth Pain?

Whether it is a matter of running or not, there are a wide variety of different reasons as to why you might have pain in your teeth. Granted, it might be a great hindrance to the quality of your life, but all the same, it can be a bad situation to be in, especially if it worsens.

With that said, we list some the possible reasons as to why you have teeth pain. Perhaps by knowing some reasons, you can come to diagnose yourself, without the aid of a doctor, and then take steps to alleviate it:

1. Natural Impact

Perhaps it is not a sign of your teeth having problems, but rather the outside forces on them. Whenever you go out running, you pound on a hard surface, the impact which extends from your feet to as far up as the head, where the teeth are located.

Especially if your shoes are a bit worn out from previous runs, then you might especially feel the impact more in your teeth. Once again, it’s not a problem with your teeth, but rather the external factors outside of your control.

2. Changes In The Sinuses

Especially if it is a cold day, the weather outside and the shift in your body’s temperature as it warms up during a run can put a strain on your sinuses. Just as you might feel the sharp pain inside your nose when you go out for a run, you might also feel it in the teeth.

The sinuses are a complex bodily system that affects not only the nose, but also down to the teeth, so that is why that sometimes, you might be feeling the sharp, unnerving pain in your pearly whites (pun intended).

3. Infection Or Cavity

Sometimes, and you may not like to hear it, but that teeth pain might be, in fact, due to an infection or, even worse, a cavity. While you might beat yourself up over it for having not taken good care of your teeth, you need to accept that it has already happened, and that you cannot reverse it.

Of course, there are many other factors that could be much worse than this, but all the same, having an infection or a cavity inside your mouth can make things a lot more complicated than usual, outside of running, in general.

4. Experiencing Sensitive Nerves

While it is not the same as an infection or a cavity, having sensitive gums or teeth can make the quality of life just a bit more cumbersome. Perhaps it had been due to overburdening them with eating hard food that caused the teeth to be fractured, or overbrushing of the gum area.

That said, its pain might now appear during runs, which happens due to changes in blood pressure and temperature when you start getting warmed up, thereby triggering the gums to change their states and otherwise cause discomfort.

5. Having A Clenched Jaw

It might be normal for you, if not many runners like you, to grit your teeth or otherwise clench your jaw when going out on a run. Of course, it is pretty natural, since running is a form of high-intensity sport (depending on how fast you go, that is) and stimulates quite a bit of stress along the way.

Although you know that it is imperative to keep your jaw relaxed to ensure a more-comfortable running experience, there is probably a mental block inside of you that tells you otherwise.

As a result, it leads to discomfort in the teeth, and perhaps later on teeth and jaw pain whether you are running or not.

6. Gum Problems

Similar to point #3, teeth pain while running can be due to infection and recession in the gums. Particularly if you tend to brush your teeth too hard, you end up changing the composition of the teeth and, as a result, the gums start to wear down, even recede.

From this, you get extremely sensitive teeth that hurt not only when you run, but also when you eat or brush your teeth later down the line. Certainly not pleasant to deal with, and it can be difficult to treat as well.

7. Past Teeth Problems

This is also known as trauma: as previously discussed, you might have had past teeth problems due to perhaps eating something too hard, breaking or chipping a tooth, or even as simply as brushing too hard.

Granted, it can be a literal (and figurative) pain to deal with, but unfortunately, it might require some professional help to alleviate the symptoms in order to get back to running comfortably again.

How Can I Alleviate The Pain?

When it comes to experiencing teeth pain while running, it can especially be difficult to handle. That said, we are providing a few ways that you can alleviate the pain to help ensure a gradual, but steady recovery that will assist you in running pain-free in the future runs to come. Without further ado, here they are:

1. Avoid Causing Further Damage To The Teeth

With alleviation comes prevention, and so the first step to ensuring that no future teeth pain will arise is to cease doing the things that you had been doing to hurt your teeth.

That said, be gentler when brushing your teeth, as well as changing your diet (less sweets, more greens) and overall taking good care of them. Trust us: not only will your runs be pain-free, but also your body will thank you later for the care later down the line.

2. Use Saltwater Rinse

Surprisingly, it can be a miracle that salt and warm water may just be the way to lessening tooth pain. While it cannot alleviate it in the long term, at least its short-term properties can save you some time while finding a more-permanent way to fix the problem.

Simply taking table salt (which contains sodium chloride) and warm water to dissolve it in is the trick: swish it around your mouth, notably in your affected area, and spit it out afterwards. You should feel less pain than before then.

3. Take Over The Counter (OTC) Drugs

Some people might see this as a cop-out for avoiding getting serious help, but when desperate, you will need to grab the first thing on the shelf (or counter), which is often pain killers.

At least by taking these OTC drugs, it can stave off the pain until you find something else to alleviate it for good.

4. Ice The Area

If the teeth are starting to throb or your jaw is starting to swell, then it is a good idea to grab an ice pack (or a heat pack) to reduce the pain and swelling.

Doing so temporarily numbs the affected area, which you can then use to help find another remedy to cure the pain in the long term.

5. Use OTC Anesthetics

Similar to OTC drugs, OTC anesthetics are also a form of pain killers meant for short-term use. They are usually in the form of gels and liquids, which contain benzocaine that numbs the mouth for a temporary moment.

Of course, a little goes a long way, so it is best not to put too much of it on your teeth, or else it can lead to side effects even more adverse than the teeth pain to start off with. That being said, a little goes a long way!

6. Clove Oil

Interesting as it sounds, clove oil actually does wonders to mollifying teeth pain. All you have to do is apply a bit of it to the affected area of the teeth and gums, as it contains properties similar to benzocaine, which is a teeth-numbing agent found in plenty of anesthetics and drugs.

While you may have never heard of clove oil, it is not only a powerful substance for temporarily relieving the pain, but also a natural product that has not been synthesized as it has been with anesthetics or drugs. Your body will thank you later for it!

7. Chew Garlic

Another natural remedy that can stave off the teeth pain is by chewing garlic. While the thought of it does not necessarily please you, it is a matter of swallowing your pride and giving it a try—after all, it may work!

The chemical property in garlic, allicin, is a disease-fighting chemical which has been used to fight against infections and tooth diseases. It is a matter of taking a clove of garlic and either crushing it to release the allicin before applying it to your teeth and gums, or simply just popping it into your mouth to allow your teeth to sink into it and soak up that remedying chemical.

Although your breath might not necessarily smell fantastic afterwards, garlic nevertheless can be an easy home remedy to try out.

8. Start Slow When Running

Sometimes, it might be a matter of slowly acclimatizing to the weather before and during the run. Especially in cold temperatures, it is important to exercise the precautions (literally) when going from resting to exercising states.

Do some warm ups inside the house before you head out, and start out jogging to get your body temperature up at a slow, but steady pace. Little changes like these can be incredibly helpful for your body, all the while preventing the toothache from coming on again.

9. If Necessary, Seek Professional Help

Sometimes, your efforts just might not be working, so it is a matter of going to and discussing with your doctor about the pain and other symptoms associated with your teeth.

Your doctor has probably had the experience of treating such problems, so do not be shy when opening up about your problem. They might even suggest the best option to go about curing it, perhaps even prescribing medicine in order to combat it. In the end, it should turn out well.


All in all, having pain in your teeth while running is certainly not a pleasant feeling, and it should not be ignored. While sometimes it is the cause of temperature changes in your body and the environment, sometimes it can be more insidious (e.g. cavity, gum problems, etc.).

Knowing that it is best to take action is the way to go, as you can research the possibilities as to why they hurt and take steps in alleviating it. Soon enough, you will not have to worry about going running with teeth pain anymore!

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