Posted on: 18 March 2015Share
Running is an exhilarating activity that positively impacts your health. Yet, tooth pain can significantly interfere with the enjoyment that you derive from your daily runs. Here are three possible reasons why your teeth hurt during your runs.
Are You Grinding Your Teeth?
"Bruxism" is the medical term used to identify the subconscious grinding and clenching of teeth. Over time, bruxism wears away teeth and their protective enamel. It also causes other physical pains, like jaw soreness and headaches.
You might not even realize that you are grinding and clenching your teeth until the negative effects of bruxism interfere with your daily life, including your runs. If you clench your teeth during a particularly hard run, the past damage caused by previous grinding will become immediately apparent. You are also further damaging your teeth and gums when you clench during exercise.
Your dentist can help you combat bruxism with a mouthguard or splint. If your teeth have suffered permanent damage because of your grinding, your dentist can also give you crowns or bond your teeth. This will minimize the sensitivity you feel.
Do You Have an Abscess?
A tooth abscess is identified by a build-up of pus in the gums or tooth. An abscess usually develops from a bacterial infection that spreads into the pores of your tooth or into your gum tissue.
A tooth abscess will cause you overall mouth pain, but can be even more excruciating on a run. Running increases your blood flow, which can further inflame your abscessed tooth. Furthermore, if your abscess is so severe that the nerves near your ears are infected, you can feel dizzy and lightheaded on your run. If you are running in extreme heat or cold, you will also feel more pain around the abscessed tooth.
If you have an abscessed tooth, you must see your dentist. Your dentist will drain the pus out of the infected area and give you antibiotics to combat the infection. Left untreated, the infection can spread into your bloodstream and cause severe illness and even death.
Do You Have a Sinus Infection?
Your sinuses are hollow cavities that produce mucus that moistens the air you inhale. Normally, mucus drains through your nose, but if you have sinusitis, that drainage path is blocked.
A sinus infection not only diminishes your ability to breathe normally on your run, but also causes tooth pain. Sinusitis can be an indicator of a serious dental issue, like flaring wisdom teeth, a fractured crown, or a cavity.
If you have chronic sinusitis that just won't go away, schedule a comprehensive check-up with your dentist. Your dentist can identify if an underlying dental problem is causing you to suffer from frequent sinus infections.