Why Do My Teeth Hurt When I Run? Causes and Remedies Explained

Running is a great form of exercise to improve cardiovascular health, increase stamina and stay in shape. If you run or jog regularly, I’m sure you are accustomed to the muscle cramps and soreness. But toothache while running? That’s quite strange, isn’t it?

You don’t have to panic about it right away if you experience the pain only one or two times. But if the pain is persistently causing too much discomfort, time to pay attention.

In the next segment, we will try to understand what our toothache is trying to tell us. Knowing the cause of the problem is the first step towards the solution, after all.

Possible Factors Contributing to Throbbing Tooth Pain While Running

Sometimes the cause of tooth pain while running could be something as simple as tooth clenching. It is easily fixable. However, if the pain is troubling you so much that you can’t run anymore, it could be an early sign of a serious health issue.

Below I have explained all the possible factors leading to toothache while running, jogging or taking a brisk walk.

Your Sinus Has Serious Issues

Your Sinus Has Serious Issues

The largest sinus cavities in our body are located right behind our cheeks and around the nasal bones. These are called Maxillary sinuses. Infection or inflammation of the sinus lining can cause a sharp, tingling pain in the teeth while running very fast.

According to dentists, the root ends of our upper jaw teeth are connected to Maxillary sinuses. These root ends have pain receptors. Due to sinusitis or sinus inflammation, these root nerves become extremely sensitive to vibrations.

That’s why when you run, the force and vibration from your feet travels to your upper body and irritates those inflamed nerves, resulting in throbbing tooth pain.

Cavity Could Be a Culprit Too

Cavity Could Be a Culprit Too

If you have cavity problem, the impact from running can make the problems worse. Cavity creates holes in your teeth by eroding the protective layer of enamel. Enamel damage exposes the nerves around teeth structure, making them vulnerable to extreme temperatures, germs, and bacteria.

When you run in cold weather, you inhale cold air which stimulates the nerves, causing immense pain. Try to breathe through your nose while running if cavity is the problem.

However, you might experience pain even if you are running in a comfortable weather. When you run or do any other exercise, the blood flow in your gum increases. Increased blood circulation can trigger extreme tooth sensitivity and pulsating pain in the cavity-stricken tooth.

Blame the Bacteria

Blame the Bacteria

There are several other types of tooth and gum infections apart from cavity. Due to poor oral hygiene, the protective layer of enamels wears out over the course of time. As soon as the enamel is damaged, bacteria can easily enter the inner chamber of your teeth and form a pus-filled abscess.

Another species of bacteria damage our gum tissues, causing gingivitis, swelling, and inflammation.

Increased blood flow due to running can stimulate the inflamed nerves around your affected teeth and gum tissues. Result? Sharp pain and long-lasting tooth sensitivity.

In this scenario, you should consult a dentist as soon as possible. Leaving an underlying oral infection untreated can lead to more painful consequences.

The Trouble of Tooth Clenching

The Trouble of Tooth Clenching

Tooth clenching or grinding one of the most common causes of tooth pain. Clenching it too hard for a long time can also damage gum tissues and jawbones. This condition is medically known as Bruxism

You may unknowingly grind your teeth hard while trying to run faster. Running up the hill increases the stress and tension in your body, making you unconsciously grit your teeth while facing the obstacle.

When you hammer your feet on the ground, it creates shock waves that impact your teeth too. If your teeth are tightly clenched together, this shock can result in a painful sensation in your gum and teeth.

Teeth grinding can also hurt your Temporomandibular Joints (TMJ), causing a sharp pain in your cheek and jaw bones.

You should consciously stop gritting your teeth while pounding the ground hard while running. If you can’t, use a mouth guard to maintain reduce the stress on your teeth. Since stress is the main cause of Bruxism, you should immediately discard your worn-out shoes and start wearing shock absorbing running shoes.

Post Traumatic Pain Disorder

Post Traumatic Pain Disorder

Have you recently broken or hurt your teeth due to an accident? The trauma may have left fractures in your gum tissues and jawbones. When your foot strikes the ground, the impact from it worsens the pain of the already wounded area.

Too Sensitive, Too PainFul

Too Sensitive, Too PainFul

If your tooth hurts only when you are running in extremely cold weather, blame tooth sensitivity for it. Cold air can trigger sharp pain in the sensitive spot around your gum and teeth structure.

An existing tooth or gum infection will only exacerbate the problem. Good news is that you can get rid of this problem by using a quality over-the-counter toothpaste for sensitivity. If the pain is getting out of control, immediately consult a dentist.

Everything Wrong with a Wrong Body Posture

Everything Wrong with a Wrong Body Posture

If you are experiencing pain in both your teeth and lower jaw, it could be due to poor posture. Slouching or putting too much pressure on one side while running results in extra stress on your jaw joints and bones. AGD spokesperson Ludwig Leibsohn, DDS says “ … many people don’t realize how posture affects their oral health,”.

If you are suffering from tooth pain and damage due to poor posture, your dentist may prescribe a specialized oral appliance to relieve stress from your face muscles and jaw bones.

Easy Home Remedies for Temporary Pain Relief

I always recommend consulting a dentist no matter how trivial your dental problem might seem. However, if you are sure that condition isn’t too serious, you can try out some natural remedies as a quick fix.

Clove oil, organic coconut oil, garlic, fenugreek tea or a simple saltwater/ hydrogen peroxide rinse can improve your oral condition.

Home Remedies for Temporary Pain Relief

You can take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory like ibuprofen to ease the pain caused by tooth trauma. You can also apply an OTC oral anesthetic on the affected area.

Add to these, maintain a proper dental care routine and get your teeth professionally cleaned once in a year. You should take a break from running until your pain is completely gone.

For instant relief from the throbbing pain, stop running and drink lots of water. Swirl the water aggressively in your mouth to dislodge the food particles stuck between your teeth. Sometimes, stubborn food particles can also trigger pain in your teeth gap.


Most of the times, an underlying tooth or gum disease is to be blamed for toothache while running. The issue is easily fixable with a few small enhancements in your dental care regime. Using a good toothpaste, gently brushing twice a day followed by flossing will protect you from tooth pain for life.

Also, going for routine checkups will help your dentist easily identify the early signs of tooth decay or infections. Being aware of your problem at the earliest will make the recovery process quick and easy.

That’s all for today.

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