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Teeth Hurt When Running

By Rose Erickson

Running-related tooth pain can be more than just irritating -- chronic pain can also dissuade you from future exercise. It can be caused by a variety of factors and conditions, some that require the attention of a dentist or doctor. Because symptoms can be excruciating, it is important to understand why tooth pain can occur while running and how it can be remedied.


Tooth pain while running can vary from mild to extreme. Pain can appear as a sharp, throbbing or shoot sensation. You can also notice additional symptoms such as a painful jaw, headache, ear pain, anxiety, congestion, swelling beneath and around the eyes, a sore throat, cough, fatigue and fever. Symptoms can worsen if you run in extreme temperatures such as when the weather is very hot or cold.


The impact that occurs when your feet strike the ground during jogging can reverberate up into your jaw and teeth. This impact can cause pain in the mouth if you have a cavity, food trapped in your teeth, an abscess tooth, cracked tooth or tooth decay. You can also experience tooth pain if you tend to grind or clench your teeth while running. Some conditions, such as sinusitis, can cause mucus to build up in the sinuses, which can result in tooth pain.

Treatment Options

Stop and rinse your mouth out with warm water. Massage the muscles in your jaw and face with your fingertips to help relieve pressure and pain. Apply oil of cloves or an over-the-counter antiseptic that contains benzocaine directly onto the painful tooth when you are done running. Take ibuprofen, aspirin or acetaminophen to help ease symptoms. Practice relaxation techniques before your running routine such as deep breathing or yoga.


See a dentist or doctor if pain is chronic or severe or is accompanied by a fever, swelling, red gums, foul-tasting discharge, difficulty breathing or trouble swallowing. These could be symptoms of a serious complication such as an infection, sepsis or mediastinitis. Never apply aspirin directly onto the painful tooth. This will just increase irritation of the tooth and surrounding tissues and can even lead to mouth ulcers.

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