Exercise offers countless benefits for mental and physical health. It can boost your energy, protect your heart, strengthen your muscles, and so much more. But do you hesitate to exercise because you have noticed that you experience tooth pain when you work out? Let’s talk about some reasons why this may occur and how your dentist can help you get your oral health — and your exercise goals — back on track.
Dental sensitivity occurs when outside stimuli irritate the inner layers of the teeth. This may happen if you have a cavity or your enamel has become worn down. While the sharp pangs of dental sensitivity can occur at any time, they might be more likely when you exercise. For example, if you go outside for a run on a cold morning, the chilly air may contact your teeth and cause pain. Also, if you typically work out with an acidic sports drink by your side, the drink may cause sensitivity whenever you take a sip.
Bruxism is a word that describes habitual teeth grinding and clenching. It usually occurs when a person is asleep, but it may also happen during intense activities. You might grind your teeth when you are trying to get in those last few difficult reps or when you are fighting to get through the final mile of your run. Over the long-term, bruxism can damage your tooth enamel and lead to sensitivity. On a short-term basis, it can lead to a sore jaw.
In some cases, a toothache has nothing to do with the teeth. The sinuses are located right above the upper molars. When they become inflamed due to an infection, your teeth may hurt. Low-intensity exercise, such as walking or stretching, might not cause you any problems. However, an intense workout might contribute to pain.
What You Can Do
Here are some tips to help you cope with exercise-related tooth pain:
- Keep your jaw relaxed during intense exercise. As soon as you notice that you are grinding your teeth, take a moment to release the tension from your facial muscles. It would be wise to visit a dentist to find out if past teeth grinding has caused any harm to your smile.
- Get a dental checkup. If you experience sensitivity during your workouts, talk to your dentist about the problem. They can identify the cause of the pain and may be able to fix it.
- Go easy on yourself. If you are suffering from a sinus infection, it’s okay to take a few days off from your exercise routine.
- Stick to water while you exercise. Room-temperature water is less likely to irritate sensitive teeth than sports beverages.
Tooth pain during exercise is a common problem, but the above tips can help you to find relief!
Meet the Dentist
Dr. Erick Anderson is a Colorado Springs native who has been serving his community for nearly 20 years. He offers a broad range of general dentistry services, including emergency treatment, preventive exams, and much more. If you are concerned about tooth pain while exercising, he would be pleased to help you identify the cause of the problem and find a solution. Contact our practice at 719-593-0988.