Tooth Pain While Exercising

  • By StarBrite Dental
  • 03 Feb, 2017

Tooth pain while exercising: What gives?

Many of our patients have experienced, and have reported instances of, tooth pain while exercising. This is surprisingly common, as we’ve seen many such reports of this occurring. There is usually two main reasons, however, that one can experience tooth pain while exercising, or exerting themselves. Broadly, this falls under a.) infection in the teeth themselves, or in the gums surrounding the teeth, and b.) trauma to the teeth, gums, or jaw. There are a few other contributors to this as well, and we’ll cover as much as we can here.

Two Contributing Areas of Infection

The two main contributing areas of infection, when it comes to tooth pain while exercising, are the teeth and the gums. Sensitivity of either is usually an indicator of infection, actually.

Cavities in the teeth are actually a type of infection. Cavities start in the enamel of the teeth due to bacteria. The bacteria produces waste after “eating” food particles in the mouth, this waste is highly corrosive to the enamel of your teeth. This acidic waste will gradually produce a cavity. Once the cavity is formed, it’s already weakened the hardest substance in the human body, the enamel, and will proceed down into the next layer; the dentin. Dentin is much more porous than your enamel, and the cavity will spread and go deeper at a much quicker pace. When the cavity reaches the nerve, or even comes near it, sensitivity in the tooth goes up quite markedly. Air, cold drinks, ice cream, increased blood flow, etc., all can cause intense sensitivity or even pain in the tooth. Getting this tooth pain while exercising can come from the rapid flow, or temperature of the air on inhale. The nerves and blood vessels in and around the tooth can also play a part, as the fluid in them increases with exertion. Winter around Rockville, MD and the surrounding DC area can get pretty cold, this cold temperature can play a big role.

The other area of infection is the gums. Infection of the gums is also called gum disease, gingivitis, and periodontitis. When the gums get infected, by the bad bacteria in the mouth, they will become red, swollen, and sensitive. A large amount of fluid can build up where the infection is located. Sometimes when you floss, or even touch the area of infection, your gums can be seen to bleed. This is not a normal occurrence, and is a result of gum infection. These infected areas of the gum are sensitive. Increased blood flow that results from physical exertion and exercise, can produce sensitivity in the gums, simply because of the pressure of the fluid build up.

Physical Trauma of the Teeth

Sometimes when we are exerting ourselves, as when we are intensely exercising, we may end up gritting our teeth. Gritting your teeth regularly, or severely enough, can cause trauma to the nerves and cause them to become inflamed, thusly producing pain or sensitivity in the teeth or gums. Gritting the teeth can also affect your jaw muscles, causing an ache.

If you run or jog with your jaw slightly apart, the impact of the feet against the running surface can cause your jaw to snap shut. This can also cause the inflammation of the nerves in your teeth. Bringing your teeth together rapidly, and forcefully enough will produce pain or sensitivity.

Don’t Live With Tooth Pain While Exercising

If you are regularly experiencing tooth pain while exercising, or in general, you should definitely visit the dentist to at least rule out tooth decay or gum disease. We are located right here in Rockville, MD to help you.

Don’t let tooth pain affect you while you are trying to get healthier by exercising. Take care of your whole body. Including your teeth. Call   (301) 770-1070   to schedule a dental exam.


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