Running is in fashion. There are many cities and towns that have joined the practice of this sport with races that range from the old towns to the steepest mountain paths. Young and not so young feed their energy deposit thanks to running , a sports activity that generates health benefits that have been proven. What is probably not so well known are the consequences it can have on oral health. In fact, if you have tooth pain when running , you should know that it has an explanation and you are not the only one who suffers from it. And it is not, far from it, that running damages your teeth.
How running affects teeth
Before delving into the matter, it is worth clarifying some aspects. Running or any other sports activity in general is good for your health and also for your teeth. According to a study by the Spanish Society of Periodontics and Osseointegration (SEPA), leading a healthy life —nutrition is fundamental— and an increase in sports practice helps reduce possible pathologies at a general level. Otherwise, neglect oral healthit can affect sports performance and even cause serious problems beyond the mouth. That said, running is not only not bad for your teeth but also reduces the risk of suffering from periodontitis, as indicated by the SEPA study. Of course, there are factors inherent to sports practice that can directly affect the mouth. We are talking about certain alterations that we will see below and that require taking precautions to avoid oral health problems.
During sports practice, it is common for runners to experience a dry mouth as a result of the change in saliva production. In full activity, athletes increase their heart rate and oxygen demand, exhaling more air, which causes a progressive decrease in saliva. This translates into a change in the pH of the mouth that is more acidic than normal as a defense mechanism to protect the teeth. It is at this time that a risk factor can occur that should be taken into account to avoid. The teeth lose the protection provided by saliva and an oral problem such as cavities can occur.
Why do my teeth hurt when running?
Any physical activity involves a change in the way the body normally responds and not all people react in the same way. For example, the stress to which the body is subjected manifests itself, in some cases, in a jaw problem . Some people clench their teeth while running, causing a state of tension that can lead to problems after playing sports. If you think that you normally clench your teeth while running, it is best to visit your trusted dentist to examine if you could have a joint problem. Find your nearest W Clinic and make an appointment so as not to put your oral health at risk.
Sensitivity to cold is another possible cause of tooth pain when running. Breathing through the mouth continuously and faster than normal causes the teeth to come into contact with cold air. Tooth sensitivity can be caused by a variety of factors, including tooth decay or possible periodontal disease . In turn, these oral problems may be behind tooth pain when running. If you notice a throbbing sensation, as if it were a heartbeat, it may be. Increased blood flow to the gums is produced by the increased heart rate while running . If you have not yet consulted your dentist about dental sensitivity problems.
Any of these problems can reduce the physical abilities of the athlete. The lack of oral hygiene is a reason to stimulate the appearance of bacterial plaque. If your gums bleed frequently, it is a sign that something is wrong with your gums. In fact, the infection could be transmitted to the rest of the body through the blood, causing damage to tissues such as muscles and joints. Thus, do not forget that the mouth may be behind a joint and/or muscular ailment.
How to avoid tooth pain when running?
Here are some important tips to avoid possible tooth pain when running:
- Proper hydration is basic in every way. Water is the best ally to regain strength and prevent dry mouth. On the other hand, isotonic drinks, gels and energy bars are also on the agenda. Although they may be necessary, it is important that you know that they usually have a large amount of sugar. Remember to brush your teeth when you finish running.
- Taking care of oral health is also essential. Runners often eat carbohydrates before races, which can affect teeth. Charging the energy tank is not at odds with brushing your teeth before the race.
- The intensity of training and the desire to exceed goals can cause stress in some cases. Some runners suffer from headaches associated with muscle spasms from clenching their teeth. Relief splints help relieve stress and protect teeth. If this is your case, do not hesitate to consult your trusted dentist.