Running has many benefits, but it can also cause discomfort, at times, for your muscles, lungs, and even your teeth. If you’re an athlete in training or just like to jog for fun, it’s important to understand how running affects your teeth so you can stay healthy and keep your teeth happy, too.
Running and Discomfort
Many runners talk about how amazing they feel after a good run, but it’s less common to talk about all the aches that can occur while running. The ache in your muscles can be a good sign because it means that you’re working the muscles needed to gain strength. The ache in your lungs can also be a sign that you’re pushing yourself to build greater lung capacity for better endurance during runs. But what about when your teeth ache during a run? Is that good or bad? Let’s talk about how running affects your teeth and what it might mean when you experience dental discomfort while running.
When you experience dental discomfort, it’s important to track down the cause of it in order to find a sustainable path to relief. Some common causes behind dental discomfort while running may be cold or windy weather, sinus pressure, breathing through your mouth, jaw clenching, and increased blood flow resulting in higher blood pressure. Talk with your dentist if you’re experiencing discomfort so that they can help you pinpoint the reason behind it and help you find relief.
Risks of Running
Running seems like a fairly safe way to get exercise compared with contact sports or high speed sports like skiing or bicycling. However, there are still some things to be mindful of about how running affects your teeth to ensure that your smile stays healthy and protected from damage.
Dry mouth is a common problem that affects runners due to the increased need to breathe through the mouth while running. Since saliva is your body’s natural way of protecting your teeth from tooth decay, dry mouth can put your teeth at greater risk of cavities. Things that might be helpful include building up the intensity of your runs more slowly, trying to breathe with your mouth closed as much as possible, and staying hydrated to increase saliva flow.
Sports drinks can also have a negative effect on your teeth because of their high sugar content. So when you hydrate, make sure to look for sugar-free sports drinks or stick with water.
When to See a Dentist
If you experience dental discomfort while running, it’s a good idea to visit your dentist for a check up to rule out any serious underlying causes. Your teeth shouldn’t hurt and your dentist can provide suggestions for relief such as fluoride treatments or changes to your routine to help reduce sensitivity and the impact of running on your teeth. It’s important to visit your dentist regularly for check ups to ensure that your smile stays in top shape so that discomfort doesn’t hold you back from the activities that you enjoy.
Call our Shreveport Dental Office to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.