Have you ever felt your tooth hurt while walking or doing a workout? This might seem strange, but it can happen to anyone.

When you’re out for a walk, running, or lifting weights, and you feel a pain in your tooth, it’s not something you should ignore. This kind of toothache isn’t like the usual types and could be a sign of something else with your health.

In this article, we’ll find out why this happens and what steps you can take to deal with it, ensuring you can exercise and walk freely without tooth discomfort.

Common Causes of Tooth Pain When Walking or Exercising

Exercising is great for your health, but what if you notice your toothaches while walking or doing some physical activity? It’s an unusual and unexpected experience, yet it happens to many people. This tooth pain differs from the normal aches you might feel from a tooth problem at rest.

Understanding why your tooth hurts when you’re active is important. It’s not just a nuisance— it can be a sign of something that needs your attention.

Here are some common reasons your teeth might hurt during exercise and what they mean for your overall dental health.

Cold sensitivity

When you walk or run in cold weather, the chilly air can hurt your teeth. This happens because, inside your teeth, there are parts that are alive and can react to the cold.


Just like how we may clench our teeth during a rigorous workout, some people may unknowingly clench their teeth during moments of intense emotion or even in their sleep. Whether it’s a stressful day at work or the anticipation of an upcoming event, these subconscious clenching sessions can take a toll on our pearly whites and cause some serious tooth pain. So, remember to take a deep breath, relax your jaw, and smile – your teeth will thank you!


Cavities are active bacterial infections that wreak havoc on your tooth structure. It all starts when decay invades the outer layer of your tooth enamel, the protective shield for your pearly whites. Once the decay breaches this fortress, it sets its sights on the softer layer underneath, known as dentin.

Now, this dentin is where the action happens! It’s closer to the nerves and responsible for carrying out everyday activities like chewing. Unfortunately, these activities can trigger sensations of sensitivity or even downright tooth pain, thanks to the mischievous cavities and their dental mischief.

Sinus Infection

Your teeth might hurt during a workout, but the real problem might not be with your teeth. Sometimes, a sinus infection can cause your teeth to ache. This is because the maxillary sinuses are placed on either side of your nose, near your upper teeth. A sinus inflammation or infection can put pressure on your teeth, causing them pain. Walking or running may cause you to feel more discomfort. Stopping your dental pain requires treating your nasal congestion.

Gum Disease

If you have painful gums or problems with your gums, this can lead to tooth loss. However, the early signs of the illness may not appear to be serious if left untreated. Dental pain during exercise is another common symptom besides red, puffy, and bleeding gums. When you exercise, the increased blood flow to the tissues aggravates inflammation in your mouth, causing tooth pain. To support a healthy mouth and body, your dentist can use periodontal therapy to stop the infection.

Mouth Breathing

If you breathe through your mouth a lot, especially when running or doing endurance sports, it doesn’t directly cause tooth pain. However, it can make your mouth dry, which can be uncomfortable and lead to other oral health issues.

By understanding these causes, you can start to figure out why your tooth might be hurting during physical activity and take steps to address it.

man with a toothache when walking

Treatment and Prevention

Dealing with tooth pain while walking or exercising can be handled in a few ways:

For Cold Sensitivity

If cold air hurts your teeth, try breathing through your nose more. Also, you can use a scarf or mask to cover your mouth when it’s cold outside. This helps warm the air before it reaches your teeth.

For Clenching

If you clench your teeth while exercising, try to be more aware of it. Relaxing your jaw and doing some jaw exercises can help. If it’s a big problem, talking to your dentist about a mouthguard might be a good idea.

For Sinus Infection

You might need to see a doctor if your tooth pain is due to a sinus infection. They can give you medicine to help clear the infection, which should also help with the tooth pain.

For Gum Disease

Good oral hygiene is key here. Brush and floss regularly, and visit your dentist for check-ups and cleanings. If your gums are already in bad shape, your dentist can suggest treatments to help.

For Cavities

To deal with cavities, you need to see your dentist. They can fill the cavities, which should stop the pain. To prevent more cavities, brush with fluoride toothpaste, floss daily, and cut down on sugary foods and drinks.

For Mouth Breathing

If you breathe through your mouth a lot, try to switch to nose breathing. Staying hydrated and using a humidifier at home can also help keep your mouth from getting too dry.

Remember, if you have persistent tooth pain, especially during exercise, it’s always a good idea to check in with your dentist. A dentist can help figure out exactly what’s causing the pain and the best way to treat it.

Let Dr Hanna Help Treat Your Toothaches

If you ever feel tooth pain while walking or doing other exercises, it’s not something to ignore. This kind of pain is unusual and can be a clue that something isn’t right with your teeth or general health.

Schedule a free consultation with us at Hanna Dental Implant Center to speak with a qualified dentist. Through thorough evaluation, we can help you find out what’s causing the pain and give you the right treatment. Taking care of this pain means you can return to enjoying your walks and workouts without discomfort.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does it mean when your tooth hurts when you walk?

If your tooth hurts when you walk, it could be due to sensitivity to cold air, clenching your teeth, sinus infections, gum disease, cavities, or even the habit of breathing through your mouth. It’s a sign that something may be affecting your dental health, especially during physical activity.

Why does my tooth hurt only when I move?

If your tooth hurts only when you move, it could be due to the increased blood flow during physical activity, making any existing dental issues like cavities or gum disease more noticeable. It might also be a sign of an issue with your sinuses, as movement can exacerbate sinus pressure, leading to tooth pain.

Why does my tooth hurt when I walk or shake my head?

Tooth pain when walking or shaking your head might be linked to sinus problems. When you move or shake your head, the pressure in your sinuses can change, and if you have a sinus infection, this can lead to pain in your teeth. It could also be related to issues with your teeth or gums made more apparent by the movement.

Is walking good for a toothache?

Walking doesn’t directly affect a toothache unless the pain is related to sinus issues, where the change in blood flow might impact the sinus pressure. However, walking and other gentle exercises can help reduce overall stress, which can be beneficial since stress can sometimes worsen tooth pain, especially if you’re prone to clenching your teeth. But if your toothache is severe or persistent, seeing a dentist is important.