Causes of tooth pain when walking

Tooth pain is often present in the form of a constant throbbing or dull ache. There are many causes for tooth pain and toothaches, and not all of them are related to dental problems. If you are experiencing tooth pain while walking, the underlying cause may be an infection in the mouth, sinuses or ear canal.

Common Causes of Tooth Pain

Tooth pain is most commonly caused by tooth decay, which can affect both children and adults. Bacteria are always present in the mouth, and thrive on the starches and sugars in the foods you eat. Thriving bacteria form a sticky substance known as plaque, which coats the surfaces of the teeth. Acids are produced by the bacteria in the plaque, and it has the potential to eat through the enamel coating of your teeth. When it does, a cavity forms. Cavities can cause sharp pains from certain temperatures and types of food, and general aches and dull throbbing as well.

Impacted Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth develop later in life, and often remain under the gums for a significant portion of an your life. If they remain impacted, or even partially impacted, there is the potential for infection if food gets trapped between the wisdom teeth and gums. An infection can cause swelling of the gums and pain that extends to other teeth, the jaw bone, the ears and even the throat. This type of pain has the potential to be aggravated by walking or vigorous movements, which would partially account for tooth pain while walking.


Sinusitis is the technical term for a sinus infection, which infects the sinuses located above the upper molars. Because the roots of the upper molars may extend into the sinus cavities, they too may throb and ache if the sinus cavities are inflamed. A sinus infection toothache is the official diagnosis for tooth pain during the presence of sinusitis.

Common symptoms of sinusitis are nasal obstruction and congestion, thick yellow or green discharge from the nose, a reduced sense of smell and taste, and pressure and pain around the eyes, nose, cheeks, forehead and upper jaw and teeth. Head and sinus pressure can be worsened by walking and vigorous movements, which in turn would cause or increase tooth pain.

If you suspect that your tooth pain is caused by sinusitis, contact your physician to discuss treatment options. In most cases a sinus infection toothache will clear up when the sinus infection has been treated and resolved. If not, make an appointment with your dentist. He can check your teeth and look for any other potential causes for your tooth pain.

Ear Infections

Ear infections, also referred to as earaches, cause swelling, tenderness and pain in the ear canal and jaw, and the close proximity of the teeth can cause an ear infection to also cause teeth to ache and throb. Walking can jar the infected ear drum and canal, which in turn can worsen pain symptoms, including pain in the teeth. Ear infections usually result from some sort of infection, and are treated with antibiotics. Clearing up the ear infection will usually resolve any associated tooth pain.

When to See a Dentist

If your tooth pain doesn't go away after treating any related issues, or if it suddenly worsens, you should see your dentist right away. Tooth pain can be a sign of tooth, gum, nerve or jaw problems, and if left untreated, may worsen and cause complications.