Why do teeth contain nerves and what is their function?

Like other important organs, teeth have nerves for sensation and protection.

The diseased “nerve” removed in a root canal procedure is the common term for the combination of nerves and blood vessels that form pulp, the soft interior of the tooth.

There is also a bundle of nerve fibers in the ligament that attaches the tooth to the bone. Together, these nerves let the teeth integrate with muscles, the brain, and the temporomandibular joint, responsible for the up-and-down motion of the jaw, in the complex activity of chewing.

The ability to know where the teeth are at all times is called proprioception, and nerve sensation is necessary to guide the teeth. If your bite is not quite right after dental work, or if your teeth shift, you can sense it immediately.

The nerves also let the teeth perceive heat, cold, and pain and protect them from harm. These sensations can – warn of decay.

Often, if there is a large cavity, the tooth becomes sensitive to sweets, as part of the body’s defense mechanism.