Do we have nerves in our teeth?

This blogpost will answer the question: do we have nerves in our teeth? And will include the following topics:Location of the nerves

What Is Dental Pulp?

Why are teeth so sensitive to pain?

Signs of nerve damage in your teeth

Common Treatments for Tooth Nerve Pain

The Root Canal Therapy Procedure

Do we have nerves in our teeth?

Yes, we have nerves in our teeth. More specifically the nerves are present in the roots of the tooth.

Location of the nerves

Three hard tissues and one soft tissue make up a single tooth. Enamel is a tooth’s outermost layer for protection. No live cells can be found in this hard layer. The second layer, dentin, lies beneath the enamel. The roots are protected by a third layer known as cementum. The nerves are housed in the soft tissue known as pulp, which is located in the core of the tooth.

What Is Dental Pulp?

The pulp, also known as the pulp chamber, is a soft region within the tooth’s core that houses the nerve, blood vessels, and connective tissue. The nerve of the tooth is located in the “root” or “legs” of the tooth. The pulp chamber is reached by the root canals, which go from the tip of the tooth’s root to the pulp chamber.

The nerve of a tooth is no longer necessary for its health and function once it has erupted through the gums. Its sole purpose is to provide a sensory experience of heat or cold. The existence or absence of a nerve has no bearing on the tooth’s day-to-day functionality. The tooth, however, is less viable and more vulnerable to fracture following treatment.

Why are teeth so sensitive to pain?

Tooth pain is a protective mechanism that assures that if a tooth is injured, we will notice and act.

If you eat something too hot or chew something too cold, or if the tooth is worn down to the point where the underlying tissue under it is exposed, all of these things induce pain, and the discomfort pushes the person to avoid eating or using a specific tooth to protect it a little more. So it’s more of a defence mechanism than anything else. We might continue to use teeth in conditions that harm them if they didn’t sense pain.

Why Does the Pulp Need to Be Removed?

When pulp is injured, bacteria begin to proliferate within the pulp chamber, causing it to break down. An infection or abscessed tooth can be caused by bacteria and other dying pulp debris. An abscess is a pus-filled pocket that develops at the root end of a tooth. An infection in the root canal of a tooth can cause, in addition to an abscess:

Swelling that may spread to other areas of the face, neck, or head

Bone loss around the tip of the root

Drainage problems extending outward from the root.

A hole can occur through the side of the tooth, with drainage into the gums or through the cheek into the skin.

How to Identify Tooth Nerve Damage

Nerve damage surrounding the teeth is one of the most prevalent reasons for dental pain. When the nerve is injured, it becomes extremely sensitive to any amount of tooth movement as well as intense cold or hot temperatures. Most meals might become very painful to eat as a result.

There are two primary causes of tooth nerve pain:

Pulpal sensitivity:

Damage to the nerves around the pulp of a single tooth causes this discomfort. When this sort of discomfort occurs, it usually affects only one tooth. A chipped or broken tooth, tooth rot, and, in certain cases, it can occur after dental procedure, such as a recent tooth filling, are all common reasons. This form of sensitivity can also develop as a result of teeth grinding or clenching for an extended period of time.

Dental sensitivity:

Dental sensitivity, on the other hand, affects more of the mouth than simply the area around a single tooth. This sort of nerve injury occurs when the tooth enamel is destroyed, which can happen as a consequence of a chip or a fracture, but it can also happen as a result of erosion. This permits external stimuli to reach the nerves of the teeth, resulting in significant discomfort throughout the mouth when eating foods that are very hot, cold, or acidic. Repeated use of teeth whitening solutions, which wears down the enamel of the tooth and makes your teeth vulnerable to harm, is one of the most common reasons for dental sensitivity.

Signs of nerve damage in your teeth

When the dental pulp within your tooth becomes infected or exposed, it can cause nerve damage. Your teeth are formed of dentin, which is hidden underneath the visible enamel. The dental pulp is a soft tissue that contains nerves and blood arteries underneath the dentin. These nerves may cause a lot of discomfort if they’re injured or damaged, therefore they need to be treated right away. If you believe you have nerve injury, you should visit an emergency dentist right away to avoid problems.


Nerve injury can result from a severe hit to the jaw or teeth, which is prevalent in sports. It’s crucial to notice whether you have any broken or cracked teeth, as well as if you’re in a lot of pain as a result of the event. The nerves of the tooth might be exposed as a result of a broken crown. A root fracture is also a possibility, which needs prompt dental treatment.

Severe Decay

If you find extensive decay on any of your teeth, make an appointment with your dentist very once. Dental decay can wear a tooth down to the nerve, exposing the dental pulp. A tooth’s nerves might get infected as a result of exposure. When inhaling or consuming cold or hot beverages and foods, you will experience pain and sensitivity.

Abscessed Tooth

If you experience swelling in your cheek or jaw around a sore tooth, you may have an abscessed tooth. This is caused by a root infection, which is usually triggered by decay or damage. This is a good sign of nerve injury if you suspect you have an abscess. Around injured or dead tooth pulp, blood flow and cellular activity increase, causing pressure to build up. This requires prompt dental care.

A dental exam is required to address the extent of your nerve damage, as well as what kind of treatment is most appropriate.

What Will I Feel If I Have A Damaged Tooth Nerve? 

Tooth nerve pain can develop gradually over time, beginning as a dull aching in the mouth and progressing to more severe pain. Acting on the pain as soon as possible will assist to reduce discomfort and may present your dentist with less invasive treatment choices. Regular dental care, such as flossing and brushing your teeth many times a day, can help to avoid the development of tooth nerve pain, although it is not always possible. The following are some of the most typical symptoms of dental nerve pain:

A dull ache along the gum line

Pain that targets a single tooth or radiates throughout the mouth

Discomfort that worsens after eating, especially following meals that are hot, cold, or acidic

Common Treatments for Tooth Nerve Pain

There are different possible treatment methods that may be done to effectively ease your tooth pain as a consequence of nerve damage. Fillings and root canals are the two most popular dental treatments for treating tooth nerve injury.


The most frequent type of dental repair is a filling. The injured tooth is repaired with dental cement or a filling in this type of treatment. The region around the tooth is numbed during the treatment, the decaying part of the tooth is removed, and the filling is used to fill in the damaged area. This will keep external stimuli from irritating the nerves that surround the tooth.

Root Canal:

This is a more intensive sort of dental procedure that is used when a badly decaying or damaged tooth causes discomfort. The injured nerve, as well as the pulp around the affected tooth, is completely removed during this surgery, and the region is then cleansed and sealed. You will be able to use your teeth normally without experiencing any discomfort as an outcome of this procedure.

The Root Canal Therapy Procedure

A dentist or an endodontist can perform root canal treatment in one or more clinic visits. A dentist who specialises in the aetiology, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of disorders and injuries of the tooth pulp is known as an endodontist. The severity of the root canal surgery required in your particular tooth, as well as the general dentist’s level of comfort operating on your tooth, play a role in deciding which sort of dentist to hire. Your dentist will talk to you about who would be most suited to do the work in your circumstance.

The first stage in the operation is to get an X-ray to check the form of the root canals and to see whether the surrounding bone shows any indications of infection. The region around the tooth will next be numbed with local anaesthetic by your dentist or endodontist. Although anaesthesia is not required because the nerve is dead, most dentists nonetheless anaesthetize the region to make the patient feel more calm.

Next, to keep the area dry and free of saliva during treatment, your dentist will place a rubber dam (a sheet of rubber) around the tooth.

The tooth will next be drilled with an access hole. The pulp is extracted from the tooth, along with germs and other debris. Root canal files are used to clean up the insides of the canals. After that, a series of these files of increasing diameter are inserted into the access hole and scraped and scrubbed the sidewalls of the root canals down the length of the tooth. The material is flushed away with water or sodium hypochlorite on a regular basis.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Do teeth have nerves in them?

Yes, teeth have nerves in them. The innermost part of the tooth called pulp contains all  the nerve, blood vessels, and connective tissue. The nerve of the tooth is located in the root of the tooth.

How do I know if my tooth nerve is damaged?

If your tooth nerve is damaged you will have a toothache which can be radiating, swelling, tooth sensitivity, etc

Why do we feel pain in our teeth?

There are numerous nerves present in the pulp which is the innermost layer of the tooth. Any irritation or damage to these nerves can give rise to pain.

How can I stop nerve pain in my tooth?

There are different treatments available to cure nerve pain in the tooth. The most commonly used treatments are fillings and root canal treatment.

Can your teeth feel pain?

Yes, teeth can feel pain because they too have nerves that sense pain.

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