Why nerves in teeth?

Discussion in 'Human Science' started by Dinosaur, Feb 2, 2012.

  1. Dinosaur Rational Skeptic Valued Senior Member

    Is there some evolutionary advantage to having nerves in teeth?

    Pain signals are obviously good for warning about potentially debilitating damage. Think about the consequences of not feeling pain when touching something at 200-500 degrees. Think about walking/running on a sprained or broken ankle.

    What danger might be avoided due to pain signals from your teeth?

    Might nerves in teeth be an accidental byproduct with few ill effects & thus not eliminated via evolution?
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  3. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

    New York Times Science article.

    First answer I came across. It gives a little more to chew on

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    As for ancestral teeth, wiki sez:

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  5. Pandaemoni Valued Senior Member

    Knowing that your tooth is damaged or diseased can be beneficial. Plus there is some sensation in the teeth that is transmitted when biting and chewing to help determine the consistency of foods. If you ever bit down on a piece of metal (or other small hard object) hidden in your food, you probably felt some pain or discomfort. If your teeth were entirely insensate, you'd be more likely to continue chewing unaware that you were damaging your teeth.
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  7. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

    If there were no nerves in teeth how would dentists ever make a good living by not having any more "root canals" to do?

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  8. origin In a democracy you deserve the leaders you elect. Valued Senior Member

    Pain tells you it is ok to chew cherries but not ok to to chew cherry pits.
  9. Pincho Paxton Banned Banned

    If you chomped through a rock on a daily basis you would grind away your teeth, and lose a fight with an attacker. Losing the fight would eliminate your genes. The genes with the nerves in teeth would evolve more often. You would win more fights.
  10. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    A very good answer Pandaemoni.
  11. Diode-Man Awesome User Title Registered Senior Member

    Good point Pand, I was thinking that since dentistry is a relatively new field of work there was no need for nerves...
  12. nathalie17 Registered Member

    It seems work on my teeth..

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