Yes, dogs have nerves in their teeth. With the same type and number of nerves as humans.

Detailed studies have been performed using autoradiographic localization, which is crucial to create a way to apply local and block anesthesia to dogs, treat dental disease, and recognize pain related to the nerves in their teeth.

Nerves in Dog’s Teeth

  1.  Localization of Nerve Endings
  2. Types of Innervation (Sensory vs. Mechanic)
  3. Proprioceptors
  4. Tooth’s Nerve Damage Signs

1.   Localization of Nerve Endings

Teeth in dogs are divided into incisors, canines, premolars, and molars, which are made of several parts: enamel, dentin, cement enamel junction, pulp, periodontal ligament, etc.

Inside each tooth’s pulp is a network of blood vessels and nerves, which create a pulp channel below the level of the crown.

The canines, incisor, and maxillary second premolars are single-rooted teeth in dogs, but the maxillary fourth premolar is a three-rooted tooth. All other teeth have two roots. [1]

What’s interesting about dog teeth is that they are not directly bound to the jawbones or held rigidly in place.

The rest of the nerves innervate the periodontal ligament, making the tooth slightly mobile and adaptable when chewing solid food or bones.

2.   Types of Innervation (Sensory vs. Mechanic)

The primary nerve supply is received from the fifth cranial nerve – the trigeminal nerve.

And the maxillary teeth are supplied by the superior alveolar infraorbital nerve branches, which enter the infraorbital canal and divide into tiny branches that enter each root canal separately.

On the other side, the mandibular teeth, i.e., the teeth of the lower jaw, are supplied by branches of the inferior alveolar nerve, which runs in the mandibular canal.

The sensory innervation of the face’s lower part and the front two-thirds of the tongue also originates from this nerve, as does the innervation of the masticatory muscles, which means that the fifth cranial nerve provides sensory but also mechanic innervation to the face of the canines.[2]

3.   Proprioceptors

Proprioceptors are dental mechanoreceptors, which are the first recipients of stimuli such as hot, cold, or pressure.

They are crucial when providing tactile sensory feedback that minimizes the stress factors that teeth endure while they pulverize vast quantities of food.

The brain system’s input via proprioception and perception is critical to the masticatory system’s operation.

Any prosthodontic restoration’s success or failure is determined by the integration of correct proprioceptive signals and motor responses. [3]

One of the critical factors of masticatory function is sensory input from periodontal receptors, and the roots of the teeth provide more specific selective information than the oral mucosa.

TMJ (temporomandibular joint) dysfunction, nightly tooth grinding (bruxism), and malocclusion (the feeling that one’s upper and lower teeth aren’t meeting properly even when they are) are all significant diseases in which proprioception deficits can play a role. [4]

Tooth loss and denture replacement are linked to problems with the perception of food in the mouth and regulation of jaw motions during chewing due to a loss of proprioception. [5]

4.  Nerve Damage Signs and Treatment

Teeth damage is common while chewing solid items. Enamel-dentin fractures can occur as a result of abrasion or attrition.

Although exposed dentin can cause pulpitis and result in a non-vital tooth, dentin is a live tissue.

Dentin possesses a blood supply, nerves, and the ability to repair. Dentin heals by forming tertiary or “reparative” dentin, which is usually tan in color.

Dental radiography and periodontal probing evaluations aid in diagnosing and treating stained and damaged teeth. [6]

The most common cause of tooth discoloration is tooth trauma.

If radiographs reveal a dead tooth, root canal therapy or extraction may be used to salvage the tooth.

Sitting around and waiting for swelling to subside is not a good idea.

It is irrational and terrible for the pet to wait for these serious repercussions to manifest.

If radiographs reveal no internal abnormalities or pathology surrounding the root – dentinal tubules may be sealed, the tooth restored, and the tooth monitored.

Root canal therapy or extraction, on the other hand, may be appropriate therapeutic alternatives. [7]

Do Dogs Have Nerves In Their Teeth?

 Yes, indeed, as same as humans do. Their innervation originates from the fifth cranial nerve.

They have two types of nerve endings, as well as proprioceptors, which are the first “red flag” of any mechanical stimulus surrounding the teeth.

Teeth nerve damage is common while chewing solid food, especially bones or wood, resulting in severe pain, swelling, and even more severe damage and repercussions.