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xratedcheese t1_j1c811x wrote

You need teeth. Nerves preserve teeth.

  • If teeth had no nerves, you'd chomp on unchompable things -- "me eat rock" -- until your teeth wore down, broke, and fell out. Then you'd die and not have children whose teeth have no nerves.
  • If your teeth have nerves, you're a bit more careful about your teeth -- "ow, me NO eat rock" -- and you live a healthy life and get laid and have children whose teeth have nerves.

kovadomen t1_j1c90dl wrote

Take care of your teeth and you'll get laid. So many still don't understand this concept.


Somehow-Still-Living t1_j1cvk7g wrote

Some understand the concept of it (and general hygiene) up until they get laid a few times by one person, then stop because they’ve achieved the goal of relationship. Then wonder they don’t get laid anymore.


wynntari t1_j1cbgud wrote

This is the best plain language explanation of natural selection and evolution I've ever seen, I want ALL of them to be in this format.


nicuramar t1_j1dqp4c wrote

Myeah, but then the problem is that such expansions would often be oversimplified.


ZZ9ZA t1_j1ds0bb wrote

Do we know if this is still true in species like crocodiles that freely lose/regrow teeth?


mom_with_an_attitude t1_j1c4vxu wrote

For the same reason we have nerves anywhere else in the body: to signal, through pain, when something is wrong (infection, trauma, etc.) It used to be thought that people with leprosy had super human strength. But one day a doctor who lived in a leper colony to care for them asked a patient to get a stuck sink valve unstuck. The patient succeeded but the doctor noticed the patient's hand was bleeding afterwards. He came to understand that the patient did not have superhuman strength. What the patient did have was a reduced ability to perceive pain, because the patient's nerves were damaged by the leprosy. So, a healthy person would have stopped trying to turn that stuck valve because the pressure of the metal on their skin would hurt. But a patient with leprosy would keep going because they couldn't feel the metal damaging the tissues in their hand. Similarly, diabetics with poor blood sugar control eventually lose sensory nerve function in their lower extremities, and can suffer damage to their knee joints and the soft tissues of their feet without even realizing it.

Nerves offer us a feedback mechanism. Touch stove equals hot equals perceive pain equals pull hand away. If we lack this feedback mechanism, we damage ourselves. If we could not sense pressure and pain as we bite down, we would probably end up shattering our own teeth by biting down too hard, because there would be nothing signaling us to stop. Nerves are important! It's no fun when they signal the pain of a bad toothache, but ultimately they help protect us.


Ok-Development-8238 t1_j1c87ns wrote

I read an article about 5 years ago about a girl born without a pain sensation. Parents only realized it because she kept biting her tongue and once stuck her hand on a hot stove while laughing


vltamlnr t1_j1c8cgz wrote

I’ve heard that when people switch from a full set of teeth to dentures, it’s incredibly difficult to tell where food is in the mouth. Chewing is a challenge with that as well, as your nerves in your teeth prevent you from biting your tongue (most of the time anyways).


MadJackandNo7 t1_j1eslm1 wrote

Wouldn't the nerves in your tongue do that?


ExoticSwan8523 t1_j1f163t wrote

Ever bit your tongue before? If yes, then the nerves in both your tongue and teeth are not 100% effective at preventing you from biting your tongue. Now take away all of your teeth's nerves, and you're going to increase the likelihood of biting your tongue with less nerves.


chickeeper t1_j1i23v7 wrote

Agreed, when you get posts and porcelain, it feels numb in your mouth. You have to think where your tongue is. I thought that feeling would go away and it never did.


SerialStateLineXer t1_j1lhxcn wrote

You're talking about dentures and not implants, right? Generally the sensory feedback you get from chewing is from the teeth transmitting forces to the periodontal tissue, not actually feeling forces in your teeth through the enamel.

Dentures disupt this process not because they don't have nerves, but because they totally change the way forces are transmitted to the periodontal tissue. I believe that root-canaled teeth and bone-borne dental implants still allow force feedback like healthy teeth do.


JonJackjon t1_j1c037s wrote

Just a guess here but I would expect these nerves serve the same purpose of most nerves.... telling you when something is wrong.

Yes there is feeling, tasting, smelling etc but reaction to something wrong is common to all/most? nerves.


CleverName9999999999 t1_j1c4i0z wrote

When I got my first (hopefully only) root canal I asked the doctor basically this question. She said the nerve is most important when the tooth is growing and moving into place. After that it’s not nearly as important but sticks around anyway.


whorgans t1_j1c6ojh wrote

It’s also a good indicator of something is wrong. And that’s important to know. I had decayed wisdom teeth that got infected. The only reason I knew was due to the extreme pain I had from it. And infected teeth are dangerous. It’s important to know when you have that and the pain from it is a pretty good indicator of it. It’s excruciating.


Alfred_The_Sartan t1_j1c9sxw wrote

Well, they’re bones right? Special bones with a purpose. If I were a betting man I’d say that the lack of nerves never proved beneficial so they were just left behind. Natural selection leads to some great things and some damned odd ones too