Book One -- The things that sustain and support the entire body, and what braces and attaches them all. [the bones and the ligaments that interconnect them] | Chapter 11 On The Teeth, Which are also counted as bones

The teeth have sensation

That the teeth alone of the bones have the power of sensation, Galen testifies at length, adding that he himself was troubled by toothache, and had at that time investigated carefully whether the teeth themselves feel pain. He recognized that a tooth not only feels pain distinctly, but also throbs, not unlike inflamed flesh. 6 Certain soft nerves [nn. sensorii] (S and XX in fig. 2, Ch. 2, Bk. 4), small branches 7 of the third pair [n. trigeminus] of cerebral nerves [nn. craniales], are implanted in the roots of the teeth; it is because of these nerves that we believe the teeth are the only bones endowed with the evident faculty of sensation. Some, disagreeing with Galen, infer that the tooth, since it is a bone, is affected with something short of pain, as when we are compelled to cut away protuberances of teeth with a file, or sometimes to cauterize them with hot iron. But when in the practice of such arts we often discover that they have feeling, and when we recognize that they are particularly troubled by cold, the almighty Maker of things is justly to be praised, who we judge bestowed on teeth alone among all the bones a noteworthy faculty of sensation. 8 For he knew they would often come in contact with things that cut, break, abrade, overheat or chill, or alter them in some other way: all of which things the bones are exposed to in a bare state, quite differently from the other bones. Therefore, if they possessed no power of sensation, a person would in no way be warned by pain, nor would he protect a tooth by removing something harmful before the affected teeth were damaged. 9



Book One -- The things that sustain and support the entire body, and what braces and attaches them all. [the bones and the ligaments that interconnect them] | Chapter 11 On The Teeth, Which are also counted as bones