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Acta Odontol Scand. 1997 Aug;55(4):236-54.

Dental innervation: functions and plasticity after peripheral injury.

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Department of Odontology-Endodontics, School of Dentistry, University of Bergen, Norway.


Oral tissues including the periodontal ligament, gingiva, and tooth pulp have a relatively dense sensory innervation and a rich vascular supply. Teeth and supporting tissues are susceptible to tissue injury and inflammation, partly due to lack of collateral blood and nerve supply and to their low compliance. This review focuses on dental nerve functions and adaptive changes in the trigeminal ganglion and tooth pulp after peripheral injuries. An overview of the peptidergic innervation of oral tissues is presented, followed by a discussion of plasticity in neuropeptide expression in trigeminal peripheral neurons after local insults to teeth and peripheral nerve injuries. The functional implications of these adaptive changes are considered, with special reference to nerve regeneration, inflammation, and hemodynamic regulation.

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