A non-invasive model for measuring nociception after tooth pulp exposure. Academic Article uri icon


  • Temporomandibular arthritis will lengthen a rodent's meal duration. We hypothesized that meal duration would also lengthen after tooth pulp exposure, suggesting that this behavior could be used to measure tooth nociception. To test this hypothesis, we placed rats in feeding units and subjected 4 anterior mandibular molars to pulp exposure, with and without pre-treatment with the analgesic buprenorphine-HCl. In the first study, male Sprague-Dawley rats were placed in computerized sound-attenuated feeding modules, the pulp of 4 molars on the mandible were exposed, and meal duration was measured for 13 days. In a second study, rats were injected with either the analgesic buprenorphine-HCl or saline every 12 hrs; injections were started one day before pulp exposure. Meal duration was determined before and after treatment. In the first study, pulp exposure significantly increased daily meal duration for 8 days. In the second study, pulp exposure lengthened daily meal duration, but the group that was treated with buprenorphine-HCl showed no significant difference compared with control rats without pulp exposure. Evidence supports that a lengthening in meal duration is a response to tooth nociception and that this nociception can be measured for over a week.

published proceedings

  • J Dent Res

author list (cited authors)

  • Kramer, P. R., He, J., Puri, J., & Bellinger, L. L.

citation count

  • 11

complete list of authors

  • Kramer, PR||He, J||Puri, J||Bellinger, LL

publication date

  • September 2012