Can Sound Vibrations Hurt Your Teeth?

Updated: May 23

You've been noticing that loud music has been hurting your teeth but are you sure its not your ears? But you definitely do feel like its the teeth that are hurting.


Sound Vibrations
Sound Vibrations

Can sound cause pain by vibrating your teeth?

As a matter of fact, sound vibrations can vibrate through your teeth so it is possible to cause teeth sensitivity or even pain. The reason for this is that past your tooth's enamel, your dentin is filled with thousands of tubules that contain water. These water filled tubules can sense sound waves and sound pressure, which it transmit all the way to the pulp. The nerve of the tooth may interpret these vibrations as either a form of tooth sensitivity or even as a toothache. If your teeth are already sensitive to begin with, you may even feel like your teeth are vibrating when you encounter a large decibel sound wave.


The science behind vibrating teeth.

Evidence that sound can travel through teeth actually comes from an invention called the SoundBite hearing system, which created a device that you wear in your mouth to help you hear. How this device works was that it would pick up sounds and then transmit it through your teeth and travel through your bones to reach your inner ear (the cochlea). This lets you bypass the the ear that cannot hear very well.


This device was created to counteract single sided deafness and conductive hearing loss. Apparently the device improved hearing by an average of more than 30%. Unfortunately the company went bankrupt in 2015.


Overall, the concept behind this was that sound vibrations need to travel through a medium and that medium could be either bone or teeth. For a normal functioning ear, the sound can just travel straight through the bone. In a person with a hearing disability, going through the teeth would be an alternative option to bypass the defective ear.


Normally, even if your teeth are vibrating from loud noises, it shouldn't hurt but it could if they are particularly sensitive.


What can cause teeth sensitivity?

  • Aggressive brushing technique that may cause gum recession. Once the gums recede, the root gets exposed and that results in sensitivity.

  • If you grind or clench your teeth at night time. All of that night time activity can cause your teeth to be tender once daybreak hits. They are tired and overworked from all that teeth grinding.

  • Tooth decay. If you have cavities, your teeth may feel more sensitive if you are one of the lucky ones. Most people actually don't feel any sensations, which is bad because then you assume that everything is okay and don't go for your dental check ups.

  • Periodontal disease. If you have gum disease you may already have receding gums or your teeth might even be loose. If your teeth are loose when sound travels through them, you will feel your teeth vibrate and that may cause you pain. Biting on loose teeth will be painful as well.


How to deal with sound related tooth sensitivity.

All of the issues above can be addressed by our dentist in long island city. The type of treatment would depend on the specific cause but we promise that we can leave your teeth in a much better place than when they came in!

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About the author: Dr David Chen, DDS

Hello, I'm Dr Chen and I'm an actively practicing dentist in Long Island City, NY. I graduated from Columbia University College of Dental Medicine in 2016 but prior to going to dental school I was already working in the dental field. It's been more than a decade since I first got to know dentistry and let me tell you, time flies by quickly. Since then I've developed a fondness for writing, which is how this all got started!

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Medical Disclaimer:

This blog is purely meant for information purposes and should not be used as medical advice. Each situation in your mouth is unique and complex. It is not possible to give advice nor diagnose any oral conditions based on text nor virtual consultations. The best thing to do is to go in person to see your dentist for an examination and consultation so that you can receive the best care possible.

The purpose of all of this oral health information is to encourage you to see your dentist and to inform you of what you may expect during your visit. Due to the unfortunate nature of dentistry, there isn't really any true home remedies that will get rid of dental problems. Roughly 99.99% of them require in-person intervention by a healthcare professional.

Hint: That is the reason why you can't eliminate seeing dentists in your life!