The effects of cervical sympathetic trunk stimulation on the position of the maxillary canine tooth and its movements in response to mechanical loading were studied using an ultrasonic transit time technique. Stimulation of the ipsilateral sympathetic trunk for 10-60s and frequencies between 1 and 20 Hz caused both longitudinal and transverse movements of the tooth. Bilateral carotid occlusion caused negligible movements in either direction. When a controlled force was applied in the palatal direction, sympathetic stimulation caused a labial shift of the tip of the tooth and usually an increase in the load-induced palatal displacement; i.e. the mobility of the tooth was increased and appeared to be dependent on the amount of labial shift of the tooth. It is concluded that interference with the vascular component has little, if any, direct effect on the tooth mobility.