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17Dec2014

Your Jaw: Incredible Force + Amazing Precision

EVER WONDERED HOW THE PRESSURE of the human bite stacks up against the bone-crushing pressure of a hyena bite? We may not have the power some creatures have—but the complexity and precision of the human bite is simply remarkable.

Our Jaws And Teeth Balance Force And Precision

To demonstrate this delicate balance for yourself, try this… Pop a peanut M&M in your mouth and eat the chocolate around the nut, leaving the nut intact. Then, chew the nut. There’s a big difference in the pressure exerted when biting through the chocolate, versus biting through the nut. Also think about the coordination happening between your jaw muscles, brain, tongue, teeth and mouth to make this happen! Amazing.

Or, try this one (ONLY if you don’t have braces right now)… Bite into a fresh carrot. The force needed to do so is enough to crack your tooth enamel—yet, your jaw slows down in time to spare damage to your teeth. Our jaw control is sophisticated enough to “brake” and adjust pressure mid-bite!

The Human Bite Is Extremely Efficient

Humans have less jaw muscle mass than gorillas and chimpanzees. However, this reduced mass doesn’t mean reduced strength. It indicates increased efficiency. In fact, the design of the human jaw makes it 40-50% more efficient than a primate’s. Pound for pound, humans exert more biting force than big apes.

You can click on the image below to read more about bite studies:

Caring For Your Teeth And Jaw

Our jaws may be able to withstand lots of pressure, but our teeth are more fragile. Remember to be careful when chewing hard things like nuts and hard candies.

Here’s A Creature With A Crazy Strong Bite

If You’re Having Problems With Your Jaw, Let Us Know

Your jaw is a complex system. Proper orthodontic treatment helps to balance and ensure the health of your bite. A healthy bite can prevent uneven wear on your teeth, prevent headaches and discomfort down the road, and keep your jaw working to the extent of its amazing abilities.

Thanks for being our valued patients and friends.

Top image by Flickr user David Bleasdale used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.

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