Who can bite the strongest?
Though it may be a silly question, it’s one that scientists have spent countless hours trying to research, using methods from collecting data on the human mouth to trying to get crocodiles to bite specially designed plates (which would be a fun job.) Like many other silly-sounding scientific experiments, measuring bite strength can provide a wide range of data, useful for furthering our understanding of the human body and its limitations.
Also, it’s a fun question!
The answer can vary to a surprising degree, depending on who you ask. Most experiments use a measurement based on ‘newtons,’ which are a measurement of force. Some scientists, using computer modelling, have theorized that the strongest bite comes from the great white shark, clocking in at an astounding 18,200 newtons of force– more than ten times the record for a human bite!
The strongest bite clocks in at an astounding 18,200 newtons
Of course, that was a computer simulation. According to real-world data collected by sticking a sensor into a crocodile’s mouth, the strongest crocodilian bite measured in at around 16,500 newtons– strong enough to snap a metal bar! Compared to that, the bite-strength of a human clocks in at around 1200 newtons. Strong, but not nearly crocodile strength!
But why does this matter? Well, it turns out that a lot of dental science issues are structural issues! When you’re working with a mechanical device as particular as the human mouth, you’re dealing with a lot of different mechanisms, substances, and sensitive biological bits. Knowing the tensile strength of tooth enamel or the pressure the jaw-bone can withstand is important to knowing how to keep our patients mouths healthy.
For instance, how much pressure should a temporary denture be able to withstand?
Well, depending on the duration of use and which tooth it’s replacing, the tooth should be able to put up with repeated bites up to around 1000 newtons, much like tooth enamel. Likewise, putting a cap on a chipped tooth may seem like a simple procedure, but it’s essential to consider the composition and placement of the materials, to make sure they can withstand all of the force that we put our mouths through.
So there you have it! Knowing who has the strongest bite isn’t just fun– it’s important information to dental science.
If you’ve bitten off more than you can chew, don’t worry– Dr. Matthews has you covered. Come in for a check-up, and Dr. Matthews will get your mouth looking like new in no time!