To accomplish anything in life we need to look into the sets of two. We need one top and one bottom jaw to chew food efficiently. Similarly we need two hands to lift a heavy object and move it from one place to another. We have all heard the expression: we are what we eat. To survive in life we need our choppers to do the job for us. To get this done we will need to chew efficiently to facilitate healthy digestion and food need to broken up into finer particles. The average Human bite force is 300 psi (pounds per square inch). It takes this much force to chew and grind the food at a minimum. If may also vary from the type of food we consume. Some people who are bruxers may exert much more force on to their jaws just by the muscular action of their jaw muscles. Just as a reference the tire pressure in our car is usually 30 psi. Now that we have something to compare it with we might appreciate the workings of nature and its effect on all life forms on Earth.
- Humans. 300 psi.
- Bull Shark. Bite force: 1,350psi.
- American alligator. Bite force: 2,125psi.
- Hyena. Bite force: 1,100psi. Distribution: Sub-Saharan Africa.
- Grizzly bear. Bite force: 1,160psi. Distribution: Canada and USA.
- Polar bear. Bite force: 1,200psi.
- Gorilla. Bite force: 1,300psi.
- Jaguar. Bite force: 1,500psi.
- Hippopotamus. Bite force: 1,800psi.
- Saltwater crocodile (Salties): 3700 psi.
- Nile crocodile 5000 psi
- Great White shark. 4000 psi
Above we are seeing a sample list of the most common wild animals and their respective bite forces which includes us. When we compare our bite force to many others it is miniscule. It also stands out to be insignificant. Nature has engineered our muscles and the skeletal structure so well that it produces a well designed masticatory apparatus to chew food in a very efficient way. Even when one loses their teeth, there are many people in this World who get by with no dentures whatsoever and have adapted themselves by literally using their jaw bones and their jaw muscle power to chew their food.
Without our teeth and their supporting structure we will be unable to move through life without effective and efficient masticatory power. Imagine that a lion gets injured in the serengeti. A lion can only survive if it stays and remains healthy. Now if this lion gets injured in a fight and has a fractured jaw, it will become incapacitated and be unable to hunt and eat for itself. Other animals do have the capacity to sense when an animal becomes weak or sick. Now even the king of the jungle becomes prey. Hence jaw and muscle power do play out very much in our survival as it does in the lives of all animals that we see around us.
When we are sick we do not feel like eating or even tasting any kind of food. But we need to eat to survive the ordeal and have the energy to move on. Oral health is THE most undervalued of all parts of the body. Most people put off seeing their dentist every 6 months. But in case of an emergency this appointment with their dentist takes precedence. Looking on the other side, if each of us shift our focus completely on prevention, we would seldom need to get any major work done like surgical extractions, flap surgeries, root canals therapy and the like. All we need to do is to see our dentist every six months for regular check up, necessary X rays and Professional cleaning. By doing this we can totally avoid any major work which may be perceived to be painful based on our past childhood experiences. The preventive approach would be what I would take for my mouth, which is painless and becomes a pleasant experience. If children were taught on prevention, acted upon prevention, then there would be no need to cure anything. This applies to adults as well.
When a person is deemed healthy with no oral infection, no abscessed Gums, healthy gums and sound teeth they are able to eat well with less effort, are able to grind well, show off their teeth and bite with sufficient force to chew their ingested food well in order to facilitate good digestion. With less teeth or no teeth, all we would be doing is gulping down the food down our throats. This will lead to undigested food staying in the digestive tract for a much longer time than is needed. In the long run our entire system may not function in an adequate manner. So everything starts with our teeth and ends in the matter of whether we will survive or not. Too less force will be inefficient and too much force will be excessive. But with the right force we can do miracles that will reflect back to us through our ability to survive. We need to have the right force applied to the type of food that we eat. No wonder all these animals are given their required bite forces the enable their survival and we are given ours.