265 Pounds of Pressure Per Sq Inch: Incredible Forces Affecting Our Teeth

  • By StarBrite Dental
  • 29 Oct, 2015

Let’s face it — most people take their teeth for granted.

As long as they can chew their food and don’t suffer pain, they probably pay very little attention to the amazing strength of these little bits of bonelike material lined up in their jawbones. Actually though, each tooth is a miracle of design and brilliant functionality which enables it to absorb the pressure of millions of bites of food over your lifetime without damage.

Most people know that their front teeth are designed for cutting off food and their back teeth are designed for grinding. However, there’s much more too it. Those back teeth have high spots called “cusps.” The cusps of your upper and lower teeth fit together like efficient gears — perfectly designed to tolerate a lifetime of almonds, pretzels, hard candies and peanut brittle consumption (although, as a dental office we recommend to lay off the sugar).

What holds your upper and lower teeth together?

The muscles in your jaw—and these are even more incredibly strong than your teeth are. Have you ever seen a trapeze artist hanging only by her teeth? Believe it or not, our jaws are capable of producing up to 265 pounds per square inch of pressure! However, because our jaws are stronger than our teeth, a little wisdom is required so we don’t fracture our teeth with all that pressure.

Important Don’ts

Tooth enamel is the hardest tissue in our whole bodies, but there are limits to its strength. Because it protects the soft inner parts of your teeth, there are some challenges it’s better to avoid.

Chewing on ice, pens, hard candy or other hard objects can wear down your teeth and cause chips or cracks. For some people, this becomes a habit that is hard to stop, but its far better for the health and longevity of their teeth to use your teeth properly.

Have you ever bitten off a clothing tag with your teeth? Do you use your teeth to open potato chip bags, bottles of water, bobby pins or — heaven forbid — beer bottles? You can even find an instructional video on how to crack a Brazil nut with your teeth! However, you’re far better off skipping this type of activity. Your teeth weren’t designed to be used as a tool like this and you risk chipped or cracked teeth every time.

Alignment is a Critical Factor

Another crucial element of protecting your teeth is to ensure they’re properly aligned. Remember how talked about the way your teeth meet together perfectly? They’re supposed to fit together like a lock and a key—in this way, they can withstand the immense forces which are involved in even regular use.

If those cusps of your teeth don’t meet properly, you can wear down your teeth or develop small fractures that can lead to a failure of that tooth. In many cases, these lead to entirely broken teeth which then have to be extracted.

The fact is that many dental problems can be avoided entirely simply by having properly aligned teeth. This is why braces or clear aligners are so important. They aren’t just for looks. Straight teeth are vital to your health.

Fixing Misaligned Teeth

One of the services we provide for our patients is Invisalign. These are clear aligners that bring teeth into the ideal positions to evenly distribute the forces of chewing and eating. If your teeth are sensitive to
heat or cold or if you suffer from jaw pain, neck pain or earaches, these could be signs that your teeth are improperly aligned.

If you’ve got cracked, worn or improperly aligned teeth, reach out to us. We’re top-ranked Invisalign providers with patients who come to us from as far away as Africa and Europe. If you’re a new patient, please schedule a Free Dental Consultation & meet us. Our goal is to help you maintain good oral health for your whole lifetime.

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