Abstract

A new device for measuring and recording bilateral bite force in the molar/premolar region has been developed. Because this new device is elastic and conforms to the occlusal surfaces of the teeth, and because the sensing element is relatively comfortable, it is believed that experimental subjects are less reluctant to register true maximal forces than in earlier studies. Potential correlations of maximum bite force to gender, age, weight, body type, stature, previous history of orthodontic treatment, presence of TMJ symptoms (jaw motion limitation, clicking with pain, or joint pain), or missing teeth were studied in a sample of 142 dental students. The mean maximum bite force of the sample was found to be 738 N, with a standard deviation of 209 N. The mean maximum bite force as related to gender was found to be statistically significant, while the correlation coefficients for age, weight, stature, and body type were found to be low. Even so, all data scatterplots exhibited relatively positive relationships. Correlations of maximum bite force to an earlier history of orthodontic treatment or to the absence of teeth were not found. Subjects reporting TMJ symptoms did not exhibit a significantly different maximum bite force than subjects without symptoms.

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Author notes

S. Braun, clinical professor, Vanderbilt University and the University of Illinois

H.-P. Bantleon, professor, Universitätsklinik für Zahn-Mund-und Kieferheilkunde, Vienna, Austria

W.P. Hnat, associate professor, mechanical engineering, J. B. Speed Scientific School, University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky

J. W. Freudenthaler, university professor, Universitätsklinik für Zahn-Mund-und Kieferheilkunde, Vienna, Austria

M.R. Marcotte is in private practice in Bristol, Connecticut

B.E. Johnson, Chairman, Department of Orthodontic, Pediatric and Geriatric Dentistry, School of Dentistry, University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky