What’s In a Bite?

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If you are following the World Cup, you are likely to have heard of the incident in which Uruguay’s Luis Suarez received a suspension for biting an opposing player’s shoulder during a game. Here at our dental office, we highly discourage biting anything other than your food, especially people! However, this incident did make us curious to do a bit of research on other moments where biting incidents have caused a stir.

One of the most memorable bites came from Mike Tyson when he boxed against Evander Holyfield in a championship match and Tyson bit both of Holyfield’s ears. Tyson bit part of Holyfield’s right ear off and spit it onto the floor, then followed up by biting his left ear. Another famous bite happened in a 1983 NBA playoff game, during which Tree Rollins bit Danny Ainge so hard on the finger that it required stitches. In another incident in an NHL game, Alex Burrows of Vancouver allegedly bit the finger of Boston’s Patrice Bergeron while scuffling.

So how dangerous is a human bite? Biting other people can actually cause a good deal of damage, because the average human bite contains approximately 100 pounds of force, and can be even greater, limited only by the strength of an individual’s teeth.  This is why mouth guards are  important to use during athletics. Mouth guards protect teeth, lips, and tongues during moments of impact. While a human bite may not be as strong as a dog bite (up to 500 pounds of force), it can still cause a good deal of harm. So instead of biting people, bite into a big healthy apple! And if you have any questions about mouth guards, we invite you to contact our office.