Wednesday Wisdom: The Jaw Can Exert Over 100 Pounds of Pressure

November 7, 2018
The Jaw

The Jaw

Wednesday Wisdom: The Jaw Can Exert Over 100 Pounds of Pressure

Did you know that the jaw can exert over 100 pounds of pressure? Is this something you have heard before? Technically, the jaw has enough pressure to bite through our fingers when we’re eating, but our brain tells our mouths to stop before that happens. This is also why we don’t bite all the way through our tongue. The animal with the strongest jaw is surprisingly the Nile Crocodile. Other powerful jaws in the animal kingdom include the ferocious hippopotamus, jaguar, gorilla, grizzly bear and the lion.  Keep scrolling to read more about the jaw!

Anatomy of the Jaw

The jaw is the two pairs of bones that form the mouth. These are the mandible and the maxilla. These bones work in conjunction with the teeth for the purpose of chewing, and tearing up food. The jaw also works in conjunction with the mouth, and vocal chords to allow people to speak, scream, and sing.


While our jaw is responsible for the pressure, our teeth help to chew through different foods. It is obviously harder to chew through meat than it is to eat a banana. Our teeth are made of enamel, dentin, and pulp, that keeps them strong enough to tear through certain materials. The shape of teeth is also important to the function of the jaw. Humans have both molars and canines which complement our herbivore diets. We have sharper teeth to tear through meat, and molars to continually chew vegetables and fruits. Some animals that are carnivores, have rows of sharp teeth to tear through their prey. The most ubiquitous example of this is in sharks.

Final Thoughts

Have you heard before that the jaw exerts over 100 pounds of pressure? Do you know any other cool mandible facts? Do you know other facts about the human body? Comment them below! To check out more medical trivia, click here!


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