The Measurement of Maximal Bite Force in Human Beings

  • Anas Alibrahim

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    Background: Registering a true maximum bite force on the most commonly-used force transducers is problematic. It is often believed that this is related mainly to discomfort and the fear of breaking teeth. Objectives: The aim of the project was to compare the suitability of different bite force measuring transducers including ones which were designed to improve subject comfort. The transducers used were a traditional strain-gauge transducer with and without covering with ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) sheets, and a newly-developed pressure transducer. Methods: Five separate studies were performed in this project. The experiments were carried out on human volunteer subjects (aged 24 to 41 years). They were all dentate with no missing anterior teeth and with no crowns on these teeth. The following procedures were used in some or all of the studies: measurement of MVBF, electrical stimulation of the masseter muscle, and EMG recording from two pairs of jaw closing muscles. Results: The highest MVBF values were recorded on the pressure transducer, mean (± S.D.) 464 N ± 224 N; followed by the strain-gauge transducer with EVA sheets, 243 ± 80 N; and last of all the strain-gauge transducer with silicone indices, 165 ± 35 N; or acrylic indices, 163 ± 82 N. Significantly higher maximum potential bite forces were predicted by twitch interpolation for the pressure transducer (730 ± 199 N) than for the strain-gauge transducer with EVA sheets, 354 ± 67 N (Paired t test, P < 0.05). Significantly higher EMGs of the masseter and anterior temporalis muscles were found to be associated with MVBFs on the pressure transducer than with MVBFs on the strain-gauge transducer with EVA sheets (Paired t test, P < 0.05). Conclusions: It is concluded that: a) the pressure transducer system and to a lesser extent the strain-gauge transducer covered with EVA sheets seemed to overcome the fear associated with biting on the hard surfaces of the strain-gauge transducer alone; b) the pressure transducer may have some multi-directional capabilities which allow for total bite forces, or at least larger parts of them, to be recorded than on a uni-directional strain-gauge transducer.
    Date of Award2015
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorSamuel Cadden (Supervisor) & Mervyn Lyons (Supervisor)


    • Bite force
    • Electromyographic (EMG)
    • Twitch interpolation
    • Jaw closing muscles
    • Masseter muscle
    • Temporalis muscle
    • Transducer
    • Pressure transducer
    • Force transducer

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