For soccer fans following the World Cup, one of the biggest stories has been Uruguay’s Luis Suarez and his suspension for biting an opposing player’s shoulder during a game. Here at the dental office, we highly discourage biting anything other than food, and especially not other people! But this incident did make us curious to look at other instances where bites have caused a stir.
One of history’s most memorable bites was when Mike Tyson boxed against Evander Holyfield in a championship match and Tyson bit both of Holyfield’s ears. Tyson bit part of his right ear off and spit it onto the floor, then followed up by biting his left ear. Another famous bite happened in a 1983 National Basketball Association playoff game, during which Tree Rollins bit Danny Ainge on the finger, biting it so deeply that it required stitches. In an incident in a National Hockey League Stanley Cup finals game, Alex Burrows of Vancouver allegedly bit the finger of Boston’s Patrice Bergeron while scuffling.
So how much damage can a human bite cause? Biting other people can cause a good deal of damage, because the average human bite contains around 100 pounds of force, and can be even greater depending on the strength of an individual’s teeth. This is why mouth guards are so important in athletics, to protect teeth, lips, and tongues. 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 questions about mouth guards, we invite you to contact our office.