Science shows that humans have an average bite force of 120-140 psi. Dogs bite at an average strength of 230-250 psi. Despite having a stronger bite, dogs break their teeth often when gnawing on bones and toys, while our teeth are known to withstand over 5000 lbs. of pressure!
So, are dogs’ teeth stronger than ours? Or is it the other way around?
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Are Dog Teeth Stronger Than Human Teeth?
To cut it short, no – dog’s teeth ARE NOT stronger than our teeth. To understand why, let’s first discuss the structure of a tooth.
The Science Behind The Tooth
Inside your tooth are nerve endings and blood vessels which connect it to the rest of your body. These are surrounded by dentin which is the base layer of your tooth. This is very sensitive but luckily, our bodies create a protective layer called enamel.
Enamel is a hard substance that protects your nerve and dentin from everything that comes in contact with your tooth.
For the most part, the tooth structure between dogs and humans is the same. Aside from the shape of the tooth itself, the roots of a dog’s teeth are distributed differently as well. Dogs also have longer roots than humans.
The most important difference, however, is the thickness of the enamel.
Dogs Have Thinner Enamel
Studies have shown that a dog’s enamel is around 6 times thinner than human enamel. This means that a dog’s teeth have a lesser protective coating.
Enamel doesn’t grow back too. As dogs vigorously chew on bones and toys, they’re also tearing away at their enamel. Once that thin layer of enamel becomes even thinner, their teeth also become more prone to fracture.
What Happens When A Dog’s Teeth Fractures?
A dog can go about its day hardly ever noticing the fracture. However, if it’s left untreated, it could result in serious infections that cause a lot of pain and discomfort to your dog. They’ll also lack the appetite to eat because of the pain.
Whether the fracture is big or small, it’s a must that you have your dog checked at the vet immediately.
Your veterinarian will likely recommend a dental x-ray to see how serious the damage is. A small fracture, or a chip in the tooth, is not a cause for concern. Your veterinarian might ask you to monitor the teeth from time to time, especially if the dentin isn’t exposed.
In serious cases, the teeth are extracted and the gums are closed to prevent infections.
That said, did you know that active police and military dogs get a titanium cap if their incisors are fractured and extracted? This is to ensure that they can still work at their best after the injury.
How To Protect Your Dog’s Teeth
The last thing you want as a fur parent is to see your dog in pain when it fractures a tooth. Here are a few pointers to keep in mind:
Conclusion – Who is the winner?
So while the bite force of a dog may be stronger than that of a human, humans have the advantage when it comes to tooth strength. This is due to their thicker enamel which provides better protection against fractures and damage.
Dogs clearly have a harder bite but that doesn’t mean they have indestructible teeth. As the dog’s parents, it’s your duty to ensure that your pal can chew and eat easily well into their golden years.