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klaas4's avatar

How does biting your teeth help?

Asked by klaas4 (2186points) January 16th, 2008

Some say: “Bite you teeth for a moment, it’l be over soon”, but why bite your teeth? How does it help?

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6 Answers

sjg102379's avatar

I think it’s just so you don’t scream. I don’t think it helps with the pain at all. (Although pain in one part of your body can distract you from pain in another because of the release of adrenaline).

boffin's avatar

I thought it was, “grit your teeth” and “bite the bullet”...

gailcalled's avatar

Klaas4; it is actually either biting your top lip w. your bottom teeth or biting your bottom lip w. top and is called “bite your lip.” sjg is right; it is a sensory distraction. Similarly, when I was young and had cavaties filled without novocaine, I used to dig my nails into the palms of my hands.

“Bite your lip” is also an idiom that means making ” a conscious effort not to react or to keep quiet about something that displeases you.”

Boffin is correct about those idioms. “Bite the bullet” was literal; usually during some primitive surgery before ether was discovered: the wounded were given bullets, straps or sticks etc to bite down on….also used by women delivering babies in some cultures.

“Grit your teeth” is a common expression but probably means to clench your jaw..

From Wickipedia:

“Bite the Bullet may refer to: Accepting something difficult or unpleasant, or adopting an attitude that allows one to do so. The expression alludes to the battlefield medical technique of literally biting a bullet during surgical procedures as a primitive form of pain management.”

atr408's avatar

biting a bulet wood hurt but pain releases andorphines not adrenalin

gailcalled's avatar

Endorphins, schmorphins; none of the stopgap measures for suppression of pain worked very well. And usually bullets were not used since one could actually sink his teeth into wood or leather. I would add, that when available, alcohol was poured down the poor wretch’s throat and he was strapped in place or held by large, strong men. G*d bless the guy(s) who invented Ether and the ensuing anaesthesias.

I shut my eyes and still remember what that slow drill felt like as it bored into an un-numbed tooth (in my 13-yr-old mouth.) The nurse held my hand, as though that were supposed to help.

Speaking of spelling, which I wasn’t -*cavities.

LouisianaGirl's avatar

idk i would just say close your eyes then when you open them hopefully it will be over.

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