Our aim was to investigate the jaw reflexes using both the probability- and the discharge rate-based analysis methods. Twelve consenting volunteer subjects participated in this study. Subjects bit gently on bite bars that carried the impression of their teeth. Surface and intramuscular electrical activity of the masseter was recorded. With the help of audio feedback from one motor unit, each subject bit to discharge the unit at a fixed rate. While the subject continuously activated the selected motor unit, 4-N stimuli were delivered to the upper right central incisor either at a rapid or a slow rate. For each trial, >= 300 stimuli were delivered, and, once a trial was completed, local anesthetic block was applied around the stimulated tooth, and the experiment was repeated. While preceding local anesthesia, the rapid-rate stimuli ("tap") induced substantial inhibitory reflex responses; during local anesthetic block, the same stimulus induced excitatory and inhibitory reflex responses. Slow-rate stimuli ("push"), on the other hand, usually generated a combination of inhibitory and excitatory responses that disappeared completely during the local anesthetic block. This study discovered that the strength of the inhibitory reflex response to a tooth-tap stimulus was much larger than previously reported. This study also found that whereas the probability- based analyses were better for illustrating the existence and latency of small earlier responses, the discharge rate-based method was better for indicating the duration of earlier responses and the existence, sign, and duration of later responses.