The influence of different jaw positions on the endurance and electromyographic pattern of the biceps brachii muscle in young adults with different occlusal characteristics.

Ferrario VF, Sforza C, Serrao G, Fragnito N, Grassi G.


Functional Anatomy Research Center (Farc), Laboratorio di Anatomia Funzionale dell’Apparato Stomatognatico (LAFAS), Milano, Italy.

To investigate the hypothesis of a functional coupling between the stomatognathic motor apparatus and the muscles of other body districts, as well as between occlusal conditions and neuromuscular performance, two groups of men (age range 20-26 years), with either normal occlusion (14 men) or malocclusion (15 men), sustained with their dominant arm a dumbbell weighing 80% of their maximum while maintaining different jaw positions: mouth open, without dental contact; mouth close, with light dental contact; maximum voluntary clench; maximum voluntary clench on two cotton rolls positioned on the posterior mandibular teeth; maximum voluntary clench on one cotton roll positioned on the right/left-side posterior mandibular teeth. Surface electromyography (EMG) of the biceps brachii muscle was performed, and the endurance time, mean root mean square (rms) potential, and mean median power frequency were computed. The mean potential and median power frequency were also computed for 2-s windows, and values as a function of time were interpolated by a linear regression analysis. Data were compared between groups and trials by using a factorial analysis of variance. The malocclusion group subjects could perform the exercise for a longer time span than the normal occlusion individuals (P < 0.005). During this endurance time their biceps brachii muscles contracted with different patterns: on average, in the malocclusion group they had a larger EMG amplitude (P < 0.005), and a shift of the power spectrum toward lower frequencies (P < 0.005). The factor ‘jaw position’ was significant only for the endurance time (P < 0.005). In both groups, the longest endurance time was found in the ‘clench’ trial, while the shortest in the ‘right-side bite’ trial. In conclusion, a morphologically altered occlusion does not always worsen the muscular performance of other body districts, and the use of occlusal supports (cotton rolls) is not always beneficial.

J Oral Rehabil. 2001 Aug;28(8):732-9.

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