An electromyographic investigation of masticatory muscles symmetry in normo-occlusion subjects

V. F. Ferrario, C. Sforza, A. Colombo, V. Ciusa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The influence of occlusal conditions on stomatognathic function can be assessed by electromyography. Electromyographic activity of left and right temporal and masseter muscles was recorded in 30 young healthy adults with a normal occlusion during: (1) a 3-s maximum voluntary clench on cotton rolls positioned on the posterior teeth (standardization recording); (2) a 3-s maximum voluntary clench in intercuspal position; and (3) a 3-s alternate 'maximum' voluntary contraction and relaxation with a 1 Hz frequency. All potentials were standardized as a percentage of the maximum potential of test 1. Waveforms of paired muscles were compared by computing a percentage overlapping coefficient (ratio between each 50-ms overlapped areas and the total areas, up to 100% for symmetric muscles). Waveforms were also analysed for a laterodeviating effect on the mandible given by unbalanced muscular couples, and a torque coefficient (up to 100% for a significant laterodeviating couple on the mandible) was computed. In all subjects, both tests were performed with symmetric muscular patterns (more than 88%) and with negligible laterodeviating couples on the mandible (lower than 10%). The two coefficients allow an assessment of muscular asymmetry during static and dynamic clenching tests, and, together with the standardization of the potentials, could be a useful tool to detect functionally altered occlusal conditions, i.e. conditions where an apparent good morphological situation is not related to a correct neuromuscular status.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-40
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Oral Rehabilitation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)


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