Statement of problem. Though computer-based systems for recording three-dimensional jaw motion and muscle activity during mastication are common, few computer programs are available to analyze the resultant data. Few studies have discussed the variability over time of the many parameters of the masticatory cycle now measurable by computer systems. Purpose. The purposes of this study were to (1) use a custom computer program, (MAS), for analysis of long-term repeated measurements of mandibular motion and muscle activity; (2) determine sex differences for mandibular movements and activity of the muscles involved during mastication; and (3) determine the variability over time and the statistical power of these methods. Materials and methods. Masticatory cycles of 20 normal men and 17 normal women were examined during mastication of a constant bolus at a sampling rate of 500 fps. Measurements included duration of chewing cycle and its component phases, mandibular displacement in three dimensions, and electromyographic activity in the temporalis and masseter muscles. The MAS custom computer program was used for analysis. Two-way repeated measures analysis of variance was used to compare the men with the women over three trials at 0, 6, and 12 months. The variability over time associated with each measurement was also estimated. Results. Timing of the phases of the chewing cycle were most repeatable between trials, whereas lateral excursions and muscle force magnitudes were the least repeatable measures. Durations of total cycle, its slow-open and fast-close phases, were significantly longer for the female group, and their bursts of muscle activity tended to be longer. The amount of vertical mandibular excursion tended to be greater for men. There were no gender-related differences in the amplitude of muscle activity. Conclusions. This study demonstrated that men have significantly shorter chewing cycles with faster velocities than women. Men used significantly greater chewing force than women, although their electromyographic activity levels were equivalent. The masticatory measurements made by the MAS program had differing amounts of variation over time. Total duration of the chewing cycle and amount of opening varied the least, whereas amount of lateral excursion and jaw muscle electromyographic magnitudes exhibited the greatest variation. (J Prosthet Dent 1997;78:179-86.).
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Oral Surgery