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Exp Neurol. 1986 Jun;92(3):502-12.

Effect of gum hardness on chewing pattern.

Abstract

Chewing rhythms are set by a putative central pattern generator whose output is influenced by sensory feedback. In this study we assessed how an altered feedback imposed by changing the hardness of a gum bolus modifies the timing of chewing, the maximal gape, and the activity in the masseter muscle on the chewing side. Ten adult subjects with no orofacial dysfunction chewed a standard piece of soft or hard gum for at least 3 min in random order. Vertical jaw movements were recorded with a kinesiograph and activity of the masseter muscle was recorded and integrated from surface EMG electrodes. The subjects sat in a dental chair and viewed a video lecture to distract their attention from chewing; they were instructed to chew on the right molars. Cycle-by-cycle analysis showed that 9 of the 10 subjects chewed the hard gum more slowly than the soft with no significant change in gape. The increases in cycle duration were due to changes in the duration of the opening and occlusal phases. The duration of closing was not significantly changed even though the duration and level of masseter activity were both significantly increased. We conclude that gum hardness by altering proprioceptive feedback modifies the output of the masticatory central pattern generator in such a way that the temporal aspects of chewing and the output of the masseteric motor pool are affected.

PMID:
3709730
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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