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J Bodyw Mov Ther. 2012 Apr;16(2):199-203. doi: 10.1016/j.jbmt.2011.04.001. Epub 2011 May 24.

Electromyographic analysis of masseter and anterior temporalis muscle in sleep bruxers after occlusal splint wearing.

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Physical Therapy Master's Program, University of City of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.


Bruxism is widely defined as an anxiety response to environmental stress. Occlusal splints are frequently used in sleep bruxism, to protect teeth from damage resulting from the contraction force of mandibular muscles, or to reduce the orofacial pain by relaxing masticatory muscles. Surface electromyography (EMG) of the right and left masseter and temporalis muscles was performed in 15 women presenting sleep bruxism and temporomandibular disorders related to occupational stress, after nocturnal use of the occlusal splint. The EMG signals were recorded twice per patient: After a work shift (pre-splint) and after a night of sleep with the occlusal splint (post-splint) before a new workday. The parametric t-paired test was used to compare differences of the RMS amplitude between pre and post-splint records, for resting and maximal clenching effort. The level of significance for each comparison was set to p < 0.05. The results of the study supports the premise that the use of occlusal splint reduces EMG activity in the masseter and anterior temporalis muscles, in patients who presented with sleep bruxism related to occupational stress.

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