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J Prosthet Dent. 1979 Dec;42(6):674-82.

EMG, bite force, and elongation of the masseter muscle under isometric voluntary contractions and variations of vertical dimension.


The relation EMG activity, bite force, and muscular elongation was studied in eight subjects with complete natural dentition during isometric contractions of the masseter muscle, measured from 7 mm to almost maximum jaw opening. EMG was registered with superficial electrodes and bite force with a gnathodynamometer. In series 1, recordings of EMG activity maintaining bite force constant (10 and 20 kg) show that EMG is high when the bite opening is 7 mm, decreases from 15 to 20 mm, and then increases again as jaw opening approaches maximum opening. In series 2, recordings of bite force maintaining EMG constant show that bite force increases up to a certain range of jaw opening (around 15 to 20 mm) and then decreases as we approach maximum jaw opening. Results show that there is for each experimental subject a physiologically optimum muscular elongation of major efficiency where the masseter develops highest muscular force with least EMG activity.

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