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Arch Oral Biol. 1983;28(11):1055-8.

Factors influencing the excitatory-masseteric reflex evoked by gingival electrical stimulation in man.


An excitatory-masseteric reflex response was evoked by electrical gingival stimulation in five subjects; the reflex had an onset latency of 7.6 ms with a SD of 0.7 ms. The response occurred just prior to the silent or inhibitory period. There was consistent post-inhibitory synchronization of the EMG activity record in all subjects. Several methods were used to demonstrate this short-latency reflex. The first was to average non-rectified EMG activity. The second was to increase the number of receptors which are simultaneously activated by using multiple electrodes so that a greater area of gingiva could be stimulated. A third was to increase the level of excitability of the motoneurons in the masseteric pool by increasing voluntary bite force. Fourthly, the excitatory reflex was evoked during increased-excitatory drive to the pool, with the additional feature that the reflex appeared at a time when no ongoing EMG activity was present in the masseter muscle. Little doubt should now remain concerning the existence of a short latency excitatory reflex from intra-oral receptors to masseteric motoneurons in man.

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