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Volume 22 , Issue 2
Spring 2008

Pages 153162

Jaw-Muscle Activity Changes After the Induction of Osteoarthrosis in the Temporomandibular Joint by Mechanical Loading

Nobuhiko Kawai, DDS, PhD/Eiji Tanaka, DDS, PhD/Geerling E. J. Langenbach, PhD/Tim van Wessel, PhD/Ryota Sano, DDS/Theo M. G. J. van Eijden, MD, PhD/Kazuo Tanne, DDS, PhD

PMID: 18548845

Aims: To examine the effect of mechanical loading on the induction of temporomandibular joint osteoarthrosis (TMJ OA). Methods: Mechanical stress was applied to the rat TMJ by forced jaw opening of 3 hours a day for 5 days. The electromyographic (EMG) activity of the masseter and digastric muscles was continuously monitored by radio-telemetry. It was characterized by the total time each muscle was active (duty time), the number of bursts, and the average burst length. For histologic analysis, rats were sacrificed before, immediately after, and 3 weeks after the period of forced jaw opening. Results: The condylar cartilage revealed OA-like lesions with a decrease in the number of chondrocytes immediately after forced jaw opening. Three weeks later, the OA-like lesions were repaired to some extent. After the forced jaw opening, the duty time of the masseter increased, whereas the duty time of the digastric decreased significantly (P < .01) at the 5% activity level. Three weeks later, the masseter duty time had decreased and the digastric duty time had slightly increased, returning to the levels observed before forced jaw opening. Conclusion: These results suggest that mechanical overloading of the TMJ induced OA-like lesions with a simultaneous influence on jaw muscle activity, especially at the low activity level. This might imply that muscle activity adapted to reduce the effects of (forced) joint overloading. J Orofac Pain 2008;22:153162

Key words: electromyography, jaw muscle, mechanical stress, osteoarthrosis, temporomandibular joint

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