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Volume 11 , Issue 2
Spring 1997

Pages 101-114

Jaw Movement Tremor as a Predictor of Chewing Performance


PMID: 10332316

The purpose of this study was to investigate normal physiologic tremor in jaw movement as a factor that may influence chewing performance more directly than either muscle activity or jaw displacement. Chewing performance was defined in terms of the reduction in food particle size after 15 chewing strokes. Data on chewing particle size and electromyographic activity were available for 24 asymptomatic adults from an earlier study. Jaw movements during chewing were recorded using electrognathography, and velocity and acceleration in three planes were determined. Power spectrum for acceleration was calculated during opening and closing phases of the chewing cycle. The frequency of the peak amplitude in the power spectrum represented physiologic tremor of the jaw. Tremor frequencies during both opening and closing phases of the chewing cycle were strong predictors of chewing performance. A multivariate model composed of variables derived from acceleration, together with electromyographic and jaw movement variables, produced a multivariate model that was able to predict chewing performance with an adjusted R2 value of .78.

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