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11-11-2009 | Bone health | Article

Muscle activity unaltered by jaw osteoporosis


Free abstract

MedWire News: Osteoporosis of the jaw does not significantly alter muscle activity when chewing, suggest the results of an electromyographic study.

Previous research has suggested that osteoporosis can reduce masticatory strength but the impact of bone loss on muscle function is less well characterized.

To investigate further, S Siéssere (University of São Paulo, Brazil) and co-workers recruited 30 patients with maxillary and mandibular osteoporosis and 30 healthy individuals.

Electrical signals from the masseter and temporal muscles were examined as the participants chewed soft (raisin) and hard (peanut) food stuffs. The participants were also asked to chew on a sheet of paraffin to allow examination of non-habitual chewing patterns.

Although patients had lower electromyographic signals than controls while chewing raisins and peanuts, the difference was not significant. Both groups had higher values for the masseter than temporal muscles, with the highest measures noted with peanut mastication.

For the nonhabitual chewing paraffin test, patients had higher masseter values than controls, but again the difference did not reach statistical significance.

“This means that the decrease in the amount of maxillary and mandibular bone tissue that supports the muscle structure in individuals with osteoporosis does not cause a change in the level of electromyographic pattern activation,” Siéssere et al write.

They conclude in the journal Osteoporosis International that further research should focus on the long-term impact of osteoporosis on chewing in older adults using radiographic analysis to monitor facial skeletal changes.

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2009

By Lynda Williams

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