Electromyographic activity of masticatory, neck and trunk muscles of subjects with different mandibular divergence. A cross-sectional evaluation

Angle Orthod. 2007 Mar;77(2):260-5. doi: 10.2319/0003-3219(2007)077[0260:EAOMNA]2.0.CO;2.


Objective: To record and compare the surface electromyographic (sEMG) activity of masticatory, neck, and trunk muscles at different functional requirements of the stomatognathic system in an adult sample classified according to the mandibular divergence angle (SN-GoGn angle).

Materials and methods: 60 Caucasian adult subjects were classified on the basis of SN-GoGn angle: 20 subjects with normal mandibular divergence, 20 subjects with lower angles, and 20 subjects with higher angles. Their sEMG activity was recorded at mandibular rest position and during maximal voluntary clenching.

Results: sEMG activity of subjects with a lower angle was significantly higher than that of subjects in the other two groups at mandibular rest position for the masseter, the anterior temporal, the upper trapezius, and the posterior cervical muscles. During maximal voluntary clenching, no significant difference was observed in the sEMG activity of the masticatory muscles among the three groups. However, the sEMG activity of the posterior cervicals and that of the upper trapezius were significantly higher in subjects with a lower angle than in the other two groups.

Conclusion: Skeletal class does seem to affect the sEMG pattern activity of the masticatory, neck, and trunk muscles.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Cephalometry
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Electromyography / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Malocclusion / physiopathology*
  • Masticatory Muscles / physiology*
  • Neck Muscles / physiology*
  • Shoulder / physiology