Can jaw position affect the fine motor activity of the hand during writing?

Brain Behav. 2020 Dec;10(12):e01887. doi: 10.1002/brb3.1887. Epub 2020 Oct 21.

Abstract

Background: Jaw and neck systems have been shown to be functionally related and changes in either system can modulate gross motor functions, such as posture control. It remains to be seen if any change in jaw position can affect fine motor skills. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of resting, open and clenched jaw positions on various handwriting parameters while standing on firm and unstable surfaces.

Methods: Handwriting samples were collected from 36 healthy male participants (age, 15-35 years) using a digitizer tablet (WACOM Intuos 4) with noninking pen in the resting, open and clenched jaw positions while standing on firm and unstable surfaces. The measured handwriting parameters included duration, vertical size, horizontal size, absolute size, average absolute velocity, and absolute jerk. Recordings and analyses were performed using NeuroScript MovAlyzeR software.

Results: All handwriting parameters varied among the resting, open, and clenched jaw positions on both the firm and unstable surfaces. However, based on statistical analyses, there were no significant differences in the handwriting parameters among three jaw positions on both surfaces (p > .05).

Conclusion: This study revealed that all handwriting parameters varied among the resting, open, and clenched jaw positions on both the firm and unstable surfaces, showing that change in the jaw motor system may potentially affect the fine motor skills. However, on statistical analysis, there was no significant effect of 3 studied jaw positions on fine motor skills as seen on gross motor skills among healthy individuals.

Keywords: fine motor skills; handwriting; jaw position.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Hand*
  • Handwriting*
  • Healthy Volunteers
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motor Activity
  • Motor Skills
  • Postural Balance
  • Young Adult