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Head Immobilization can Impair Jaw Function
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Odontology, Clinical Oral Physiology.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Neuroscience, Clinical Neurophysiology.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Odontology, Clinical Oral Physiology.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Odontology, Clinical Oral Physiology.
2006 (English)In: Journal of Dental Research, ISSN 0022-0345, E-ISSN 1544-0591, Vol. 85, no 11, 1001-1005 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Findings that jaw-opening/-closing relies on both mandibular and head movements suggest that jaw and neck muscles are jointly activated in jaw function. This study tested the hypothesis that rhythmic jaw activities involve an active repositioning of the head, and that head fixation can impair jaw function. Concomitant mandiular and head-neck movements were recorded during rhythmic jaw activities in 12 healthy adults, with and without fixation of the head. In four participants, the movement recording was combined with simultaneous registration of myoelectric activity in jaw and neck muscles. The results showed neck muscle activity during jaw opening with and without head fixation. Notably, head fixation led to reduced mandibular movements and shorter duration of jaw-opening/-closing cycles. The findings suggest recruitment of neck muscles in jaw activities, and that head fixation can impair jaw function. The results underline the jaw and neck neuromuscular relationship in jaw function.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. Vol. 85, no 11, 1001-1005 p.
Keyword [en]
Human, head, neck, jaw, movement
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-13244DOI: 10.1177/154405910608501105PubMedID: 17062739OAI: diva2:152915
Available from: 2008-01-31 Created: 2008-01-31 Last updated: 2010-06-23Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Neck function in rhythmic jaw activities
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Neck function in rhythmic jaw activities
2004 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Previous studies in animals and humans show anatomic and physiological connections between the trigeminal and cervical regions. This investigation tested the hypothesis of a functional integration between the human jaw and neck motor systems in rhythmic jaw activities. By means of a wireless optoelectronic 3-D movement recording system, spatiotemporal characteristics of mandibular and head-neck movements were studied during rhythmic jaw opening-closing and chewing tasks, in healthy and in individuals with pain and dysfunction in the jaw and neck region following neck trauma, Whiplash-associated Disorders (WAD). As a basis, a methodological study evaluated the applicability of skin and teeth attached reflex markers fixed to the lower jaw and to the head in optoelectronic recording of chewing movements.

The results showed concomitant and coordinated mandibular and head movements during rhythmic jaw tasks. The start of the head movement generally preceded the start of the mandibular movement. For chewing, larger size and harder texture of bolus were associated with larger head extension and larger amplitude of both mandibular and head movements. Immobilization of the head by mechanical fixation deranged jaw motor behaviour with regard to speed and amplitude of mandibular movements. Even with head fixation, muscle activity was present in neck muscles during activities. Compared to healthy subjects, WAD individuals showed smaller amplitudes and disturbed coordination of mandibular and head movements. Furthermore, a dynamic load test showed a reduced endurance during chewing in the WAD group.

In conclusion, the results suggest that optimal jaw function requires free unrestricted head-neck movements and support the hypothesis of a close functional relationship between the jaw and the neck regions in rhythmic jaw activities. A new concept for human jaw function is proposed, in which "functional jaw movements" are the result of activation of jaw as well as neck muscles, leading to simultaneous movements in the temporomandibular, atlanto-occipital and cervical spine joints. The finding of an association between neck injury and disturbed jaw behaviour suggest that assessment and management of neck injured patients should include jaw function.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Klinisk oral fysiologi, Umeå Universitet, 2004. 54 p.
Umeå University odontological dissertations, ISSN 0345-7532 ; 86
chewing, head, human, jaw, mandible, motor control, movement, neck, temporomandibular disorders, whiplash injury
Research subject
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-359 (URN)
Public defence
2004-12-17, Sal B, 1D, 9 tr, Norrlands Universitetssjukhus, Umeå, 09:00 (English)
Available from: 2004-11-12 Created: 2004-11-12 Last updated: 2010-06-23Bibliographically approved

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Häggman-Henrikson, BirgittaNordh, ErikZafar, HamayunEriksson, Per-Olof
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