Bruxism is an involuntary rhythmic or spasmodic non-functional gnashing and grinding of the teeth. The multifactorial etiology of bruxism prevents a full understanding of its control. Our initial goal was to develop a freely behaving animal model to study this phenomenon. Fine-wire electromyographic (EMG) recordings from the temporalis, masseter, and digastric muscles of freely behaving laboratory rats (Rattus norvegicus) were collected during mastication and bruxing/thegosis in order to characterize task-related motor patterns. Our data shows a significant difference in the cycle period and burst durations of each muscle between rhythmic bruxing and masticatory episodes (p<0.05). In addition, a detailed analysis of the level of coordination between selected muscles is shown. Phasic analysis and circular statistics demonstrate that the temporalis and masseter muscles are in-phase during mastication and bruxing/thegosis (p<0.001). Contrariwise, the digastric and masseter muscles are out-of-phase during mastication, however, in-phase during bruxing/thegosis (p<0.001). Co-contraction of opposing muscles during bruxing/thegosis allows for new predictions to be made regarding neuromuscular control. The rhythmic central pattern generating (CPG) circuits in the brain stem producing bruxism might be shared with those that produce normal masticatory movements; and the normal suppression of those rhythmic movements might become deregulated during certain pathological conditions and/or by commonly prescribed medications.
|Advisor:||Welch, Dan B.|
|Commitee:||Essner, Richard, Kohn, Luci, Wanda, Paul E.|
|School:||Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville|
|School Location:||United States -- Illinois|
|Source:||MAI 54/03M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
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