Clinical Oral Investigations

, Volume 23, Issue 9, pp 3445–3455 | Cite as

Electromyographic activity of superficial masseter and anterior temporal muscles during unilateral mastication of artificial test foods with different textures in healthy subjects

  • Hiroshi TomonariEmail author
  • Changkeon Seong
  • Sangho Kwon
  • Shouichi Miyawaki
Original Article



This study aimed to examine the electromyographic activity of superficial masseter and anterior temporal muscles during chewing gum and gummy jelly mastication in healthy subjects to reveal the difference of neuromuscular control of jaw-closing muscles, according to the food texture.

Materials and methods

Electromyographic activity was recorded in 30 adults with Angle Class I occlusion and unimpaired function from the bilateral superficial masseter and anterior temporal muscles during unilateral mastication of two test foods: standardized gummy jelly and color-changeable chewing gum. Differences in normalized electromyographic activity and asymmetry index values between gummy jelly and chewing gum mastication were analyzed during the early, middle, and late phases of mandibular closure. Furthermore, changes among the three closing phases were compared for each test food.


High electromyographic activity of both muscles tended to occur bilaterally during the middle and late closing phases during gummy jelly mastication, but increased muscle activity in the late closing phase was not observed during chewing gum mastication. The asymmetry index of the superficial masseter muscle increased significantly from early to late closure, regardless of the food texture, but it tended to decrease for the anterior temporal muscle during gummy jelly mastication.


The different aspects of the chewing process between the comminution and mixing test measures are necessary to elicit the different human neuromuscular strategies of chewing for different test foods.

Clinical relevance

These characteristic EMG activities of the superficial masseter and anterior temporalis muscles may be used as supporting diagnostic information during patient assessments and a reference during evaluation of masticatory system disharmony or dysfunction.


Electromyography Superficial masseter muscle Anterior temporal muscle Mastication 



The authors would like to thank Specially Appointed Professor T. Nokubi from the Development Center for Evaluating Masticatory Function at Osaka University (Suita, Japan) for his technical suggestions on the use of gummy jelly. We also thank UHA Mikakuto Co., Ltd. (Osaka, Japan) for providing the gummy jelly.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


This work was partially supported by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) KAKENHI grant program (26463099, 17K11945, and 15H05051).

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of OrthodonticsTsurumi University School of Dental MedicineYokohamaJapan
  2. 2.Department of Orthodontics, Graduate School of Medical and Dental SciencesKagoshima UniversityKagoshimaJapan
  3. 3.Department of Orthodontics & Dentofacial OrthopedicsKagoshima UniversityKagoshimaJapan
  4. 4.Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences Adjunct Professor Faculty of Dental MedicineAirlangga UniversitySurabayaIndonesia

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