Electromyography and asymmetry index of masticatory muscles in undergraduate students with temporomandibular disorders
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Aim: To compare the electromyographic activity and the asymmetry index among degrees of severity of temporomandibular disorders (TMD). Methods: Surface electromyography (EMG) of the right and left masseter and temporalis muscles was performed in 126 undergraduate students at rest and at maximal voluntary contraction. Three measurements were performed for five seconds of maximal contraction and mandibular rest. The degree of temporomandibular dysfunction was identified according to the Fonseca anamnestic index. The analysis of the asymmetry index for two pairs of muscles during maximal voluntary contraction was based on the asymmetry index proposed by Naeije, McCarrol and Weijs (1989). Results: 48.41% of the sample had mild TMD, followed by volunteers without TMD (26.98%), moderate TMD (19.05%) and severe (5.56%). The survey results show absence of correlation between the Fonseca anamnestic index and electromyographic activity at rest and at maximal voluntary contraction in undergraduate students in both muscles (p>0.05) and the asymmetry index did not differ between the analyzed groups. Conclusions: For the population of undergraduate students, there is no evidence that the presence and severity of TMD influence the EMG activity of masseter and temporalis muscles and the muscle asymmetry index at rest and maximal voluntary contraction.