A pilot study of nocturnal temporalis muscle activity in TMD diagnostic groups of women

F. Wei, M. H. Van Horn, M. C. Coombs, X. She, T. S. Gonzales, Y. M. Gonzalez, J. M. Scott, L. R. Iwasaki, J. C. Nickel, H. Yao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Temporomandibular disorder (TMD) incidences are believed to be related to parafunctional behaviours like teeth clenching. This pilot study aimed to (i) develop an automated clench-detection algorithm, and (ii) apply the algorithm to test for differences in nocturnal clenching in women with and without TMD. Subjects gave informed consent to participate. Adult women were categorised using Diagnostic Criteria for TMD according to presence/absence (+/−) of both TM joint disc placement (DD) and chronic pain (P) into two groups (+DD+P, −DD−P) with 12 subjects each. Surface temporalis electromyography was recorded during oral tasks performed by subjects at two laboratory sessions. The data were used to characterise muscle activity per N of bite force (μV/N) for each subject, develop the clench-detection algorithm and test its accuracy. Ambulatory surface temporalis electromyography was self-recorded by each subject over three nights and analysed using the algorithm and bite force (N) versus muscle activity μV/N calibrations. Bonferroni-adjusted homoscedastic t-tests assessed for significant between-group differences in clenching (P < 0·05). Sensitivity, specificity and accuracy of algorithm-detected laboratory clenches were all ≥96%. During self-recordings 95% of clenches had durations of <4 s and peak forces of <10 N in both groups. Mean clench durations were significantly longer (P = 0·042) in +DD+P (1·9 ± 0·8 s) than −DD−P subjects (1·4 ± 0·4 s). Mean temporalis duty factors (%clench time/total recording time) were significantly larger (P = 0·041) in +DD+P (0·47 ± 0·34%) than −DD−P (0·26 ±0·22%) subjects. Nocturnal temporalis muscle activities detected by a validated algorithm were longer per clench and recording time in +DD+P compared to −DD−P women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)517-525
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Oral Rehabilitation
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • electromyography
  • masticatory muscles
  • pattern recognition
  • sleep bruxism
  • temporomandibular joint disorders
  • women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)


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