Vibration perception thresholds of human maxillary and mandibular central incisors

Lee T. Robertson, Jay H. Levy, Daniel Petrisor, David J. Lilly, W. K. Dong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Tactile information from dental mechanoreceptors contributes to the perception of food bolus textures and the control of mastication. While numerous studies have measured the light-touch sensory thresholds of teeth, little information is available about the vibrotactile perception thresholds of teeth. This study uses an adaptive psychophysical procedure to determine thresholds of vibratory stimulation of maxillary and mandibular central incisors in 16 healthy human subjects. An electromechanical vibrator delivered labiolingual forces perpendicular to the long axis of the maxillary and mandibular incisors at 10 stimulation frequencies between 40 and 315 Hz. The median thresholds ranged between 44 and 104 mN. A linear regression analysis revealed a significant increase in the vibrotactile thresholds with increasing frequencies for stimulation of the maxillary and mandibular incisors. No significant differences were found between regression slopes of the thresholds of the maxillary and mandibular incisors. These results indicated that maxillary and mandibular incisors should be able to discriminate effectively among a variety of textures based on their ability to encode a wide range of vibration frequencies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)309-316
Number of pages8
JournalArchives of Oral Biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2003


  • Dental mechanoreceptors
  • Normative data
  • Oral sensory function
  • Psychophysical thresholds of teeth
  • Vibration perception thresholds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Dentistry(all)
  • Cell Biology


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