Human masticatory muscle forces during static biting

J. C. Nickel, L. R. Iwasaki, R. D. Walker, K. R. McLachlan, W. D. McCall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Muscle forces determine joint loads, but the objectives governing the mix of muscle forces involved are unknown. This study tested the hypothesis that masticatory muscle forces exerted during static biting are consistent with objectives of minimization of joint loads (MJL) or muscle effort (MME). To do this, we compared numerical model predictions with data measured from six subjects. Biting tasks which produced moments on molar and incisor teeth were modeled based on MJL or MME. The slope of predicted vs. electromyographic (EMG) data for an individual was compared with a perfect match slope of 1.00. Predictions based on MME matched best with EMG activity for molar biting (slopes, 0.89-1.16). Predictions from either or both models matched EMG results for incisor biting (best-match slopes, 0.95-1.07). Muscle forces during isometric biting appear to be consistent with objectives of MJL or MME, depending on the individual, biting location, and moment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)212-217
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of dental research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Electromyography
  • Loading
  • Numerical modeling
  • TMJ

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Human masticatory muscle forces during static biting'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this