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Electromyographic activity of masticatory muscles in elderly women – a pilot study

Authors Gaszynska E, Kopacz K, Fronczek-Wojciechowska M, Padula G, Szatko F

Received 28 July 2016

Accepted for publication 4 November 2016

Published 11 January 2017 Volume 2017:12 Pages 111—116


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker

Ewelina Gaszynska,1 Karolina Kopacz,2 Magdalena Fronczek-Wojciechowska,2 Gianluca Padula,2 Franciszek Szatko1

1Department of Hygiene and Health Promotion, 2Academic Laboratory of Movement and Human Physical Performance “DynamoLab”, Medical University of Lodz, Lodz, Poland

Objectives: To evaluate the effect of age and chosen factors related to aging such as dentition, muscle strength, and nutrition on masticatory muscles electromyographic activity during chewing in healthy elderly women.
Background: With longer lifespan there is a need for maintaining optimal quality of life and health in older age. Skeletal muscle strength deteriorates in older age. This deterioration is also observed within masticatory muscles.
Methods: A total of 30 women, aged 68–92 years, were included in the study: 10 indivi­duals had natural functional dentition, 10 were missing posterior teeth in the upper and lower jaw reconstructed with removable partial dentures, and 10 were edontoulous, using complete removable dentures. Surface electromyography was performed to evaluate masticatory muscles activity. Afterwards, measurement of masseter thickness with ultrasound imaging was performed, body mass index and body cell mass index were calculated, and isometric handgrip strength was measured.
Results: Isometric maximal voluntary contraction decreased in active masseters with increasing age and in active and passive temporalis muscles with increasing age and increasing body mass index. In active masseter, mean electromyographic activity during the sequence (time from the start of chewing till the end when the test food became ready to swallow) decreased with increasing age and during the cycle (single bite time) decreased with increasing age and increasing body mass index. In active and passive temporalis muscles, mean electromyographic activity during the sequence and the cycle decreased with increasing age, increasing body mass index, and loss of natural dentition. Individuals with natural dentition had significantly higher mean muscle activity during sequence and cycle in active temporalis muscles than those wearing full dentures and higher maximal activity during cycle in individuals with active and passive temporalis muscles than in complete denture wearers.
Conclusion: Decrease in electromyographic activity of masticatory muscles in elderly women is related to age, deterioration of dental status, and body mass index.

Keywords: electromyographic activity, masseters, temporalis muscles, masticatory muscles, mastication, elderly women

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