J Interdiscip Dentistry
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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 80-86

An introduction to the clinically relevant analysis of mastication

1 Department of Prosthodontics, Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
2 Department of BioResearch, BioResearch Associates, Inc., Milwaukee, WI, USA
3 Department of Dentistry, Dental College and RI, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
4 Department of Medicine, SIMS and RC, Shivamoga, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Prafulla Thumati
# 296, Orofacial Pain Center, Katriguppa Main Road, Banashankari 3rd Stage, Bengaluru - 560 085, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jid.jid_29_17

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The process of mastication is an essential function for the survival of dentate organisms and has long been a subject of the study in the dental literature. PubMed lists 11,202 references to articles on mastication from 1914 to the present. Moreover, dentistry pays too little attention to a patient's ability to chew food. The teeth that we fill, extract, replace, and by orthodontics move are critical to the mastication of food. Of course, there are many other structures and organs involved as well. Mastication is the initial step in the digestive process of all dentate subjects and necessary for good nutrition and health. Thus, an understanding of mastication is very important in Dental Medicine. Mastication can be analyzed in three ways: (a) analyzing the movements of the mandible, (b) analyzing the activity of the masticatory muscles (electromyography studies) or c) analyzing the results of the mastication process (chewing particle size analysis). Each of these approaches has been studied separately in the past, but the simultaneous analysis of the movements and the muscle activity is the more revealing approach. A discussion is presented here to illustrate how the combination of electrognathography and electromyography can be recorded through a highly sophisticated hardware and software system using a personal computer. Analyzing masticatory movements with simultaneously recorded muscle activity to reveal muscle coordination has become a technique that can be carried out in the average dental practice. The results of these studies can help us diagnose temporomandibular joint internal derangements, identify other temporomandibular disorder conditions, and design prosthetic restorations that function. More uniquely, this process can also reveal the quality of a patient's masticatory function before any treatment and indicate incremental improvement after treatment.

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