Occlusal and TMJ loads in subjects with experimentally shortened dental arches

Y. Hattori, C. Satoh, S. Seki, Y. Watanabe, Y. Ogino, M. Watanabe

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70 Citations (Scopus)


To determine whether shortened dental arches (SDAs) cause functional overloading of the teeth and the temporomandibular joints, which has been implicated in periodontal diseases and temporomandibular disorders, we investigated the influences of SDA on occlusal and joint loads. Bite force and masticatory muscle electromyograms were recorded in five dentate subjects who clenched maximally on intra-oral appliances, creating symmetrical SDAs experimentally. Muscular forces estimated from the recorded electromyograms were fed into a finite element jaw model for calculating bite forces and joint loads. Comparison between the measured and the calculated bite forces ensured that the joint loads were representative. The bite force on each tooth increased with missing molar occlusions, while joint loads decreased. The bite force per root surface area was always greatest on the most posterior tooth, and these values were most constant. The findings provide no evidence that SDA causes overloading of the joints and the teeth, which suggests that neuromuscular regulatory systems are controlling maximum clenching strength under various occlusal conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)532-536
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of dental research
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2003 Jul


  • Bite force
  • Maximum voluntary clenching
  • Shortened dental arch
  • TMJ load

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)


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