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Surface electromyography in orthodontics – a literature review

Krzysztof Woźniak, Dagmara Piątkowska, Mariusz Lipski, Katarzyna Mehr

Med Sci Monit 2013; 19:416-423

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.883927

Available online:

Published: 2013-05-31

Electromyography is the most objective and reliable technique for evaluating muscle function and efficiency by detecting their electrical potentials. It makes it possible to assess the extent and duration of muscle activity. The main aim of surface electromyography is to detect signals from many muscle fibers in the area of the detecting surface electrodes. These signals consist of a weighted summation of the spatial and temporal activity of many motor units. Hence, the analysis of the recordings is restricted to an assessment of general muscle activity, the cooperation of different muscles, and the variability of their activity over time.
                        This study presents the main assumptions in the assessment of electrical muscle activity through the use of surface electromyography, along with its limitations and possibilities for further use in many areas of orthodontics. The main clinical uses of sEMG include the diagnostics and therapy of temporomandibular joint disorders, an assessment of the extent of stomatognathic system dysfunctions in subjects with malocclusion, and the monitoring of orthodontic therapies.

Keywords: Muscle, Skeletal - physiopathology, Malocclusion - physiopathology, Electrophysiological Phenomena, Electromyography, Orthodontics, Temporomandibular Joint Disorders - therapy