Masticatory performance and bite force in relation to signs and symptoms of temporomandibular disorders in children

M B Duarte Gavião, A Durval Lemos, M Diaz Serra, F Riqueto Gambareli, M Nobre Dos Santos
Minerva Stomatologica 2006, 55 (10): 529-39

AIM: The aim of this study was to compare and correlate the masticatory performance (MP) and maximum bite force (BF) in children with and without signs and symptoms of temporomandibular disorders (TMD).

METHODS: Thirty-six children aged 7-12 years in the mixed or beginning of permanent dentition where divided into 2 groups: with signs and symptoms of TMD (SS group, n=21) and without signs and symptoms (Control group, n=15). The signs were evaluated in the clinical exam and the symptoms through a questionnaire. The evaluated criteria were: presence of postcanine teeth in occlusion, the Angle's classification for first permanent molars, canine relationship, crossbite, midline deviation, overbite and overjet. The MP was determined by chewing a silicone tablet during 20 cycles and the particles were analyzed by an optical system. The BF was determined by a pressurized transducer placed between the upper and lower permanent first molars. The statistical tests were Student's t, Mann-Whitney, Fisher's Exact and Pearson's correlation.

RESULTS: MP and BF were statistically smaller for SS group. Body variables did not show significant differences between groups. There was no correlation among the variables within each group demonstrating that MP was independent on the BF, as well as BF and MP were independent on the body variables. There was no difference in the proportion on occlusal characteristics between groups. Overbite was significantly larger for SS group.

CONCLUSIONS: It is possible to infer that signs and symptoms of TMD can interfere in the proper masticatory function and muscle strength in children.

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