Coherence of jaw and neck muscle activity during sleep bruxism

Simone Gouw*, Angela Frowein, Carlijn Braem, Anton de Wijer, Nico H.J. Creugers, Jaco W. Pasman, Jonne Doorduin, Stanimira I. Kalaykova

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Studies have shown co-contraction of jaw and neck muscles in healthy subjects during (sub) maximum voluntary jaw clenching, indicating functional interrelation between these muscles during awake bruxism. So far, coherence of jaw and neck muscles has not been evaluated during either awake or sleep bruxism.
Objective: The objective of this study was to evaluate the coherence between jawand neck muscle activity during sleep bruxism. Methods: In a cross-sectional observational design, the electromyographic activity of jaw (masseter, temporalis) and neck (sternocleidomastoid, trapezius) muscles in individuals with “definite” sleep bruxism was measured using ambulatory polysomnography (PSG). Coherence for masseter-temporalis, masseter-sternocleidomastoid and masseter-trapezius was measured during phasic and mixed rhythmic masticatory muscle activity episodes using coherence-analysing software. Outcome measures were as follows: presence or absence of significant coherence per episode (in percentages), frequency of peak coherence (FPC) per episode and sleep stage.
Results: A total of 632 episodes within 16 PSGs of eight individuals were analysed. Significant coherence was found between the jaw and neck muscles in 84.9% of the episodes. FPCs of masseter-temporalis were significantly positively correlated with those of masseter-sternocleidomastoid or masseter-trapezius (P < .001). Sleep stages did not significantly influence coherence of these muscular couples.
Conclusion: During sleep bruxism, jaw and neck muscle activation is significantly coherent. Coherence occurs independently of sleep stage. These results support the hypothesis of bruxism being a centrally regulated phenomenon.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)432-440
JournalJournal of Oral Rehabilitation
Issue number4
Early online date11 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020


  • Bruxism
  • Central nervous system
  • Electromyography
  • Masticatory muscles
  • Polysomnography

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