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

7 Citations (Scopus)
40 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Studies have shown co-contraction of jaw and neck muscles in healthy subjects during (sub) maximum voluntary jaw clenching, indicating functional inter-relation 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 jaw and 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
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Oral Rehabilitation
Issue number4
Early online date11 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020


  • Bruxism
  • Central nervous system
  • Electromyography
  • Masticatory muscles
  • Polysomnography
  • bruxism
  • electromyography
  • masticatory muscles
  • polysomnography
  • central nervous system


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