Archives of oral biology vol:29 issue:1 pages:51-8
Standardized mechanical taps were delivered on an upper central incisor, while the nine subjects investigated maintained constant clenching levels of 5, 10, 20, 40 and 60 per cent of their maximal EMG outputs. Using statistical criteria, a computer program enabled an objective determination of the interaction between the clenching level and the sequence of upward and downward going waves following the stimulus in full-wave rectified and superimposed EMG, called a post-stimulus EMG complex (PSEC). The morphology of the PSEC, including one or two silent periods, was subject-specific and reproducible over one year. The surfaces of the waves were greatly influenced by the clenching level. In general, their total surface decreased as a function of the clenching level. However, the individual waves decreased selectively. The results suggest that the sequence of waves results from overlapping of inhibitory and excitatory inputs. The inhibitory waves, constituting the silent periods, are largely cancelled by the excitatory reflexes of the PSEC.