Chewing patterns and muscular activation in deep bite malocclusion

Maria Grazia Piancino, Alessandro Tortarolo, Laura Di Benedetto, Vito Crincoli, Deborah Falla

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BACKGROUND: Deep bite, a frequent malocclusion with a high relapse rate, is associated with craniofacial features that need to be considered in the course of orthodontic treatment.

METHODS: This study included 81 patients with deep bite malocclusion (11.4 ± 1.1 []; M = 32 and F = 49), and 14 age- and gender-matched controls (9.11 ± 1 []; M = 5 and F = 9). The patients with deep bite malocclusion were treated with functional therapy. The chewing cycles and masticatory muscle EMG activity were recorded concomitantly before treatment in both groups (n = 95). Following correction of the malocclusion, a second recording took place (n = 25).

RESULTS: The kinematic variables showed the same dependency on bolus hardness in those with deep bite and in the controls. The masticatory muscle EMG activity was increased in those with deep bite, but decreased as a result of functional treatment. The chewing patterns showed a tendency towards a reduced lateral component, which significantly increased after treatment, indicating that functional therapy impacts the neuromuscular coordination of mastication, as well as dental positioning.

CONCLUSIONS: Deep bite is a complex malocclusion, involving alterations in chewing and masticatory muscle activity. Orthognathodontic treatment should not only consider and correct the teeth position, but should also address muscular hyperactivity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1702
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 19 Mar 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This research was partially funded by a grant of the Italian Ministry of Research, Ex 60% 2018/2021.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Chewing pattern
  • Deep bite
  • Function Generating Bite
  • Jaw muscles
  • Surface EMG

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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