Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 232, Issue 7, pp 2281–2291 | Cite as

Teeth clenching reduces arm abduction force

  • Hajime Sato
  • Tsutomu Kawano
  • Mitsuru Saito
  • Hiroki Toyoda
  • Yoshinobu Maeda
  • Kemal Sitki TürkerEmail author
  • Youngnam KangEmail author
Research Article


It has been reported that the 90° arm abduction force counteracting external adduction loads appeared to be smaller under teeth clenching condition than under non-clenching condition. To elucidate the physiological mechanism underlying the possible inhibitory effect of teeth clenching on the arm abduction, we have attempted to quantify the difference in the force induced against the fast and slow ramp load between the arm abductions under teeth non-clenching and clenching conditions. When the load of adduction moment was linearly increased, the abductor force increased to a maximal isometric contraction force (MICF) and further increased to a maximal eccentric contraction force (MECF) with forced adduction. The MICF measured under teeth clenching was significantly lower than that under non-clenching, despite no significant difference in the MECF between the two conditions. The reduction in MICF caused by teeth clenching was enhanced by increasing the velocity of the load. These results suggest that clenching inhibits abduction force only during isometric contraction phase. The invariability of MECF would indicate the lack of involvement of fatigue in such inhibitory effects of clenching. To discover the source of the inhibition, we have examined the effects of teeth clenching on the stretch reflex in the deltoid muscle. The stretch reflex of deltoid muscles was inhibited during clenching, contrary to what was expected from the Jendrassik maneuver. Taken together, our results suggest that the teeth clenching reduced the MICF by depressing the recruitment of deltoid motoneurones presumably via the presynaptic inhibition of spindle afferent inputs onto those motoneurones.


Deltoid Masseter Isometric contraction Eccentric contraction Stretch reflex 



This study was supported by Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (C) (No. 18500310) from Japan Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (Y. K.). At the time of this project, K. S. T. held the European Union Marie Curie Chair (GenderReflex; MEX-CT-2006-040317) at the Center for Brain Research, Ege University, Izmir, Turkey and was supported by the Turkish Scientific and Technological Research Organization (TUBITAK-107S029-SBAG-3556). K. S. T. is a fellow of the Turkish Academy of Science Association.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hajime Sato
    • 1
  • Tsutomu Kawano
    • 1
  • Mitsuru Saito
    • 1
  • Hiroki Toyoda
    • 1
  • Yoshinobu Maeda
    • 2
  • Kemal Sitki Türker
    • 3
    Email author
  • Youngnam Kang
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Neuroscience and Oral PhysiologyOsaka University Graduate School of DentistrySuitaJapan
  2. 2.Department of Prosthodontic and Oral RehabilitationOsaka University Graduate School of DentistrySuitaJapan
  3. 3.Koç University School of MedicineIstanbulTurkey

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