Periodontal-masseteric reflexes decrease with tooth pre-load

P. F. Sowman, K. S. Türker*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The responses of incisal periodontal mechanoreceptors to increasing mechanical stimulation are known to follow a hyperbolic-saturating course. The implications of these properties for the reflexive control of bite-force have not been examined directly. In line with the abovementioned receptor characteristics, we hypothesized that the periodontal-masseteric reflex will reduce as a function of increasing incisal pre-load. In 10 participants, a central incisor was repeatedly tapped (0.4 N). We measured the modulation by pre-load (0.2-2.0 N) of the reflex frequency-response at and between 3 and 20 Hz. The entrainment of the reflex increased with frequency up to 20 Hz and diminished with increasing pre-load. Importantly, the hyperbolic relationship shown here between the periodontal-masseteric reflex and tooth pre-load agreed with the load/response relationships predicted by single-receptor and tooth movement studies. This study demonstrated that periodontal mechanoreceptors are able to contribute to the ongoing control of only small bite-forces.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-179
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Dental Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2008
Externally publishedYes


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