How 'control' characteristics of masticatory jaw movement, such as skilfulness of the movement, change after alteration in occlusion remains uncertain. For each of 10 healthy adults with good occlusion, an occlusal interference with artificial 'tooth-cusp' was introduced to the crown of the upper molar tooth on the non-working side of unilateral chewing. Mandibular incisor-point movements were then recorded by a 3D tracking device. The introduction of the occlusal interference induced a remarkable increase in the normalized jerk-cost (NJC), prolonged duration of the decelerative phase and lowered peak velocity for jaw closing movement during chewing. Overall, the NJC and velocity profile showed significant recoveries during the course of about 90 repetitive chewing cycles performed under the altered occlusal condition. These findings suggest that acute adaptive changes of jaw motion after introduction of occlusal interference might be characterized as the recovery process of movement skilfulness in terms of movement smoothness and velocity profile.
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