Effect of teeth clenching on handgrip force in adult men: role of periodontal mechanoreceptors

Kayabekir M., TUNCER M.

Acta Neurologica Belgica, vol.123, no.5, pp.1945-1956, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 123 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s13760-023-02283-1
  • Journal Name: Acta Neurologica Belgica
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, EMBASE, MEDLINE
  • Page Numbers: pp.1945-1956
  • Keywords: Bite force, Hand dynamometer, Handgrip strength, Masticatory receptors, Mouth guard
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Purpose: Voluntary teeth clenching is shown to increase the strength of muscle reflexes contributing to the improvement of postural stability. However, the interaction between the handgrip strength and teeth clenching is not yet understood. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the change in handgrip force in response to voluntary teeth clenching, and its relation to the peripheral receptors that play a central role in the control of mastication. Methods: Thirty-six healthy men were divided into two groups: aged 50–59 years, no dental prosthesis, and 53–62 years with total dental prosthesis. Each individual was given handgrip and teeth clenching instructions for five experiments: only handgrip, teeth clenching followed by handgrip without teeth clenching, teeth clenching followed by handgrip with teeth clenching, and the repetition of the last two instructions while wearing mouth guards. Results: Our findings showed that maximum handgrip force decreased and the resistance to fatigue increased in complete edentulous individuals using appropriate prostheses. Also, the significantly lower maximum handgrip force and higher resistance to fatigue values of the participants with dental prosthesis using a mouth guard while teeth clenching, revealed the central roles of periodontal mechanoreceptors. Conclusion: Decreases in masticatory sensory information processes influence handgrip force values which is the most important indicator of motor function. The lack of periodontal mechanoreceptors associated with dental prosthesis usage may lead to a loss in muscle strength.