The aim of this study was to determine the effect of stabilization occlusal splints on electromyographic (EMG) activity of sternocleidomastoid and trapezius muscles in subjects with spasm in the mentioned muscles. A full-arch maxillary stabilization occlusal splint was made for each of the 15 subjects. In the sternocleidomastoid muscle, tonic and saliva swallowing EMG activity decreased significantly with the splint, whereas maximal clenching activity did not change. In the trapezius muscle, no significant changes were observed with the occlusal splint. The different pattern in both muscles during tonic and swallowing EMG activity with the splint is attributed to differences in the synaptic inputs to the respective motoneuron pools, suggesting that a differential modulation of the motor neuron pools may exist of both muscles, of peripheral and/or central origin.
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