A dynamic model of jaw and hyoid biomechanics during chewing

TitleA dynamic model of jaw and hyoid biomechanics during chewing
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsHannam, A. G., I. Stavness, J. E. Lloyd, and S. Fels
JournalJ Biomech

Our understanding of human jaw biomechanics has been enhanced by computational modelling, but comparatively few studies have addressed the dynamics of chewing. Consequently, ambiguities remain regarding predicted jaw-gapes and forces on the mandibular condyles. Here, we used a new platform to simulate unilateral chewing. The model, based on a previous study, included curvilinear articular guidance, a mobile hyoid apparatus, and a compressible food bolus. Muscles were represented by Hill-type actuators with drive profiles tuned to produce target jaw and hyoid movements. The cycle duration was 732 ms. At maximum gape, the lower incisor-point was 20.1mm down, 5.8mm posterior, and 2.3mm lateral to its initial, tooth-contact position. Its maximum laterodeviation to the working-side during closing was 6.1mm, at which time the bolus was struck. The hyoid's movement, completed by the end of jaw-opening, was 3.4mm upward and 1.6mm forward. The mandibular condyles moved asymmetrically. Their compressive loads were low during opening, slightly higher on the working-side at bolus-collapse, and highest bilaterally when the teeth contacted. The model's movements and the directions of its condylar forces were consistent with experimental observations, resolving seeming discordances in previous simulations. Its inclusion of hyoid dynamics is a step towards modelling mastication.


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