The purpose of this study is to examine whether electromyographic activity (EMG) during chewing movement changes towards the control level spontaneously in the subsequent course after diagnosis in patients with non-reducing disc displacement of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) who do not receive any treatment. In 15 such patients, EMG data were examined at initial visit and at a mean follow-up of 21.7 months. As a control, 23 persons who had no TMJ dysfunction were studied. The results of EMG were compared among patients at initial visit, those at follow-up, and controls. The patients' clinical signs and symptoms were alleviated during the follow-up period. Duration of muscle contraction, cycle time and integrated EMG value (IEMG) at initial visit in patients were significantly different from those in the controls. In patients, IEMG for chewing-side masseter during chewing in the TMJ-affected side was greater at follow-up (14.2 ± 8.01 μV s) than that at initial visit (10.5 ± 3.69 μV s) (P < 0.05). In patients, duration of muscle contraction or cycle time at follow-up was not different from that at initial visit. Patients with non-reducing disc displacement of the TMJ showed spontaneous increasing of IEMG without any treatment in the subsequent course after diagnosis, coupled with improvement of clinical signs and symptoms. Duration of muscle contraction or cycle time did not change towards the control level. The results presented are useful as control data to understand the true effect of a particular treatment for patients with non-reducing disc displacement of the TMJ.
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