Movements of Temporomandibular Condyles during Swallowing

Samir Čimić, Sonja Kraljević Šimunković, Renata Kevilj Gospić, Tomislav Badel, Nikša Dulčić, Amir Ćatić


There have been studies that investigated mandibular movements and positioning during swallowing, but the results were inconsistent, and still the exact position of the condyles during swallowing is unknown. The purpose of this investigation was to study the kinematics of the mandible and the condyles, and to determine the actual movement paths and position of mandible and condyles during the process of swallowing. The study was performed on a sample of 44 dental students. Measurements were done with an electronic axiograph. After paraocclusal tray was fixed in the mouth, every subject swallowed for five times from the rest position. Final swallowing position of left and right condyles was measured in the sagittal plane. Final swallowing position of the sagittal incisal point was measured in sagittal, frontal and horizontal plane, and data was statistically analyzed. Condyles showed average movement toward posterior (left 0.17 mm, SD 0.28, right 0.16 mm, SD 0.25) and superior (left 0.14 mm, SD 0.20, right 0.14 mm, SD 0.23). Anterior and/or inferior position had 20% of participants. Average sagittal incisal point movement during swallowing was toward anterior (0.30 mm, SD 0.53) and superior (0.81 mm, SD 0.84). Mean mandibular lateral movement was 0.1 mm (SD 0.1). The results of the study suggest that retrusion during swallowing is not the rule, although on average there is a slight tendency of condylar movement toward posterior. Swallowing can be used as auxiliary method for determining vertical dimension of occlusion.


axiography; condylar movement; deglutition; kinematics of the mandible; temporomandibular joint;

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