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Cardiovascular responses in humans to experimental chewing of gums of different consistencies

Although the cardiovascular effects of exercise have been extensively investigated in man, little attention has been paid to such responses to jaw muscle activity. The aim here was to investigate the general cardiovascular effects of chewing activity in a single-blind, cross-over design. Ten healthy individuals performed one of the following chewing tasks in four separate sessions: chewing a very hard gum, chewing a moderately hard gum, chewing a soft gum, and “empty chewing” without a bolus. Unilateral chewing of gum or empty chewing was performed for 20 min on the participant’s most convenient chewing side at a constant rate of 80 cycles/min. In each session, heart rate and arterial blood pressure were recorded together with electromyographic activity in the masseter and anterior temporalis muscles on the chewing side. Ratings of perceived masticatory fatigue were recorded with visual analogue scales. The heart rate and blood pressure were significantly increased (ANOVA; p ⩽0.01) during the chewing tasks and the increases were, in parallel with the muscle activity, more pronounced the harder the gum. With the very hard gum, heart rate increased by up to 11 beats/min, the systolic blood pressure was 14 mmHg (1.9kPa) higher, and the diastolic blood pressure was 11 mmHg (1.5kPa) higher. The perceived fatigue was proportional to the level of muscle activity. After 10 min of recovery from exercise, heart rate and arterial blood pressures were slightly but still significantly elevated. The results demonstrate that chewing is associated with general circulatory effects proportional to the bolus resistance. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Archives of Oral Biology Elsevier
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