0873 An Index For The Measurement of Normal Maximum Mouth Opening
K.H. ZAWAWI, E.A. AL-BADAWI, S. LOBO LOBO, M. MELIS, and N.R. MEHTA, Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, Boston, MA, USA

Objective: This study evaluated the relationship between maximum mouth opening (MMO) and the width of three and four fingers in asymptomatic subjects. Methods: Dental students from Tufts University ( age range 21-39 yrs) were selected randomly. The ability to position the fingers, vertically aligned between the upper and lower central incisors up to the first distal interphalyngeal folds, was documented. MMO was measured using the Therabite range of motion device (Therabite Corp.) Index, middle and ring were used. For the fourth finger, the little finger was added. Width of the fingers (three and four) was measured by Boley gauge. Results: The results showed that all subjects were able to position three of their fingers (left and right). Only 12 subjects were able to position four fingers (left and right). ANOVA showed a significant difference between measurements, Fdf=4 =162.3, p < 0.0001, MMO (mean=48.4 mm). Three finger measurements of right and left were not different from MMO (mean=47.4 mm and 47.1 mm respectively, p > 0.05) and significantly different from the four-finger measurements right and left hand (mean=58.0 mm and 57.5 mm respectively, p < 0.027). Pearson correlation coefficient showed a strong positive correlation between MMO and 3-finger measurement r=0.74 for the left hand and the right hand, p < 0.0001. Conclusion: The findings of this study strongly suggest that the ability to position three fingers in the mouth during dental examination is a convenient index when assessing normal maximum mouth opening.

 

MOUTH OPENING

3-FINGER RIGHT

3-FINGER LEFT

 

Mean

SD

Mean

SD

r

Mean

SD

r

Females (N=78)

47.4

3.5

45.7

3.0

0.50*

45.4

3.0

0.51*

Males (N=54)

50.9

5.9

49.8

4.8

0.80*

49.4

4.8

0.80*

Total (N=132)

48.9

4.9

47.4

4.3

0.74*

47.1

4.3

0.74*

* Significant at p<0.0001

Seq #85 - TMD and Orofacial Sensory-Motor Function
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