Cephalometric analysis of adaptations after lengthening of the masseter muscle in adult rhesus monkeys, Macaca mulatta. Academic Article uri icon


  • This relationship between the function of the muscles of mastication and craniofacial form was investigated in young adult monkeys by increasing the functional length of the elevator muscles of the mandible non-invasively by a bite-opening splint cemented to the maxillary dentition. The major adaptations to increased vertical dimensional were (1) marked superior and some anterior displacement of the maxillary complex, (2) dental intrusion and (3) rotation of the mandible. These alterations produced a shortening of the lengthened masseter muscle, i.e. a reduction in the amount of muscle stretch brought about by the appliance. Migration of the masseteric insertion along the ramus did not contribute significantly to the pattern of adaptation. The role of the masseter muscle in craniofacial adaptations to altered vertical dimension was determined by detaching and re-attaching the insertion of the masseter muscle in one group of experimental animals. The myotomized monkeys experienced significantly less anterior displacement of the maxilla than the non-myotomized monkeys, indicating that the surgery may have lessened some of the anteriorly-directed distracting forces of the lengthened masseter. Masseter myotomy alone was not sufficient to eliminate the vertically-directed distracting forces of the remainder of the mandibular elevator muscles brought about by increasing the vertical dimension of the lower face.

published proceedings

  • Arch Oral Biol

author list (cited authors)

  • Carlson, D. S., & Schneiderman, E. D.

citation count

  • 32

complete list of authors

  • Carlson, DS||Schneiderman, ED

publication date

  • January 1983