Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Manav Rachna Dental College, Faridabad, Haryana, India.
Objectives: Oral submucous fibrosis (OSMF) is an insidious chronic disease that is associated with significant functional morbidity and an increased risk for malignancy. It initially affects the lamina propria of the oral mucosa, and, as the disease progresses, it involves the submucosa and deeper tissue, including muscles of the oral cavity, resulting in loss of fibroelasticity. OSMF is a pre-malignant condition mainly caused by areca nut chewing. The aim of this study was to find out the involvement of muscles of mastication and facial expression in patients with OSMF by assessing the cross-sectional thickness and activity of the masseter, anterior temporalis and orbicularis oris muscles by ultrasonography and electromyography and comparing with healthy controls and also to find out any correlation between the ultrasonographic cross-sectional thicknesses of the masseter, anterior temporalis and orbicularis oris muscles with electromyographic activity.
Methods: 40 patients with OSMF were included in the study group, and the patients were divided into four groups on the basis of interincisal mouth opening, i.e. Group I (mouth opening >35 mm), Group II (mouth opening between 30 and 35 mm), Group III (mouth opening between 20 and 30 mm) and Group IV (mouth opening <20 mm). Ultrasonographic cross-sectional thickness and electromyographic activity (amplitude and duration) of the masseter, anterior temporalis and orbicualris oris muscles were recorded in patients with OSMF and 20 controls. Intergroup comparison of ultrasonographic cross-sectional thickness and activity (amplitude and duration) was done, and Pearson's correlation coefficient was applied to find out any relation between ultrasonographic and electromyographic findings.
Results: Thickness and activity of the masseter muscle was significantly reduced in Group IV (mouth opening <20 mm) when compared with the control group. The anterior temporalis and orbicularis oris muscles remained unaffected. A positive correlation was observed between the thicknesses of the masseter muscle and the amplitude in Groups I, II and III; the anterior temporalis muscle in Group II and the control group; and the orbicularis oris muscle in Groups II, III and IV.
Conclusions: It was concluded that, among the muscles studied, there was an early involvement of the masseter muscle in patients with OSMF compared with that of other muscles.