Development of an ultra-miniaturized inertial measurement unit for jaw movement analysis during free chewing

Zhuohua Lin, Massimiliano Zecca*, Salvatore Sessa, Hiroyuki Ishii, Atsuo Takanishi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Problem statement: Jaw movement analysis, as a clinical aid, can provide an objective basis for understanding and diagnosing jaw musculoskeletal disorders. Therefore, the use and development of devices for quantitatively measuring and analyzing jaw movement have become more common and popular in the clinic. Many types of jaw tracking devices have been developed, but most of them are still not handy and easy to be used. Approach: To improve the handiness and utility of the jaw movement analysis devices, we developed a simple to be used jaw tracking prototype by using a new ultra-miniaturized Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) named WB-3. The WB-3 IMU was composed by 3-axis gyroscope, 3-axis accelerometer and 3-aixs magnetometer, which can not only measure the acceleration and angular speed of jaw movement, but also can measure mouth opening angle. The IMU's extremely reduced weight and size allowed it to be easily adhered to mandible during normal tests without physical restriction to the subjects. A preliminary experiment for jaw movement analysis during free chewing of three types of food with different shapes and hardness was evaluated. A group of 15 healthy subjects aged from 21-36 years old kindly participated in the experiment. Results: The parameters of chewing time, chewing frequency, power spectrum density of jaw's angular speed and acceleration, cumulative distribution function of jaw's acceleration and mouth opening angle were presented. The experimental results clearly showed that the subjects used less chewing time, less chewing frequency, less acceleration cumulative distribution and energy to eat soft food; higher values were found in the case of hard food and there was no significant difference in mouth opening angle while eating these three foods. Conclusion: Our jaw movement analysis prototype using IMU WB-3 was proved to be a valid and handy method for jaw movement and pattern analysis which may be used clinically as an assistant system for dental therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)896-903
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Computer Science
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • Inertial measurement unit
  • Jaw tracking
  • Mastication analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Artificial Intelligence


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