The effect of anesthetic blocking of the periodontal afferents of the canine teeth was studied in order to determine its influence on any changes in the jaw elevation activity. Unilateral integrated EMG recordings were made of the masseter and anterior temporal muscles during maximal voluntary clenching in centric occlusion and laterotrusive position with canine contact. After anesthetic blocking of the periodontal afferents of one or both ipsilateral canines, a significant increase was observed of the EMG activity of both jaw elevator muscles studied, in centric occlusion as well as with canine contact. The elevator activity increase was of a greater magnitude when antagonistic canines were anesthetized. These findings thus support the hypothesis that high threshold periodontal receptors exert an inhibitory effect on jaw elevator muscular activity.