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Volume 22 , Issue 2
March/April 2009

Pages 136139

The Effect of Tooth Loss on Body Balance Control Among Community-Dwelling Elderly Persons

Mitsuyoshi Yoshida/Takahisa Kawamura/Misaka Kimura/Yasumasa Akagawa

PMID: 19418857

Purpose: Since tooth loss may be considered to affect postural control, the aim of this study was to compare body balance control among samples of edentulous and dentate community-dwelling elderly subjects. Materials and Methods: A case control study was conducted using test and control groups matched by age, gender, body fat, and muscle composition. The test group included all participants of the 2006 Kyoto Health Seminar who wore a full denture in either or both arches. The control group was blindly selected from the same population, but only included individuals who retained all of their dentition with either natural teeth or crown prostheses. The results of physical fitness examinations and stabilometer tests were compared between these two groups. Results: The test and control groups both included 12 male and 23 female subjects. Body balance ability, measured by time spent standing on one leg with eyes open (P = .013) and functional reach (P = .037), was significantly less in the test group when compared to the control, as shown by analysis done using the Mann-Whitney U test. The stabilometer examination also indicated that sway area (an accurate indicator of postural balance) and body sway (evidence of energy consumption for postural control) while standing with eyes closed were both significantly higher in the test group (P = .035 and .048, respectively; Wilcoxon signed ranks test) than the control. Conclusion: It is suggested that tooth loss is a risk factor for postural instability. This further suggests that proprioceptive sensation from the periodontal ligament receptor may play a role in body balance control. Int J Prosthodont 2009;22:136139

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