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Volume 24 , Issue 5
September/October 2011

Pages 428–436

Chewing Ability and Dental Functional Status

Thoa C. Nguyen, DDS, PhD/Dick J. Witter, DDS, PhD/Ewald M. Bronkhorst, PhD/Anneloes E. Gerritsen, DDS/Nico H.J. Creugers, DDS, PhD

PMID: 21909483

Purpose: The aim of this research was to explore the relationship between chewing ability and dental functional status, perceived oral health–related quality of life, and a number of background variables in a Vietnamese population. Materials and Methods: The cluster stratified sample consisted of 2,805 dentate subjects aged ≥ 20 years from urban and rural areas in Southern Vietnam. Chewing ability was assessed using a questionnaire that included questions on perceived difficulty with respect to eight foods and three questions of the Oral Health Impact Profile that were considered relevant. Results: Only a minority reported serious problems with chewing ability (reporting difficult or very difficult to chew). The logistic regression analysis on chewing ability outcomes showed significant relationships between chewing ability and having ≥ 10 teeth in each arch, having sufficient molar regions (≥ 1 molar posterior occlusal pair [POP] bilaterally) for hard and soft foods, and having sufficient premolar regions (≥ 3 POPs), especially for hard foods. In the hierarchical functional classification system, likelihood to report complaints on chewing ability appeared to discriminate in the branch “≥ 10 teeth in each arch.” Likelihood at subsequent levels ranged from approximatel 1.5 to 3. In the branch “< 10 teeth in each arch,” likelihood did not discriminate because the groups lacked sufficient homogeneity. Conclusions: Chewing ability and oral health–related quality of life were positively correlated. Among all dental and other variables, decreased chewing ability was strongest when correlated with older age categories and not correlated or weakly correlated with sex, socioeconomic status, and residence. Int J Prosthodont 2011;24:428–436.

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