Factors related to masticatory performance in junior and senior high school students and young adults: A cross-sectional study

J Prosthodont Res. 2023 Jul 31;67(3):424-429. doi: 10.2186/jpr.JPR_D_22_00137. Epub 2022 Dec 9.

Abstract

Purpose: Maintaining good masticatory function from a young age promotes lifelong health, yet limited studies have explored masticatory performance in young individuals. We investigated the relationship of sex, age, and individual oral functions with masticatory performance among junior and senior high school students and young adults.

Methods: This cross-sectional study included students aged 12-13, 14-15, and 16-17 years (groups S1, S2, and S3, respectively) and young adults aged 20-40 years (group YA). We assessed oral functions, the number of functional teeth, and anthropometric measurements. Masticatory performance was evaluated using color-changeable chewing gum. We analyzed sex-related differences in each group and age-related differences in each sex. Multiple linear regression analysis was performed using masticatory performance as the dependent variable to investigate related factors.

Results: Among the 522 children and 100 young adults, males exhibited significantly higher masticatory performance than females in groups S1, S3, and YA. Among males, groups S2, S3, and YA exhibited significantly higher masticatory performance than group S1. Among females, group S2 exhibited higher masticatory performance than groups S1 and S3. Male sex, the maximum occlusal force and tongue pressure, and the number of functional teeth were significantly correlated with masticatory performance.

Conclusions: Masticatory function development differed by sex, with males exhibiting higher masticatory performance than females. We identified that male sex, the maximum occlusal force and tongue pressure, and the number of functional teeth were significantly associated with masticatory performance. Our findings provide a basis for masticatory performance assessment in different age groups.

Keywords: Bite force; Chewing gum; Child; Mastication; Young adult.

MeSH terms

  • Bite Force
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mastication
  • Pressure
  • Students*
  • Tongue*
  • Young Adult