Purpose: The aim of this study was to determine the influences of oral motor function such as tongue function and bite force on masticatory performance in the elderly. Methods: We randomly selected 245 subjects who has 28 natural teeth among community-dwelling elderly. We evaluated masticatory performance using a gummy jelly, and also measured bite force, tongue muscle force, and the speed of tongue movement. Results: We found that reduced masticatory performance to be associated with decreased the speed of tongue movement and/or tongue muscle force, indicating that reduced oral motor function also influences masticatory performance. Conclusions: These results suggest that keeping oral motor function, as well as maintenance of occlusal support, to be important for maintaining masticatory function in the elderly.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Oral Surgery
- Dentistry (miscellaneous)