Assessment of mastication with implications for oral rehabilitation: A review

Department of Oral-Maxillofacial Surgery, Prosthodontics and Special Dental Care, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands.
Journal of Oral Rehabilitation (Impact Factor: 1.68). 10/2011; 38(10):754-80. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2842.2010.02197.x
Source: PubMed


During chewing, food is reduced in size, while saliva moistens the food and binds the masticated food into a bolus that can be easily swallowed. Characteristics of the oral system, like number of teeth, bite force and salivary flow, will influence the masticatory process. Masticatory function of healthy persons has been studied extensively the last decades. These results were used as a comparison for outcomes of various patient groups. In this review, findings from literature on masticatory function for both healthy persons and patient groups are presented. Masticatory function of patients with compromised dentition appeared to be significantly reduced when compared with the function of healthy controls. The influence of oral rehabilitation, e.g. dental restorations, implant treatment and temporomandibular disorder treatment, on masticatory function will be discussed. For instance, implant treatment was shown to have a significant positive effect on both bite force and masticatory performance. Also, patient satisfaction with an implant-retained prosthesis was high in comparison with the situation before implant treatment. The article also reviews the neuromuscular control of chewing. The jaw muscle activity needed to break solid food is largely reflexly induced. Immediate muscle response is necessary to maintain a constant chewing rhythm under varying food resistance conditions. Finally, the influence of food characteristics on the masticatory process is discussed. Dry and hard products require more chewing cycles before swallowing than moist and soft foods. More time is needed to break the food and to add enough saliva to form a cohesive bolus suitable for swallowing.

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    • "Mastication is essential for grinding our food into smaller particles [1]. During chewing, saliva is added to the particles to lubricate them and create a food bolus that can be swallowed [1]. Recently, reports have been published in the literature, stating that mastication might also serve other purposes, such as countering negative effects of stress [2] or aiding in cognitive function [3] [4]. "
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    BioMed Research International 05/2015; DOI:10.1155/2015/149431 · 2.71 Impact Factor
    • "However, regardless whether they contract bilateral or unilaterally, masseter muscles mainly contract concentric during the phase of jaw closing and isometric during the phase of dental occlusion (Christensen and Mohammed, 1997). The neuromuscular control of chewing is required to maintain a constant chewing rhythm under varying food resistance conditions in which the jaw muscle activity, especially the masseter muscle, needed to break solid food (Yoshida et al., 2009; van der Bilt, 2011). Figure 1 The schematic description of the systems involved in the chewing process within the context of this study, the ipsilateral muscle is on the right side of the jaw of the subject, while the contralateral muscle is on the left (see online version for colours) "
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    International Journal of Exergy 01/2015; 18(1):46 - 66. · 0.88 Impact Factor
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    • "Clinical analysis of chewing can be assessed in a spontaneous mealtime context to indicate the proficiency of mastication (what the child does) and can be assessed in a clinical setting under optimal conditions (what the child can) (Bilt, 2011). Speech Language Therapists (SLTs) require a structured observational instrument that (a) is child friendly and easy to implement and (b) can be used to guide therapy goal-setting and/or indicate whether further assessment of the oral or oralpharyngeal phase of the swallow is required. "
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