A structural equation model to investigate the impact of missing occlusal units on objective masticatory function in patients with shortened dental arches
Section of Removable Partial Denture Prosthodontics, Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Tokyo, Japan.Journal of Oral Rehabilitation (Impact Factor: 1.68). 05/2011; 38(11):810-7. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2842.2011.02225.x
The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of missing occlusal units (MOUs) on objective masticatory function with respect to food comminuting and mixing ability. Sixty partially dentate patients (mean age, 64·1 years) with shortened dental arches participated in the study. Food comminuting ability was assessed using a masticatory performance test with peanuts as a test food. Food mixing ability was assessed using a mixing ability test with a two-coloured wax cube. Maximum bite force (MBF) was measured using a pressure-sensitive film as a mediator for food comminuting and mixing ability. A structural equation model was constructed based on a hypothesis that MOUs would be associated with reduced MBF and impairment of food comminuting and mixing ability. Structural equation modelling analysis found significant direct effects of MOU on median particle size and mixing ability index (MAI) (P < 0·001). In addition, MOU had significant indirect effects on median particle size and MAI with MBF as a mediator (P < 0·05). These results suggest that decrease in occlusal platform area and reduced MBF because of MOUs are associated with the impairment of food comminution and mixing in patients with shortened dental arches.
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ABSTRACT: Objective: Occlusal curvatures in human adult dentition such as the curve of Spee, curve of Wilson and Monsons's sphere provide clinical guidance for prosthetic rehabilitation and orthodontic treatment. However, association between occlusal curvature and masticatory function is not known. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between occlusal curvature and food comminuting and food mixing ability in human young adults with permanent dentitions. Design: Fifty young adults with complete dentitions (mean age, 25.0 years) participated in the study. Occlusal curvature was determined by a three-dimensional analysis of the mandibular arch according to the Broadrick flag method. Food comminuting ability was assessed using a masticatory performance test with peanuts as test food and it was scored as median particle size. Food mixing ability was assessed using a mixing ability test with a two-coloured wax cube and it was scored as mixing ability index. Results: A linear regression analysis identified the sphere radius of occlusal curvature as significant predictor for both median particle size and mixing ability index after controlling for maximum bite force (P<0.001). These results indicated that subjects with a flatter curvature (larger sphere) in the mandibular arch showed better food comminuting and mixing ability. Coefficient of determination (R(2)) of occlusal curvature related to median particle size and mixing ability index was comparable to that of maximum bite force. Conclusion: Occlusal curvature seems to be associated with food comminuting and mixing ability in human young adults with permanent dentitions.
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ABSTRACT: It is well known that shortened dental arch decreases masticatory function. However, its potential to change brain activity during mastication is unknown. The present study investigates the effect of a shortened posterior dental arch with mandibular removable partial dentures (RPDs) on brain activity during gum chewing. Eleven subjects with missing mandibular molars (mean age, 66·1 years) on both sides received experimental RPDs with interchangeable artificial molars in a crossover trial design. Brain activity during gum chewing with RPDs containing (full dental arch) and lacking artificial molars (shortened dental arch) was measured using functional magnetic resonance imaging. Additionally, masticatory function was evaluated for each dental arch type. Food comminuting and mixing ability and the perceived chewing ability were significantly lower in subjects with a shortened dental arch than those with a full dental arch (P < 0·05). Brain activation during gum chewing with the full dental arch occurred in the middle frontal gyrus, primary sensorimotor cortex extending to the pre-central gyrus, supplementary motor area, putamen, insula and cerebellum. However, middle frontal gyrus activation was not observed during gum chewing with the shortened dental arch. These results suggest that shortened dental arch affects human brain activity in the middle frontal gyrus during gum chewing, and the decreased middle frontal gyrus activation may be associated with decreased masticatory function.
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