A cross-sectional study of age-related changes in oral function in healthy Japanese individuals

Kiyomi Iyota, Shinsuke Mizutani, Saori Oku, Misa Asao, Toshiko Futatsuki, Ryosuke Inoue, Yuko Imai, Haruhiko Kashiwazaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Oral function deterioration is related to a variety of factors, including aging, decline in activities of daily living, malnutrition, and cognitive decline. This cross-sectional study examined the effects of aging on oral function in healthy individuals. Methods: A retrospective study was conducted on 175 healthy, independent patients aged 40–89 years, without dementia and with ≥20 teeth, who visited a local dental clinic in Japan. Patients were compared with 92 university students aged 20–29 years. The seven criteria proposed by the Japanese Society of Gerodontology to diagnose “oral hypofunction” were observed and statistically analyzed. Results: Compared with those in the control group, the degree of tongue coating was increased in the group aged over 80 years, occlusal force was decreased in the group aged 70–79 years, tongue motor function was decreased in the groups aged 60–69 years and older, and tongue pressure was decreased in the groups aged 70–79 years and older. Conclusions: Healthy, independent individuals maintained several oral function criteria across aging, including oral mucosal wetness, occlusal force, lip motor function, masticatory function, and swallowing function. Tongue motor function and tongue pressure decreased with aging, indicating that these may be rehabilitation targets.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1376
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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