Does masticatory ability contribute to nutritional status in older individuals?

Keiko Fujimoto, Hideki Suito, Kan Nagao, Tetsuo Ichikawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Mastication plays a primary role in the process of eating. Hence, compromised masticatory ability may affect the nutrition and quality of life, which are particularly important concerns among older individuals. It remains unclear how is the masticatory ability assessed regarding the nutritional status. We examined the effect of various oral factors on three masticatory ability tests conducted among older individuals. A total of 100 older individuals were enrolled in this study. Body mass index (BMI) as an indicator of nutritional status; and age, sex, and the number of occlusal and molar occlusal supports as clinical attributes were recorded. Three masticatory ability tests (masticatory efficiency, masticatory score, and satisfaction with mastication) were conducted, and tongue pressure, cheek pressure, and occlusal force were assessed as oral functions. A significant but weak correlation was found between masticatory efficiency and the masticatory score, but not between masticatory efficiency and satisfaction score. Objective masticatory efficiency was strongly associated with objective oral factors, whereas subjective assessments of masticatory ability (masticatory score and satisfaction score) were not. Furthermore, BMI was significantly associated with subjective assessments of masticatory ability but not with objective masticatory efficiency. Both subjective and objective assessments of masticatory ability, along with considerations of nutritional formulations, are required for the maintenance and improvement of nutritional status in older individuals.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7373
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


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