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Arch Oral Biol. 2001 Jul;46(7):641-8.

Determinants of masticatory performance in dentate adults.

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Department of Orthodontics, The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, 7703 Floyd Curl Drive, San Antonio, TX 78229-3900, USA.


Masticatory performance results from a complex interplay of direct and indirect effects, yet most studies employ univariate models. This study tested a multivariate model of masticatory performance for dentate subjects. Explanatory variables included number of functional tooth units, bite force, sex, age, masseter cross-sectional area, presence of temporomandibular disorders, and presence of diabetes mellitus. The population-based sample consisted of 631 dentate subjects aged 37-80 years. Covariance structure analysis showed that 68% of the variability in masticatory performance could be explained by the combined effects of the explanatory variables. Age and sex did not show a strong effect on masticatory performance, either directly or indirectly through masseter cross-sectional area, temporomandibular disorders, and bite force. Number of functional tooth units and bite force were confirmed as the key determinants of masticatory performance, which suggests that their maintenance may be of major importance for promoting healthful functional status.

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