This purpose of this study was to evaluate the largely untested assumption that malocclusion negatively affects masticatory performance. A sample of 185 untreated subjects (48% male and 52% female) from 7 to 37 years of age, representing subjects with normal occlusion (n = 38), Class I (n = 56), Class II (n = 45), and Class III (n = 46) malocclusion, were evaluated. Masticatory performance was evaluated objectively using artificial (CutterSil®, median particle size and broadness of the distribution) and real foods (number of chews for jerky and almonds), and subjectively using a visual analog scale. The results showed no significant differences in age or the body mass index (Wt/Ht2) between the occlusion groups. Subjects with normal occlusion had significantly smaller particle sizes (P = .001) and broader particle distributions (P < .001) than subjects with malocclusion. Compared with the normal occlusion group, the median particle sizes for the Class I, II, and III malocclusion groups were approximately 9%, 15%, and 34% larger, respectively. There were also significant group differences in their subjective ability to chew fresh carrots or celery (P = .019) and firm meat (P = .003). Class III subjects reported the greatest difficultly, followed by Class II subjects, Class I subjects, and subjects with normal occlusion, respectively. We conclude that malocclusion negatively affects subjects' ability to process and break down foods.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||7|
|State||Published - Feb 1 2002|
- Masticatory ability
- Oral function
ASJC Scopus subject areas