The effects of reduced salivary output in patients suffering from xerostomia on masticatory function has not been previously studied. This study compares masticatory performance and kinematic activity of patients suffering from xerostomia with age-, sex-, and number of occluding pairs-matched healthy controls. Masticatory function was evaluated by assessment of chewing motion and muscle activity during chewing an artificial food (CutterSil), chewing gum and swallowing a bolus of almond. Chewing motion was recorded with the Optotrak computer system. Bilateral muscle activity of both masseter and anterior temporalis was recorded using surface electrodes. Results of this study revealed significant differences between patients and controls in their ability to process food and masticatory muscle activity. The majority of patients could not break down the artificial food, others had a larger median particle size than the controls. A significant difference was also observed in the number of chewing cycles required to swallow almonds, the patients required more than twice as many chews as the controls, P < 0.001. The right masseter muscle displayed significantly less activity for the patient than the controls. These findings suggest that patients with xerostomia exhibit reduced ability to process food. The observed decline in masticatory performance is probably due to reduced activity of the muscles of mastication.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|State||Published - Jul 1996|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geriatrics and Gerontology