Chewing Efficiency, Global Cognitive Functioning, and Dentition: A Cross-sectional Observational Study in Older People With Mild Cognitive Impairment or Mild to Moderate Dementia
AuthorDelwel, S; Maier, AB; Parvaneh, D; Meijers, J; Scherder, EJA; Lobbezoo, F
Source TitleFrontiers in Aging Neuroscience
PublisherFRONTIERS MEDIA SA
University of Melbourne Author/sMaier, Andrea
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsDelwel, S., Maier, A. B., Parvaneh, D., Meijers, J., Scherder, E. J. A. & Lobbezoo, F. (2020). Chewing Efficiency, Global Cognitive Functioning, and Dentition: A Cross-sectional Observational Study in Older People With Mild Cognitive Impairment or Mild to Moderate Dementia. FRONTIERS IN AGING NEUROSCIENCE, 12, https://doi.org/10.3389/fnagi.2020.00225.
Access StatusOpen Access
Introduction: Previous studies suggest an association between poor mastication and cognitive impairment. The role of chewing efficiency and dentition in this relation is unclear. The aim was to examine global cognitive functioning and dentition as predictors for chewing efficiency, in older people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or dementia. Methods: In this observational cross-sectional study, 136 people with MCI or dementia were included. The chewing efficiency was assessed with a two-colored chewing gum and analyzed with the Chewing Efficiency Analysis software. The level of global cognitive functioning was measured with the Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) by trained clinical staff. An oral examination was performed by a dentist and included the number of present teeth, the number of occluding pairs, and the presence of prostheses. Age, gender, and educational years were derived from the medical records. Univariate and multivariate backward stepwise linear regression analyses were used to evaluate global cognitive functioning and dentition as predictors for chewing efficiency. Results: The mean age of the participants was 82.1 (SD 5.8) years, and 74 (54.4%) were female. The participants had a median MMSE score of 22.4 (IQR 18.0-26.0) and a median Chewing Efficiency Analysis score of 0.46 (IQR 0.14-0.59). The median number of teeth was 13.0 (IQR 0.0-23.0), and the median number of occluding pairs was 0.0 (IQR 0.0-7.0). Sixty-four (47.4%) of the participants wore full prosthesis in the upper jaw. In univariate linear regression analyses, predictive factors for the Chewing Efficiency Analysis score were age, MMSE score, full prosthesis in the upper jaw, number of present teeth, and number of occluding pairs. In the multivariate model, full prosthesis in the upper jaw and number of occluding pairs were significant predictors for the Chewing Efficiency Analysis score. Participants with full prosthesis in the upper jaw had a lower Chewing Efficiency Analysis score than participants with natural dentition in the upper jaw. Conclusion: Better mastication is associated with a higher number of occluding pairs. Full prosthesis in the upper jaw is related to a lower chewing efficiency. Global cognitive functioning is not associated with mastication in older people with MCI or mild-to-moderate dementia. This might be explained by sufficient capacity for compensation of reduced mastication in this group.
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