1738 The effect of occlusal contact area on soft food chewing ability
Y.-Y. SHIAU, H.-J. CHEN, C.-M. WANG, and K.-L. LOU, Graduate Institute of Oral Biology, College of Medicine, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan

Based on our previous findings that the homogeneity of HA particles (Calcitite 40-60 mesh, Calcitek, Sulzer, CA) in the chewing gum bolus after chewing can represent the soft food chewing efficiency of a subject. Objectives: The purpose of this study was to apply the HA containing chewing gum for the evaluation of dental occlusion on the chewing gum chewing efficiency. Methods: Ten males and 10 females (ages: 18 to 25 years) who had complete dentition and normal TMJ and muscle function were observed. Their centric occlusal contact area was calculated by using Prescale pressure sensitive film (Fuji film, Japan) and an image analysis system. After 10, 20, 30 and 40 times of chewing, the gum bolus was spit and frozen, and then sectioned. The HA distribution (in %) in a section of 1.0 mm thickness was observed with digital X-ray images and related to the occlusal contact area. Results: It was found that the homogeneity increased from 20.9 6.7% to 60.5 11.0% and was linearly related to the chewing stroke numbers before 30 chewing strokes in both male and female groups (r=0.75 and 0.64, P<0.01). After 30 chewing strokes, it became a plateau. The homogeneity was not closely related to the occlusal contact area (r=0.13 and 0.22, P>0.05). Conclusions: Based on the limit of this study, it was concluded that for soft food chewing, dental occlusal contact area does not strongly influence the chewing efficiency. Perhaps the manipulation of the bolus by soft tissues such as tongue and cheek is more important. (NSC 90-2314-B002-341)

Seq #166 - TMJ - Structure and Function I
9:00 AM-11:00 AM, Friday, 8 March 2002 San Diego Convention Center Room 16A (Mezzanine Level)

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