The Association Between Masticatory Function Assessment and Masseter Muscle Thickness in the Elderly

  • Jung, Hyo-Jung (Department of Orofacial Pain and Oral Medicine, Yonsei University College of Dentistry) ;
  • Min, Yong-Guang (Department of Orofacial Pain and Oral Medicine, Yonsei University College of Dentistry) ;
  • Kim, Hyo-Jung (Department of Preventive Dentistry and Public Oral Health, Yonsei University College of Dentistry) ;
  • Lee, Joo-Young (Department of Preventive Dentistry and Public Oral Health, Yonsei University College of Dentistry) ;
  • Choi, Jong-Hoon (Department of Orofacial Pain and Oral Medicine, Yonsei University College of Dentistry) ;
  • Kim, Baek-Il (Department of Preventive Dentistry and Public Oral Health, Yonsei University College of Dentistry) ;
  • Ahn, Hyung-Joon (Department of Orofacial Pain and Oral Medicine, Yonsei University College of Dentistry)
  • Received : 2020.06.10
  • Accepted : 2020.06.19
  • Published : 2020.09.30


Purpose: This study investigated the association between the objective indicator of masticatory function assessment and the masseter muscle thickness (MMT) using ultrasound imaging. Methods: A total of 99 subjects (males: 24, females: 75, mean age: 76) were analyzed. The maximum bite force (MBF) was measured with a pressure-sensitive sheet and an image scanner. The mixing ability index (MAI) was calculated by image analysis after asking the subjects to chew a wax specimen. The MMT during rest and clenching were obtained with a diagnostic ultrasound system, and the difference in MMT during rest and MMT during clenching was defined as the difference in masseter muscle thickness (DMMT). Multiple regression analysis was performed to determine the independent variables affecting MBF and MAI. Results: The MBF showed correlation with the number of remaining teeth (β=0.346, p=0.002) and DMMT (β=0.251, p=0.011). The MAI correlated with only the number of remaining teeth (β=0.476, p<0.001). Conclusions: The DMMT reflects the state of masseter muscle contraction, and can be used as a predictor as well as the number of teeth when assessing masticatory function.


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