Food avoidance is associated with reduced dentitions and edentulousness.


Department of Oral Function and Prosthetic Dentistry, College of Dental Science, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Center, Philips van Leydenlaan 25, 6525 EX, Nijmegen, The Netherlands. [Email]


OBJECTIVE : To investigate associations between food avoidance and dental status, age, gender, and socio-economic status (SES).
METHODS : The Chinese sample comprised 1463 dentulous (≥ 1 tooth in each jaw) and 124 edentulous (in one or both jaws) participants aged ≥ 40 yrs. The Vietnamese sample comprised 2820 dentulous and 253 edentulous participants aged ≥ 20 yrs. Food avoidance due to chewing difficulties was scored for regionally common 4 soft and 4 hard foods. Dental status was classified according to the multi-level hierarchical dental functional classification system (HDFC) based on the number and location of teeth and posterior occlusal pairs. Associations were analyzed using multivariate logistic regression analyses.
RESULTS : For dentulous participants, the chance of avoiding foods was significantly larger with < 10 teeth in each jaw (OR = 2.26 (Chinese sample), respectively 1.74 (Vietnamese sample)), incomplete anterior region (OR = 1.78, respectively 1.84), "impaired" premolar region (OR = 2.22, respectively 1.71), or "impaired" molar region (OR = 2.46, respectively 1.84). Edentulous participants had twice the chance of avoiding foods (OR = 2.01 respectively 2.20). Avoiding foods was significantly associated with higher age. Participants of low SES (Chinese sample, OR = 1.93) and females (Vietnamese sample, OR = 1.27) had a larger chance of avoiding foods.
CONCLUSIONS : Avoiding foods was significantly associated with reduced dentitions, edentulousness, and higher age; low SES only in the Chinese and being female only in the Vietnamese sample.
CONCLUSIONS : Incomplete anterior regions, "impaired" premolar or molar regions, and especially edentulousness can be considered significant risk indicators for food avoidance.


Edentulousness,Food avoidance,Masticatory ability,Reduced dentitions,