Masticatory function was recently incorporated into the classification of periodontitis as a complexity factor that defines a need for complex rehabilitation.
As masticatory function has a significant impact on patients’ quality of life, researchers in Brazil, the USA, and the Netherlands decided to investigate patient-reported outcomes, as well as disease-centred parameters, to be able to make specific therapy recommendations.
Summarised as JCP Digest No. 83, their research – a cross-sectional pilot study involving 224 periodontitis patients with moderate-to-severe periodontitis undergoing supportive periodontal therapy – examined both patient-centred clinical outcomes for objective masticatory efficiency (OME) and the subjective quality of masticatory function (QMF).
The objective assessment of masticatory efficiency used HueCheck Gum, based on the analysis of the colour mixing of two different chewing gums. The subjective quality was assessed with a QMF survey that comprised 29 questions related to the frequency and difficulty of chewing different types of food in the previous two weeks.
The study concluded that while both OME and QMF were promising parameters to assess masticatory function in patients with periodontitis, a direct clinical implication could not be concluded. They added their pilot study had limitations that needed to be addressed and which could guide the design and implementation of necessary larger-scale studies.
The cross-sectional pilot study was summarised for JCP Digest by postgraduate students at the EFP-accredited programme at the UCL Eastman Dental Institute, London, UK