Clinics (Sao Paulo). 2017 November; 72(11): 681-685.

Copyright © 2017 CLINICS

Dental status, oral prosthesis and chewing ability in an adult and elderly population in southern Brazil

Alexandre Baumgarten I , Jeanne Gabriele Schmidt I , Rafaela Soares Rech I , Juliana Balbinot Hilgert I II , Bárbara Niegia Garcia de Goulart I *

Graduate Program in Epidemiology, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil

Graduate Program in Dentistry, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil

*Corresponding author. E-mail:

received April 19, 2017; revised July 23, 2017; accepted August 9, 2017.



The objective of this study was to explore the factors associated with inadequate chewing in an adult and elderly population of a city in the southern region of Brazil.


This was a cross-sectional study based on a population home-based inquiry (DCH-POP) in southern Brazil. Individuals were interviewed by trained interviewers to create a standardized procedure. In a pilot study, the Questionnaire of Human Communication Disorders (DCH-POP) was created and validated to identify self-reported speech and language, swallowing and hearing disorders. The outcome was dichotomized into either having adequate chewing or not, as assessed by a series of questions about chewing ability. Analyses of absolute and relative frequencies were measured according to the studied variables. A Poisson regression was applied at a significance level of 5%.


A total of 1,246 people were interviewed. Inadequate chewing was found in 52 (5.6%) individuals, with a higher prevalence in the elderly (11.8%) than in adults (5.2%). In the final model, the following factors were associated with inadequate chewing: being 61 years of age or older (prevalence ratio or PR=9.03; 95% CI: 1.20-67.91), loss of teeth and use of unadjusted prosthesis (PR=3.50; 95% CI: 1.54-7.95), preference for foods of soft consistency (PR=9.34; 95% CI:4.66-8.70) and difficulty in nasal breathing (PR=2.82; 95% CI: 1.31-6.06).


Age, oral health status through dental prosthesis, preference for foods of soft consistency and difficulty breathing through the nose were factors associated with chewing inability in adults and the elderly.

Keywords: Adult, Aged, Chewing Ability, Oral Health, Dental Prosthesis

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