Assessment of masticatory performance by means of a color-changeable chewing gum.
The purpose of this study was to identify the risk factors associated with the masticatory dysfunction after maxillectomy using a colour-changing chewing gum. Thirty-nine patients who underwent maxillectomy between January 2002 and May 2010 in the Department of Kobe University Hospital were recruited for this study. There were 20 male and 19 female subjects, with a median age of 73·3 years (range of 44-90) at the time of surgery. The intra-oral conditions after maxillectomy were classified by HS classification, and the masticatory function was evaluated by a colour-changing chewing gum and the results of a modified Sato's questionnaire. The scores of the colour-changing gum were closely correlated with the scores of the modified Sato's questionnaire (r = 0·661, P < 0·01). A logistic regression analysis with the outcome variable of the gum test <4 demonstrated that significant predictors for the masticatory dysfunction were the number of anchor teeth ≤2 and a soft palate defect. A colour-changing gum was found to be useful for evaluating the post-operative masticatory function, and it was important to conserve the anchor teeth and the soft palate to avoid masticatory dysfunction.