Factors Influencing Human Masticatory Performance
Callaghan, Kathryn X.
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Mastication is a highly complex and integrative chewing process that is performed by humans and other mammals at a consistent and involuntary rate. Proper mastication is critical for swallowing, ease of digestion, and overall quality of life; therefore, it is vital to understand how well an individual masticates. Masticatory performance can be evaluated by measuring the median particle size (MPS) and the broadness of particle distribution. A combination of fixed factors such as occlusal area and cephalometric measurements and adaptive factors like bite force, muscle activity, and chewing rate have the potential to objectively determine how well one masticates. This explorative study aims to discover how multiple factors interact and attempts to prioritize the influence of each factor on masticatory performance.