Reduced tongue pressure is one of the causes of dysphagia. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between dental findings and tongue pressure, and whether prosthetic treatment prevents reduced tongue pressure.
This was a cross-sectional study. Participants were 745 community-dwelling adults and elderly persons in the Goto Islands in Nagasaki, who underwent a health checkup for residents in 2015 and 2016. Data were collected on gender; age; grip strength; hemoglobin; Creatinine (Cr); glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c); history of stroke; smoking, drinking, exercise, and walking habits; number of teeth; wearing of removable dentures; functional units of natural teeth (n-FTUs), fixed prostheses (nif-FTUs), and removable dentures (t-FTUs); and tongue pressure. The associations between each variable and tongue pressure were examined using multiple regression analysis. Next, those with 3 or fewer n-FTUs were selected, and differences in tongue pressure were compared between those with 3 or fewer nif-FTUs and those with 4 or more nif-FTUs, using a propensity score matching method.
Male gender, weak grip strength, low HbA1c, no drinking, and a low number of teeth were independent factors significantly associated with lower tongue pressure. Among participants with 3 or fewer n-FTUs, the 43 with 4 or more nif-FTUs showed significantly higher tongue pressure than the 43 with 3 or fewer nif-FTUs after propensity score matching, although the number of t-FTUs was not associated with tongue pressure.
Tooth loss was significantly associated with lower tongue pressure. It was suggested that fixed prosthesis treatment might prevent the reduction of tongue pressure, but removable dentures did not have such an effect.