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Effects of oral environment on frailty: particular relevance of tongue pressure

Authors Satake A, Kobayashi W, Tamura Y, Oyama T, Fukuta H, Inui A, Sawada K, Ihara K, Noguchi T, Murashita K, Nakaji S

Received 23 April 2019

Accepted for publication 2 September 2019

Published 12 September 2019 Volume 2019:14 Pages 1643—1648

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CIA.S212980

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Melinda Thomas

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker


Anna Satake,1 Wataru Kobayashi,1 Yoshihiro Tamura,1 Toshiaki Oyama,1 Haruka Fukuta,1 Akinari Inui,2 Kahori Sawada,2 Kazunari Ihara,2 Takao Noguchi,1 Koichi Murashita,3 Shigeyuki Nakaji2

1Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Hirosaki University Graduate School of Medicine, Hirosaki, Aomori, Japan; 2Department of Social Medicine, Hirosaki University Graduate School of Medicine, Hirosaki, Aomori, Japan; 3COI Research Initiatives Organization, Hirosaki University Graduate School of Medicine, Hirosaki, Aomori, Japan

Correspondence: Anna Satake
Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Hirosaki University Graduate School of Medicine, 53 Honcho, Hirosaki-shi, Aomori, Japan
Tel +81 172 39 5127
Fax +81 17 239 5128
Email anna12@hirosaki-u.ac.jp

Purpose: Oral frailty or the loss of oral functionality can be a symptomatic precursor of overall frailty. Previous studies have suggested that decreased tongue pressure causes a decline in ingesting and swallowing function and poor nutrition. This study investigated what factor(s) contribute to tongue pressure, thereby leading to frailty.
Patients and methods: For the purposes of the present study, 467 residents of Hirosaki city in northern Japan aged≥60 years who completed a questionnaire about frailty and underwent an intraoral assessment, which included number of teeth, presence or absence of periodontitis, tongue pressure, and oral diadochokinesis (ODK) were recruited.
Results: Of the 467 participants with complete data sets, frailty was identified in 13 (7.5%) of 173 males and in 34 (11.6%) of 294 females. Significantly fewer teeth, lower tongue pressure, and a reduced diadochokinetic syllable rate were more prevalent among frail than among healthy residents. Multivariable logistic regression analysis revealed that age, body mass index, number of teeth, and tongue pressure significantly contributed to frailty, whereas ODK did not. Multiple regression analysis showed that tongue pressure was positively associated with muscle index and number of teeth.
Conclusion: The results of the present study suggest that fewer teeth and lower tongue pressure, but not ODK function, are risk factors for developing overall frailty among older residents.

Keywords: aging, low nutrition, number of teeth, oral diadochokinesis

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