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Physiology - Surgery

Effect of Dental Status on Changes in Mastication in Patients with Obesity following Bariatric Surgery
Published: Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Author: Anne Espérance Godlewski et al.

by Anne Espérance Godlewski, Jean Luc Veyrune, Emmanuel Nicolas, Cécile A. Ciangura, Catherine C. Chaussain, Sébastien Czernichow, Arnaud Basdevant, Martine Hennequin


Patients scheduled for bariatric surgery (BS) are encouraged to chew slowly in order to optimise the digestion process. The influence of dental status on patients' ability to comply with advice on chewing behaviour is poorly documented. This study aims to compare modifications of chewing function before and after BS in three groups of obese patients differing in dental status.

Method and Findings

A cohort of 46 obese women provided three groups: FD group: fully dentate (7–10 functional dental units [FU]); PD group: partially dentate (4–6 FU) without partial dentures; DW group: partial and complete denture wearers. Chewing time (CT), number of chewing cycles (CC), and chewing frequency (CF) were measured before and after surgery during mastication of standardised samples of raw carrot, peanuts, banana, apple and jelly. The median particle-size distribution (D50) of the pre-swallowed bolus was also evaluated for peanut and carrot. Before surgery, the PD and DW groups exhibited greater mean CCs and CTs than the FD group (SNK p<0.05) and produced a bolus with higher granulometry (SNK, p<0.05) than the FD group. After surgery, CT and CC increased for all groups and for all foods, but not statistically significant for jelly. The resulting changes in bolus granulometry observed depended on both food and dental status. The granulometry of carrot bolus remained as fine or as coarse in FD and DW groups respectively as it was before surgery while it was significantly decreased in the PD group (Student's test, p<0.001).


After bariatric surgery, all the obese patients, regardless of dental status modified their chewing kinematics. The effects of this chewing behaviour on bolus granulometry depended on dental status and type of food. Further studies are needed to understand better the impact of dental status on feeding behaviour and nutrition in patients with obesity.