Impact of cognitive function on oral perception in independently living older people
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Oral tactile perception is important for better mastication, appetite, and enjoyment of food. However, previous investigations have not utilized comprehensible variables thought to have negative effect on oral perception, including aging, denture wearing, and cognitive function. The aim of this study was to elucidate the impact of cognitive function on oral perception in independently living older individuals.
Materials and methods
The study sample was comprised of 987 participants (466 males, 521 females; age 69–71 years). Oral examinations, assessments of cognitive function in preclinical level by Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA)-J, and determination of oral stereognostic ability as an indicator of oral perception were performed. Related variables were selected by univariate analyses; then, multivariate logistic regression model analysis was conducted.
Univariate analyses revealed that number of teeth, removable dentures usage, and cognitive function respectively had a significant relationship with stereognostic score. Next, the subjects were classified into good and poor perception groups (lowest 17.4%) according to oral stereognostic ability. Logistic regression analysis revealed that lower cognitive function was significantly associated with poor oral perception (OR = 0.934, p = 0.017) after controlling for other variables.
Cognitive decline even in preclinical stage was associated with reduced oral perception after controlling for gender, tooth number and denture use in independent living older people.
This study suggested that preclinical level of change in cognitive function affected oral perception. Dental practitioners and caregivers may need to pay attention to reduced oral perception among older people even if they do not have trouble in daily life.
KeywordsOral perception Cognitive function Older adults Multiple logistic regression analysis
The authors thank all of the participants who were involved in this study. We also express our appreciation to Drs. Enoki K. and Tada S. for data collection.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
All the authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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