Aging Clinical and Experimental Research

, Volume 30, Issue 9, pp 1093–1099 | Cite as

Relationship between masticatory function and frailty in community-dwelling Japanese elderly

  • Yasuhiro Horibe
  • Yutaka WatanabeEmail author
  • Hirohiko Hirano
  • Ayako Edahiro
  • Ken Ishizaki
  • Takayuki Ueda
  • Kaoru Sakurai
Original Article



Frailty likely results in impaired functioning, and frail individuals requiring long-term care have recently attracted the attention of researchers. In the oral health field, the number of elderly individuals who require intervention for retaining occlusion has been increasing, as has the number of remaining teeth and required prosthetic treatment. Additionally, the number of elderly with reduced masticatory function has also been increasing, and frailty is a suspected factor.


The aim of this study is to clarify the relationship between frailty and masticatory function decline.


A cross-sectional study.


A total of 747 participants (total mean age 73.6 ± 5.8 years old) underwent a comprehensive examination at the Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology. Three masticatory functions were evaluated: maximum occlusal force, mixing ability, and self-reported chewing ability. Frailty was determined using all 25 questions of the Basic checklist developed by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, following the method reported by Satake et al.


Binomial logistic analysis clarified the relationship between frailty and evaluation of each of the three masticatory functions. Significant correlations of pre-frailty or frailty with maximum occlusal force, mixing ability, and subjective chewing ability were observed.


All three masticatory functions (maximum occlusal force, mixing ability, and self-reported chewing ability) were associated with pre-frailty or frailty in community-dwelling Japanese elderly.


Frailty Masticatory function Mixing ability Occlusal force Self-reported chewing ability 



We wish to thank everyone who participated in this research, particularly Dr. Yoshinori Fujiwara, Dr. Motonaga Kojima, Dr. Hideyo Yoshida, Dr. Hunk yung Kim, Dr. Hisashi Kawai and, Dr. Shuichi Obuchi, who guided us in our research. The present study used data from the “Otassha-Kenshin”, which was provided to us by the TMIG. This research is partially supported by the Comprehensive Research on Aging and Health (15dk0107004h0003) from Japan Agency for Medical Research and development, AMED and the Promotion Project of Creating Industry Extending Healthy Life Expectancy from the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry of Japan.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Statement of human and animal rights

The study was approved by the study was approved by the Ethics Committee of TMIG (approval number: 23-1253) and conducted in accordance with the Helsinki Declaration.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all participants after explaining to all participants verbally and by using documents at the same time that written consent to this study.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Removable Prosthodontics and GerodontologyTokyo Dental CollegeTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Research Team for Promoting Independence of the ElderlyTokyo Metropolitan Institute of GerontologyTokyoJapan
  3. 3.Department of Oral Surgery and DentistryTokyo Metropolitan Geriatric HospitalTokyoJapan

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