Journal List > J Korean Acad Community Health Nurs > v.28(3) > 1058471

Moon and Hong: Predictors of Chewing Discomfort among Community-dwelling Elderly



The purpose of this study was to identify associated factors of chewing discomfort among community-dwelling elderly.


The study was cross-sectional design and secondary data analysis using the 6th Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Among the total of 7,550 participants, data was analyzed with 1,126 adults aged 65 years and over. Chewing discomfort was assessed by the perceived chewing discomfort. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to find the associated factors of chewing discomfort.


Along with 61.7% of the participants reported having chewing discomfort, 85.2% reported to perceive poor oral health and 35.0% had oral pain. In multivariate logistic regression, perceived oral health (OR 3.22, 95% CI 2.24~4.63), oral pain (OR 2.46, 95% CI 1.76~3.43), activity limitation (OR 1.71, 95% CI 1.05~2.80), teeth requiring treatment (OR 1.61, 95% CI 1.14~2.26), number of remaining teeth (OR 1.60, 95% CI 1.22~2.10) and educational level (OR 1.56, 95% CI 1.15~2.12) were the significant predictors of chewing discomfort.


The prevalence in chewing discomfort was high in elderly Koreans and various factors were associated with chewing discomfort. To improve chewing ability, it is suggested that the national level of policies offer strategical oral health programs in this population.


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Table 1.
Characteristics of the Participants (N=1,126)
Variables Characteristics Categories n (%) M±SE
Personal factor Age (year) 72.35±0.20
Gender Male 502 (43.5)
Female 624 (56.5)
Living with spouse Yes 779 (67.2)
No 347 (32.8)
Education (year) ≥7 460 (40.0)
≤6 666 (60.0)
Income High~Middle high 589 (51.3)
Middle low~Low 537 (48.7)
Psychological factor Depression Yes 238 (21.9) 3.22±0.20
No 888 (78.1)
Physical factor Activity limitation Yes 987 (87.0)
No 139 (13.0)
Oral health related factor Number of remaining teeth ≥21 556 (49.1) 17.84±0.38
≤20 570 (50.9)
Teeth requiring treatment Yes 360 (32.4)
No 766 (67.6)
Oral exam (within 1 year) Yes 201 (18.4)
No 925 (81.6)
Denture Yes 480 (41.6)
No 646 (58.4)
Perceived oral health Good 173 (14.8)
Poor 953 (85.2)
Oral pain (within 1 year) Yes 382 (35.0)
No 744 (65.0)
Chewing discomfort Yes 697 (61.7)
No 429 (38.3)

SE=Standard error;

Under weighted;


Table 2.
Univariate Logistic Regression Models for Chewing Discomfort (N=1,126)
Characteristics Variables Categories OR >95% CI p
Lower Upper
Personal factor Age (year) 1.02 0.99 1.05 .254
Gender Male Ref.
Female 1.18 0.89 1.56 .249
Living with spouse Yes Ref.
No 1.52 1.08 2.15 .016
Education (year) ≥7 Ref.
≤6 1.68 1.25 2.25 .001
Income High~Middle high Ref.
Middle low~Low 1.19 0.09 1.60 .243
Psychological factor Depression No Ref.
Yes 1.80 1.24 2.62 .002
Physical factor Activity limitation No Ref.
Yes 2.10 1.34 3.30 .001
Oral health related factor Number of remaining teeth ≥21 Ref.
≤20 1.59 1.25 2.02 <.001
Teeth requiring treatment No Ref.
Yes 1.66 1.21 2.29 .002
Oral exam (within 1 year) Yes Ref.
No 1.50 1.10 2.03 .010
Denture No Ref.
Yes 1.58 1.16 2.15 .004
Perceived oral health Good Ref.
Poor 3.73 2.60 5.35 <.001
Oral pain (within 1 year) No Ref.
Yes 2.50 1.82 3.43 <.001

OR=Odds ratio; CI=Confidential interval; Ref.=Reference;

Under Weighted;


Table 3.
Forward Logistic Regression Models for Chewing Discomfort (N=1,126)
Variables Reference β SE p OR 95% CI
Lower Upper
Education§ (≤6) ≥7 -.03 0.08 .004 1.56 1.15 2.12
Activity limitation Yes .27 0.13 .032 1.71 1.05 2.80
Number of remaining teeth (≥21) ≤20 .24 0.07 <.001 1.60 1.22 2.10
Teeth requiring treatment Yes .24 0.09 .006 1.61 1.14 2.26
Perceived oral health (good) Poor .59 0.09 <.001 3.22 2.24 4.63
Oral pain (within 1 year) Yes .45 0.09 <.001 2.46 1.76 3.43

SE=Standard error; OR=Odds ratio; CI=Confidential interval;

Under Weighted;


§ year.

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