Introduction Mastication involves complex tongue movements, coordination of lip, and cheek movements and is associated with head movement to facilitate the intraoral transport of food from ingesting to swallowing; it affects many functions of the whole body. However, studies to evaluate the relationship between masticatory movements and the body posture are still lacking to our knowledge. The purpose of this study was to characterize the effects of masticatory movements on the head, trunk, and body sway during the standing position.
Methodology A total of 30 healthy subjects were evaluated. The MatScanTM system was used to analyze changes in body posture (center of foot pressure: COP) and the 3-dimensional motion analysis system was used to analyze changes in the head and trunk postures while subjects remained in the standing position with the rest position, centric occlusion, and masticating chewing gum.
Results The total trajectory length of COP and head and trunk sways during masticating chewing gum were significantly shorter and smaller respectively than it was in the rest position and centric occlusion (p<0.016). COP area during masticating chewing gum was significantly smaller than it was in the 2 mandibular positions (p<0.016).
Conclusion Masticatory movements positively affect the stability of the head, trunk, and body sways and enhance the postural stability during the standing position.
Masticatory Movements; Head, Trunk, and Body Sways; Changing Body Posture; Standing Position;