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Human mastication

Human mastication is a complex biomechanical process. Many different structures, tissues and functional units are involved. The great variability observable in the procedures of crushing and lubricating food constrains the clear distinction between physiologic and pathophysiologic chewing pattern. Diagnostic procedures on masticatory performance are still lacking clear definitions and classifications. The use of individual chewing performance data in restorative dental procedures is not yet established. The purpose of this article is to provide an overview on human mastication. Interdisciplinary teamwork is frequently quoted. Patients are claimed to represent the center of all activities. Mastication is essential for proper nutrition. The link between chewing ability and nutrition is evident. Nevertheless, deficiencies in nutrition, especially in elderly, even in nursed situation, are reported in the scientific literature not only on the base of few cases; a systemic nonconformity, involving all health care providers, may be assumed. The transfer within this article illustrated facts into daily routine should be encouraged.

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