Correlation between Chewing Side Preference, Handedness and Dental Caries in Primary, Mixed and Permanent Dentition
Introduction: Chewing side preference of a person occurs when mastication is performed consistently on the same side [right or left]. Early diagnosis of a preferred chewing side [PCS] plays a significant role in occurrence of dental caries, craniofacial development, occlusal harmony and may prevent unilateral chewing patterns. Handedness of a person [right or left] can also be related to his/her chewing side preference.
Materials and Methods: This study included 45 subjects; Group A, 15 children 3-5 years [primary dentition], Group B, 15 children 6-12 years [mixed dentition], Group C, 15 children 13-18 years [permanent dentition]. Chewing side preference test and laterality test was done and deft/DMFT index was recorded in all the subjects. Correlations between chewing side and handedness and caries index and chewing side were assessed by chi-square test and phi correlation tests at a level of significance of 0.05 or 5%.
Results: There was a statistical significance between chewing side preference and age. No statistical significance between chewing side and handedness, although there was a statistical significance between chewing side and caries index.
Conclusion: Evaluation of chewing side preference should be a part of routine dental examinations, especially in primary and mixed dentitions as unilateral chewing pattern can lead to various consequences in the stomatognathic system in adulthood.