J Korean Acad Oral Health.  2020 Jun;44(2):85-90. 10.11149/jkaoh.2020.44.2.85.

Relationship of loneliness and subjective chewing discomfort in the elderly

  • 1Department of Preventive Dentistry, School of Dentistry, Kyungpook National University, Korea
  • 2Department of Dental Hygiene, College of Science & Technology, Kyungpook National University, Daegu, 3Department of Sociology, Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea


Loneliness was associated with not only social status but also general health. Psychological conditions in older people have negative effects on general health and oral health. The purpose of the study was to investigate the relationship between loneliness and subjective chewing discomfort in the elderly.
This cross-sectional study analyzed the Korean Social Life, Health, and Aging Project (KSHAP) for the questionnaire, UCLA loneliness scale data of 1,511 older adults living in a rural community. Logistic regression was conducted to identify the relevance of subjective chewing discomfort in the elderly according to the level of loneliness.
According to the final model that after adjustment for other risk factors (age, gender, level of education, smoking, drinking, etc.), in the elderly who rarely feel loneliness group compared to the elderly who never feel loneliness was Odds ratio (OR) 1.256 (95% Confidence Interval [CI]: 0.99-1.60) and sometimes+often feel loneliness was OR 2.110 (95% CI: 1.39-3.21).
Loneliness is associated with subjective chewing discomfort in the elderly. Older people feeling loneliness are likely to have more subjective chewing discomfort.


Chewing discomfort; Loneliness; Oral health; Older people
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