Chewing is the first step in the digestion process in mammals. It is a highly coordinated process with a complex sensorimotor activity, the aim of which is to prepare foods for the formation of the alimentary bolus and then swallowing. It is a process with defined stages and patterns of movement that adapt to changes derived from the environment or the individual. Here, we review the main characteristics of chewing, including aspects of the physiology and characteristics of the mechanics of mandibular movement. We highlight the latest advances reported and the new methodologies used for a chewing analysis, which has made it possible to collect more precise and reliable data. Thus, we will see how the new technologies have provided a better understanding of this function and its relation to aspects of an individual’s general health such as nutrition or the appearance of neurodegenerative diseases. Also, in this review we emphasize the close relation that exists between chewing and a person’s quality of life.
KEY WORDS: chewing, chewing cycles, mandibular movement, nutrition, neurodegenerative diseases, quality of life.
How to cite this article
FUENTES, R.; FARFÁN, C. & ARIAS, A. Characteristics of chewing: An update of the literature. Int. J. Odontostomat., 15(4):873-881, 2021.