Reduced food intake ability can restrict an individual's choice of foods and might have a significant impact on the individual's quality of life and mental health. The aim of this study was to evaluate the correlations between self-reported masticatory ability and oral health-related quality of life (OHRQOL) and psychological health. The study included 72 (26 men, 46 women) adults with a mean age of 26·4 ± 8·6 years. Each participant completed the key subjective food intake ability (KFIA) test for five key foods, the Korean version of the Oral Health Impact Profile-14 (OHIP-14K) and three questionnaires for measuring anxiety, depression and self-esteem. The participants were distributed into two groups by sex (a mean age of 23·9 ± 5·2 for men and 27·9 ± 9·8 for women) and by the median KFIA score. There were no significant differences in any of the variables according to sex. Thirty-two participants (12 men, 20 women) in the lower KFIA group had a higher total OHIP-14K (P < 0·001) and depression level (P < 0·05) than the 40 participants (14 men, 26 women) in the higher KFIA group. As the KFIA decreased, OHRQOL worsened (P < 0·001) and depression increased (P < 0·05). Participants with lower KFIA scores were more than 4·3 times as likely as to have a poor OHRQOL than the reference group (odds ratio, 4·348; 95% confidence interval, 1·554–12·170, P < 0·01). Lower subjective food intake ability is associated with a poor oral health-related quality of life and higher depression level.
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