Chewing side preference as a type of hemispheric laterality


Dr Joseph Nissan, Department of Prosthodontics, The Maurice and Gabriela Goldschleger School of Dental Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel.


summary Chewing side preference is a factor that could effect prosthodontic treatment. The purpose of this study was to determine whether chewing side was another type of hemispheric lateralization comparable with footedness, handedness, eyedness and earedness. Chewing side preference was tested in 189 subjects of whom 84 were partially edentulous, 98 had a full compliment of dental units (81 included implant-supported restoration restoring the missing teeth and 17 with fully intact dentitions), and seven were fully edentulous, restored with complete dentures. Laterality tests were carried out for the first cycle of mastication, handedness, footedness, earedness and eyedness and patient questionnaire. Most patients preferred chewing on the right side (78ḃ3%) and were right sided. Chewing side preference correlated with other tested hemispherical lateralities. Missing teeth, occlusion type, lateral guidance, gender, implant-supported restorations and complete dentures do not affect the side preference for chewing. This presents a strong argument that chewing side preference is centrally controlled and provides food for thought regarding its significance in prosthodontics.