Objectives. Edentulous oral mucosa involves different tissue types, various innervation and wound healing process. We hypothesized that pressure pain threshold (PPT) of edentulous oral mucosa varies significantly among different regions. The objective of this study is to examine regional differences and correlations of PPT in edentulous oral mucosa. Methods. Pain threshold (PPT) was measured at 112 sites in 15 edentulous patients using an electric-controlled pressure algometer. PPT mapping was created by the level of PPT, and PPT clustering was undertaken based on the inter-site correlation of PPT. Results. PPT increased from the anterior to posterior alveolus in both maxilla and mandible, but decreased from the anterior palate to the posterior palate. PPT decreased from the ridge crest to the buccal vestibule. The inter-site difference was four fold within the maxilla and 2.4 fold within the mandible. Principal component analysis applied on PPT inter-site correlation matrix revealed that the maxilla and mandible could be differentiated statistically. The maxilla and mandible were divided into three and four clusters, respectively. Conclusion. These results demonstrate that different areas of edentulous oral mucosa have different PPT and that the PPT varies proportionally in selected areas, providing useful diagnostic and therapeutic information in removable prosthodontics and a new opportunity for understanding pain underneath the denture.
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