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There is a lack of evidence on the impact of socioeconomic factors on masticatory efficiency. The present study investigates the relationship between individual and neighbourhood socioeconomic factors (main exposure) and the number of masticatory units (MUs) used as surrogate of the masticatory efficiency (main outcome).In this cross-sectional study nested in the Paris Prospective Study 3, 4270 adults aged 50–75 and recruited from 13 June 2008 to 31 May 2012 underwent a full-mouth examination. Number of MUs defined as pairs of opposing teeth or dental prostheses allowing mastication, number of missing teeth and gingival inflammation were documented. The individual component of the socioeconomic status was evaluated with an individual multidimensional deprivation score and education level. The neighbourhood component of the socioeconomic status was evaluated with the FDep99 deprivation index. Associations were quantified using marginal models.In multivariate analyses, having less than 5 MUs was associated with (1) the most deprived neighbourhoods (OR=2.27 (95% CI 1.63 to 3.17)), (2) less than 12 years of educational attainment (OR=2.20 (95% CI 1.66 to 2.92)) and (3) the highest individual score of deprivation (OR=3.23 (95% CI 2.24 to 4.65)). Associations with education and individual score of deprivation were consistent across the level of neighbourhood deprivation. Comparable associations were observed with the number of missing teeth. Associations with gingival inflammation were of lower magnitude; the relationship was present for deprivation markers but not for education.Poor masticatory efficiency is associated with low educational attainment and high deprivation scores.