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The aim of this study was to clarify the usefulness of colour-changing gum in evaluating masticatory performance after mandibulectomy. Thirty-nine patients who underwent mandibulectomy between 1982 and 2010 at Kobe University Hospital were recruited in this study. There were 21 male and 18 female subjects with a mean age of 64·7 years (range: 12–89 years) at the time of surgery. The participants included six patients who underwent marginal mandibulectomy, 21 patients who underwent segmental mandibulectomy and 12 patients who underwent hemimandibulectomy. The masticatory function was evaluated using colour-changing chewing gum, gummy jelly and a modified Sato's questionnaire. In all cases, the data were obtained more than 3 months after completing the patient's final prosthesis. The colour-changing gum scores correlated with both the gummy jelly scores (r = 0·634, P < 0·001) and the total scores of the modified Sato's questionnaire (r = 0·537, P < 0·001). In conclusion, colour-changing gum is a useful item for evaluating masticatory performance after mandibulectomy.