, Volume 20, Issue 3, pp 210-217

Effects of a Sour Bolus on the Intramuscular Electromyographic (EMG) Activity of Muscles in the Submental Region

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Abstract

A sour bolus has been used as a modality in the treatment of oropharyngeal dysphagia based on the hypothesis that this stimulus provides an effective preswallow sensory input that lowers the threshold required to trigger a pharyngeal swallow. The result is a more immediate swallow onset time. Additionally, the sour bolus may invigorate the oral muscles resulting in stronger contractions during the swallow. The purpose of this investigation was to compare the intramuscular electromyographic activity of the mylohyoid, geniohyoid, and anterior belly of the digastric muscles during sour and water boluses with regard to duration, strength, and timing of muscle activation. Muscle duration, swallow onset time, and pattern of muscle activation did not differ for the two bolus types. Muscle activation time was more tightly approximated across the onsets of the three muscles when a sour bolus was used. A sour bolus also resulted in a stronger muscle contraction as evidenced by greater electromyographic activity. These data support the use of a sour bolus as part of a treatment paradigm.