Article

Dysphagia

, Volume 21, Issue 2, pp 102-111

Measures of Tongue Function Related to Normal Swallowing

  • Scott R. YoumansAffiliated withDepartment of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Long Island UniversityDepartment of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Long Island University Email author 
  • , Julie A. G. StierwaltAffiliated withDepartment of Communication Disorders, Florida State University

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Abstract

The availability of objective measures of tongue function presents a possible supplement to the clinical dysphagia evaluation. The purpose of this study was to improve our understanding of normal tongue physiology during swallowing and maximum isometric tasks, establish a preliminary database of tongue function variables, and determine if differences existed among the variables as a function of age, gender, or varied bolus consistency. Ninety subjects, divided into age and gender groups, participated in tasks that determined maximum isometric tongue pressure, mean tongue pressure during swallowing, and percentage of maximum isometric pressure used during swallowing. Descriptive statistics, correlations, and analyses of variance were computed to analyze the data. Results indicated that males had significantly higher maximum isometric pressures than females, and the youngest group had significantly higher maximum pressures than the oldest group. Mean swallowing pressures and percentage of maximum isometric pressures used during swallowing differed as a function of bolus type but did not differ as a function of age or gender. In addition, maximum isometric pressures were correlated with mean swallowing pressures, and mean swallowing pressures and percentage of maximum isometric pressures used during swallowing were correlated between consistencies.

Keywords

Deglutition Swallowing Tongue strength Isometric pressure Deglutition disorders