Lip closing pressure in disabled children: A comparison with normal children

  • 145 Accesses

  • 29 Citations


Lip functions play an important role in the oral stages of feeding. Lip closing is an important early motor act in food acquisition and is essential for controlling chewing and swallowing. To date, there have been few papers on the developmental aspects of lip closing strength when taking in food, especially with regard to disabled children. This investigation was designed to produce an ordinal scale of midline lip pressure measurements for a cross-sectional, age-grouped population of normal children. Developmental changes in lip pressure were then compared with those of two populations of disabled children. Pressure measurements were obtained with a strain gauge transducer that was embedded in a spoon during normal feeding. The study population consisted of 104 normal children ranging in age from 5 months to 5 years, 11 children who showed developmental delay (mean 4.5 years), and 10 children with cerebral palsy (mean 5.0 years). Lip pressure was found to increase steadily from 5 months to 3 years and to increase slightly from 3 to 5 years in the normal population. The developmentally delayed group and the cerebral palsied group produced lip pressures and coefficients of variation below those of the normal 1 to 2-year-old group.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. 1.

    Gallender D: Eating Handicaps. Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas, 1979, pp 58–59

  2. 2.

    Christopher VH, Bruce JB, Philip CF, Yitzhak M, Chih-Ko Y, barbara CS: Orla-pharyngeal dysphagia: a common sequela of salivary gland dysfunction. Dysphagia 1:173–177, 1987

  3. 3.

    Kaneko Y, Mukai Y, Omoto K: Disorder in Feeding Functions—The Concept and Rehabilitation (in Japanese). Tokyo Japan: Ishiyaku Publishers, Inc, 1987

  4. 4.

    Proffit WR: Lingual pressure patterns in the transition from tongue thrust to adult swallowing. Arch Oral Biol 17:555–563, 1972

  5. 5.

    Fløystrand F: Vestibular and lingual muscular pressure on complete maxillary dentures. Acta Odontol Scand 44:70–75, 1986

  6. 6.

    Barlow SM, Abbs JH: Force transducers for the evaluation of labial, lingual, and mandibular motor impairments. J Speech Hear Res 26:616–621, 1983

  7. 7.

    Newman DG, Barnes A, Newman J: A study of bilabial lip pressure in normal population. Aust Orthod 55:154–166, 1969

  8. 8.

    Proffit WR, Chastain BB, Norton LA: Linguopalatal pressure in children. Am J Orthol 55:154–166, 1969

  9. 9.

    Thüer U, Janson T, Ingerval B: Application in children of a new method for measurement of forces from the lips on the teeth. Eur J Orthod 7:63–78, 1985

  10. 10.

    Stolovitz P, Gisel EG: Circumoral movements in response to three different food textures in children 6 months to 2 years of age. Dysphagia 6:17–25, 1991

  11. 11.

    Kaneko Y, Mukai Y: A feeding training program for handicapped children. Proc 7th Congr Intl Assoc of Dentistry for the Handicapped, Amsterdam, September 3–6, 1984

  12. 12.

    Mukai Y, Omoto K, Shishikura J, Sasa R, Kaneko Y: Kinetic analysis of lips of the handicapped by a video-computer system. Proc 7th Congr Intl Assoc of Dentistry for the Handicapped, Amsterdam, September 3–6, 1984

  13. 13.

    Omoto K, Mukai Y, Kaneko Y: A method for assessing oral functions in feeding. Proc 8th Congr Intl Assoc of Dentistry for the Handicapped, Bergen, Norway, June 30–July 4, 1986

  14. 14.

    Hellsing E, L'Estrange P: Changes in lip pressure following extension and flexion of the head and at changed mode of breathing. Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop 91:286–294, 1987

  15. 15.

    Cratty BJ: Movement Behavior and Motor Learning, 3rd ed. Philadelphia: Lea & Febiger, 1973

  16. 16.

    Chigira A: Developmental aspects of lip closing pressure when taking in food (in Japanese). J Showa Univ Dent Soc 11:38–46, 1991

  17. 17.

    Scammon RE, Harris JA, Jackson CM, Patterson DG: The Measurement of Man. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1930

  18. 18.

    Mukai Y: Development of feeding function (in Japanese). Child Health 48:309–313, 1989

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to Akiko Chigira DDS, PhD.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Chigira, A., Omoto, K., Mukai, Y. et al. Lip closing pressure in disabled children: A comparison with normal children. Dysphagia 9, 193–198 (1994) doi:10.1007/BF00341264

Download citation

Key words

  • Lip pressure
  • Disabled children
  • Developmental aspects
  • Deglutition
  • Deglutition disorders