The masticatory ability of 15 nondysphagic volunteers with complete natural dentition was tested using different chewing parameters including preparation of a two-color plastic chewing gum (bolus shape, and color mixture), particle reduction of a piece of silicone, and number of strokes before swallow of almonds. The tests were performed under conditions of normal salivation and experimental oral dryness caused by intramuscular injection of methylscopolamine. The chewing gum tests as well as the silicone particle reduction tests were not influenced by lack of salivation. The number of chewing strokes prior to the initiation of swallowing of almonds was significantly increased. Oral dryness seems to cause accumulation of particles in the oral cavity from friable food and the particulate material is not transported posteriorly into a “readyto-swallow” positioning. The absorption of saliva by dry oral content such as an almond further impaired oral manipulation of food.
Key wordsExperimental xerostomia Chewing Oral function Swallowing Deglutition Deglutition disorders
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