Involvement of Sensory Input from Anterior Teeth in Deglutitive Tongue Function
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Swallowing is a reflex that receives sensory information from the peripheral nerves and from the cerebral cortex. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether the sensory input from anterior teeth affects the functional characteristics of tongue pressure applied against the hard palate during swallowing. Subjects were eight healthy volunteers. Tongue pressure against the hard palate during swallowing 10 ml of water was measured under two conditions: preanesthesia and postanesthesia of anterior teeth. The sensory deprivation of anterior teeth was performed by periodontal anesthesia. Tongue pressure was measured using a multiple tactile array sensor (MTAS) with eight sensor channels arranged in tandem. The duration of the tongue pressure production during swallowing was increased under periodontal anesthesia. In addition, the maximum tongue pressure and the pressure integral during swallowing were decreased under periodontal anesthesia, in particular at the anterior region of the palate. These findings indicate that sensory input from anterior teeth, including periodontal mechanoreceptor, affects the deglutitive tongue pressure and duration and provides peripheral feedback to modulate some aspects of the neurophysiologic control of deglutitive tongue movement.
KeywordsDeglutition Tongue pressure Swallowing Anterior teeth Periodontal anesthesia
This study was supported in part by grants-in-aid for scientific research (No. 16209061, 2004-2007) from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan.
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