Maximum tongue strength, mean swallow pressures, and tongue endurance were measured in 324 children ages 6–12 years. The purpose of this study was to measure saliva swallow pressures in absolute terms (i.e., kilopascals) and as a percentage of maximum tongue strength to determine functional reserve in across ages in children and to examine factors that may influence tongue strength and swallow pressures including age, tongue endurance, and tongue-tie. The study results showed that maximum tongue strength and swallow pressures increased with age, while tongue endurance did not. Swallow pressures averaged 44% of maximum tongue strength across ages, indicating that children typically have a functional reserve of 56%. Tongue strength and swallow pressures were not decreased in the 20 children with tongue-tie. A sample clinical case is discussed.
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We thank the families who participated in this study, our collaborators at Emory University, Judith Fridovich-Keil, Grace Carlock, Mary Ellen Lynch, Shannan Edwards, Katherine Barrett, research assistants at Washington State University, Cassandra Campbell, Sarah Vest, Mackenzie Wilson Timmins, and Sarita Thotakat and lastly, Catriona Steele for proactively asking us to collect this data.
Collection of the dataset used for this study was funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute Award CER-1408–19941 (PI: JL Fridovich-Keil). The statements in this publication are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), its Board of Governors or Methodology Committee.
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Potter, N.L., Bajwa, A., Wilson, E.H. et al. Developmental Changes in Tongue Strength, Swallow Pressures, and Tongue Endurance. Dysphagia 36, 854–863 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00455-020-10200-4
- Tongue strength
- Swallow pressure
- Tongue endurance