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Tongue-pressure resistance training improves tongue and suprahyoid muscle functions simultaneously

Authors Namiki C, Hara K, Tohara H, Kobayashi K, Chantaramanee A, Nakagawa K, Saito T, Yamaguchi K, Yoshimi K, Nakane A, Minakuchi S

Received 15 November 2018

Accepted for publication 11 February 2019

Published 22 March 2019 Volume 2019:14 Pages 601—608


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker

Chizuru Namiki,1 Koji Hara,1 Haruka Tohara,1 Kenichiro Kobayashi,2 Ariya Chantaramanee,1 Kazuharu Nakagawa,1 Takayuki Saitou,2 Kohei Yamaguchi,1 Kanako Yoshimi,1 Ayako Nakane,1 Shunsuke Minakuchi1

1Department of Gerodontology, Division of Gerontology and Gerodontology, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Tokyo, Japan; 2Kobayashi Dental Clinic, Tokyo, Japan

Purpose: Producing tongue pressure (TP) by pushing the tongue against the palate consists of lifting the tongue muscles and elevating the floor of the mouth via suprahyoid muscle contraction. Though studies have shown that tongue-pressure resistance training (TPRT) increases tongue function, none have focused on suprahyoid muscle function enhancements. Our study aimed to verify whether TPRT improves both tongue function and hyoid movement during swallowing.
Materials and methods: Eighteen patients (mean age: 76.8±6.2 years) with presbyphagia presenting with symptoms such as coughing and choking were enrolled. All patients performed daily living activities independently. None of the participants had diseases causing dysphagia or previous oral or pharyngeal surgery. Participants were instructed to push their tongues against the palate as hard as possible with their mouths closed for 10 seconds, and then resting for 10 seconds. A set consisted of five consecutive exercise and resting periods; two sets per day were performed for a month. TP and the oral diadochokinetic rate (ODKR), measured by repetitions of the syllables /ta/ and /ka/, assessed tongue function. The extent of anterior and superior hyoid movement and parameters related to swallowing, including the penetration aspiration scale (PAS) and the normalized residue ratio scale (NRRS) in the valleculae (NRRSv) and piriform sinus (NRRSp), were evaluated based on videofluoroscopic data.
Results: The anterior (P=0.031) and superior hyoid movement (P=0.012), TP (P=0.002), ODKR/ta/ (P=0.034), ODKR/ka/ (P=0.009), and the width of the upper esophageal sphincter (P=0.001) were larger at follow-up than at baseline. NRRSp (P=0.022), PAS (P=0.016), and pharyngeal transit times (P=0.004) were smaller at follow-up than at baseline.
Conclusion: TPRT improved tongue strength, dexterity, both anterior and superior hyoid elevation, and swallowing functions. Therefore, TPRT could improve tongue function and suprahyoid muscle function simultaneously and contribute to prevention of sarcopenic dysphagia.

Keywords: sarcopenic dysphagia, swallowing muscle, tongue function, suprahyoid muscle

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