Introduction: Supraglottic swallow (SS) and super supraglottic swallow (SSS) are voluntary airway protection techniques which are widely used in the rehabilitation of patients with dysphagia. Although there have been some reports about the effect of these techniques on the pharyngeal stage of swallowing, little is known about that on the oral stage. The purpose of this study is to investigate the influence of SS and SSS on the state of tongue-palate contact by measuring tongue pressure production against hard palate.
Materials and Methods: Nineteen healthy adults (six males and thirteen females, average age; 25.9 years) participated in this study. Tongue pressure during swallowing 5 ml water with normal swallow, SS and SSS was measured by using an ultra-thin tongue pressure sensor sheet with 5 pressure-sensing points attached to the hard palate. Maximal magnitude, duration and integrated value of tongue pressure were analyzed based on the tongue pressure waveform obtained.
Results and Discussion: Maximal magnitude and integrated values during SS were higher at posterior part of the hard palate than those during normal swallow, and those during SSS were higher at each part of the hard palate than those during normal swallow. In addition, those during SSS were higher at anterior-median part and posterior circumferential part of the hard palate than those during SS. These results suggest that SS and SSS facilitated tongue-palate contact which might improve bolus driving force in the oral stage. SSS was more effective than SS in this respect.