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Arch Oral Biol. 2010 Apr;55(4):325-31. doi: 10.1016/j.archoralbio.2010.02.008. Epub 2010 Mar 16.

Kinematic linkage of the tongue, jaw, and hyoid during eating and speech.

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Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 600 North Wolfe Street, Baltimore, MD 21287, USA. <>



Tongue movement is temporo-spatially coordinated with jaw and hyoid movements during eating and speech. As such, we evaluated: (1) the correlation between the tongue with jaw and hyoid movements during eating and speech and (2) the relative influence of the jaw and hyoid on determining tongue movement.


Lateral projection videofluorography was recorded while 16 healthy subjects ate solid foods or read a standard passage. The position of anterior and posterior tongue markers (ATM and PTM, respectively), the jaw, and the hyoid relative to the upper occlusal plane was quantified with the upper canine as the origin (0,0) point for Cartesian coordinates. For vertical and horizontal dimensions, separate multiple linear regression analyses were performed with ATM or PTM position as a function of jaw and hyoid positions.


Vertically, both ATM and PTM positions were highly correlated with the jaw and hyoid during eating (median r=0.87). The relative influence was higher for the jaw than the hyoid for ATM position (P<0.001), but lower for PTM position (P=0.04). Horizontally, tongue marker positions had moderate correlation with the jaw and hyoid during eating (r=0.47), due more to hyoid position than to jaw position. Overall, correlations were lower during speech than eating.


This study demonstrated distinct kinematic linkages between the movements of the jaw, the hyoid and the anterior and posterior tongue markers, as well as differing impact of the jaw and the hyoid in determining tongue movement during eating and speech.

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