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Dysphagia. 2012 Sep;27(3):401-7. doi: 10.1007/s00455-011-9383-8. Epub 2011 Dec 30.

Coordination of tongue activity during swallowing in mouth-breathing children.

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University of Göttingen, Robert-Koch-Strasse 40, Göttingen, Germany.


Habitual mouth breathing is often accompanied by habitual anterior tongue thrust, instead of a lip closure, in order to create the anterior seal necessary for the initiation of physiological deglutition. We tested the null hypothesis of no significant influence of oral maneuver and the use of oral screens on tongue coordination and position during deglutition in 29 subjects (age = 6-16; mean = 9.69 years; 13/16 female/male) with habitual open-mouth posture using intraoral polysensography. The target parameters for swallowing were swallowing-associated nasal airflow interruption (NAI) and coordination of tongue-palate contact during NAI. Conventional myofunctional maneuvers could be facilitated and made more efficient, in terms of increasing the numbers of favorable early tongue-palate contacts typical of somatic swallowing, if accompanied by the application of an oral screen. Habitual open-mouth breathing does not necessarily coincide with distinctively pronounced proportions of late tongue-palate contact.

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