A novel handy probe for tongue pressure measurement

Int J Prosthodont. 2002 Jul-Aug;15(4):385-8.


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to develop a handy probe to measure tongue pressure without fear of radiation or infection.

Materials and methods: A probe was assembled using a small balloon, a stainless pipe, and a 1-mL disposable tuberculin-test syringe cylinder. The probe was pressurized to set the balloon diameter at approximately 18 mm. Forty-one subjects (16 men and 25 women, 24 to 84 years of age) participated. To record maximal voluntary tongue pressure, the subjects were asked to compress the balloon onto their palates as strongly as possible. To record deglutitious tongue pressure, 5 mL of water was measured and administered with a scaled 10-mL syringe and swallowed with the balloon in the mouth. Both types of pressure were recorded three times at 1-minute intervals. Peak values of each record were measured.

Results: Individuals varied from 10 to 41 kPa in the maximal voluntary trial and 3 to 27 kPa in the deglutitious trial, with 5 and 7 kPa mean intraindividual ranges of reproducibility, respectively. A negative correlation to age was found for both types of pressure. No gender differences or effects of dentition were found.

Conclusion: A disposable handy probe for measuring tongue pressure was developed and tested for clinical use. Despite the limited information acquired, we could see some quantitative aspects of tongue function conveniently and safely.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Deglutition / physiology
  • Dental Instruments*
  • Dental Stress Analysis / instrumentation*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Manometry / instrumentation
  • Middle Aged
  • Pressure
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Tongue / physiology*