Gender Effect on Oral Volume Capacity

Dysphagia. 2012 Sep;27(3):384-9. doi: 10.1007/s00455-011-9379-4. Epub 2011 Nov 27.


Studies have shown anatomical and functional differences between men and women with respect to the mouth, pharynx, upper esophageal sphincter, and esophagus. The aim of this investigation was to analyze the influence of gender, body mass index (BMI), age, and orofacial anthropometric measurements on the intraoral maximum volume capacity for liquid. The investigation included asymptomatic subjects, 56 females and 44 males, aged 19-53 years. The volunteers sucked water through a straw up to the maximum tolerated oral volume, which was greater in men (71.2 ± 15.0 ml) than in women (55.4 ± 13.4 ml). Age, BMI, height, and number of teeth had no influence on the intraoral tolerated volume. Anthropometric orofacial measurements were greater in men than in women. In individuals with height between 1.66 and 1.89 m, anthropometric orofacial measurements were greater in men than in women, and the tolerated intraoral volume was greater in men than in women. There was a positive correlation between orofacial measurements and intraoral maximum volume. In conclusion, men have the capacity to place a larger volume of water inside their mouth than women. This observation is associated with higher anthropometric orofacial measures, but not with age, number of teeth, height, or BMI.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anthropometry
  • Body Mass Index
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mouth / anatomy & histology*
  • Organ Size
  • Sex Factors
  • Water
  • Young Adult


  • Water