Effect of Tongue-Hold Swallow on Pharyngeal Contractile Properties in Healthy Individuals

Yoichiro Aoyagi, Miho Ohashi, Shiori Ando, Yoko Inamoto, Keiko Aihara, Yoko Matsuura, Sayuri Imaeda, Eiichi Saitoh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Tongue-hold swallow (THS) is a swallow exercise in which an individual swallows saliva while holding the anterior portion of the tongue between the front teeth. The effect of THS on pharyngeal contractile vigor is still unclear. The purpose of this study was to quantify THS using high-resolution manometry with a contractile integral analysis. Twenty-two healthy participants performed three different saliva swallow tasks: normal swallow, weak THS (in which the tongue was protruded 1 cm outside the upper incisors), and strong THS (in which the tongue was protruded 2 cm outside the upper incisors). The participants repeated each task twice randomly. Pharyngeal and upper esophageal sphincter metrics, including the pharyngeal contractile integral, were analyzed. Both weak and strong THS enhanced the velopharyngeal contractile integral and peak pressure compared with normal swallow (P < 0.01). THS also prolonged mesopharyngeal contraction (P < 0.01). Holding the tongue anteriorly during swallow requires significant biomechanical changes to pharyngeal contractile properties at the superior and middle pharyngeal constrictor levels; thus, it may serve as a resistance exercise for the muscles that are involved in bolus propulsion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)936-943
Number of pages8
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 10-2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Speech and Hearing


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