Maximal voluntary tongue pressure is decreased in Japanese frail elderly persons

Kazuhiro Tsuga, Mineka Yoshikawa, Hiroshi Oue, Yohei Okazaki, Hirokazu Tsuchioka, Mariko Maruyama, Mitsuyoshi Yoshida, Yasumasa Akagawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Citations (Scopus)


Background and objective: To quantitatively estimate tongue function, we developed a handy device for intraoral pressure measurement. The objective of this study was to assess maximum voluntary tongue pressure (MVTP) in Japanese frail elderly persons receiving nursing care services. Materials and methods: The study included 42 men and 87 women, aged 58-100 years. To record MVTP, the participants were asked to compress the balloon (diameter: 18 mm) of the disposable intraoral pressure probe onto their palates for 7 s using the maximum voluntary effort of the tongue. Pressures were recorded three times at 1 min intervals. Results: Maximum voluntary tongue pressure was successfully measured in 111 persons. Mean (standard deviation) MVTP was 18 (12) kPa, with a range of 0-63 kPa. The remaining 18 persons could not accurately follow our instructions and MVTP could not be measured. Conclusion: In comparison with the reported standard value using the same device, the frail elderly persons included in our study were found to exert less MVTP than healthy dentate individuals. These results suggest the need for proper quantitative evaluation of oral function, including tongue capacity, at nursing care facilities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e1078-e1085
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 06-2012
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Dentistry(all)
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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