OBJECTIVES: To clarify the influence of aging and denture use on swallowing in healthy edentulous people aged 75 and older. DESIGN: A cross-sectional research design was used with participants from Hiroshima University Hospital, Hiroshima University, and Hiroshima City. SETTING: Participants were examined in Hiroshima University Hospital, Hiroshima, Japan. PARTICIPANTS: Thirteen edentulous elderly volunteers (7 male, 6 female; aged 75-86, mean age 81.2) and 19 dentulous elderly volunteers (12 male, 7 female; aged 80-87, mean age 81.2) as a control group participated in this study. Participants reported no clinical symptoms relating to dysphagia, neurological impairments, or degenerative diseases. MEASUREMENTS: Participants were asked to swallow a 10-mL barium sulfate solution three times. Edentulous older people were asked to swallow the solution while wearing dentures and with dentures removed. Functional swallowing was recorded on cine-film with a digital subtraction angiography system. Lateral cinefluorography images were obtained from seated subjects. Using a cine-projector, visual images were evaluated qualitatively and quantitatively. RESULTS: No participants exhibited aspiration. The occurrence of laryngeal penetration in the edentulous older people not wearing dentures was the only significant difference (P<.05). CONCLUSION: Only laryngeal penetration differed significantly between edentulous older people not wearing their dentures and dentulous older people.
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