Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen Centre for Evidence Based Practice, Department of Rehabilitation, P.O. Box 9101, local address 818, 6500 HB Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
The biomechanics of swallowing saliva and substances of different consistencies were investigated in healthy children and adults. To this end, the duration and mean amplitude value (MAV) of surface electromyography (sEMG) of the submental muscle group (SMG) activity, the maximum anterior tongue pressure (ATP), and the rise and release slopes of ATP were measured while participants (39 female and 39 male participants, age 5-65years) swallowed saliva, 5mL water (reference), 5mL thick liquid, and 5mL solid food. Mean outcome parameters varied with the consistency of the liquid or food swallowed, with the exception of the rise slope of ATP. Moreover, outcome variables were not substantially affected by age with children of 5years and older showing similar biomechanical events to those of adults. It is important to gain insight into the biomechanics of swallowing saliva and substances of different consistencies in order to understand the underlying mechanisms of dysphagia children and adults.