BACKGROUND: The palatoglossus pillars were admitted as the main receptive responsible area by the pharyngeal swallowing reflex produced by food and tongue posterior progression. This concept sustain the mechanical-thermal maneuver used to recovery the committed pharyngeal function. A pharyngeal motor answer by pillar stimulation is common accepted but not unanimously.
AIM: To verify the possible pharyngeal motor answers by palatoglossus pillars mechanical thermal stimulation.
METHODS: Healthy volunteers are more able to provide effective reflex answers by pillars stimuli than patients. In this way we evaluated 51 healthy adult volunteers from both sexes reproducing the pillars stimuli using metallic probe. The cold condition was obtained by probe immersion in water maintained to 10°C.
RESULTS AND CONSIDERATIONS: The study showed that the mechanical thermal stimuli over pillars was not able to produce any active answer linked to the swallowing pharyngeal phase. It is possible that literature observed answers were due to the gag reflex inadequately interpreted or unconscious voluntary contractions effort produced by the opening mouth and tongue externalization during the pillars exposition to execution of the mechanical thermal stimulation maneuvers.
Headings: Pharynx, physiology. Deglutition. Physical stimulation. Gagging. Deglutition disorders.