Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine a baseline value of tongue pressure on the palatal region in normal subjects that could then be used to assist in fabrication of a palatal augmentation prosthesis (PAP). Materials and Methods: A tongue-pressure measurement system with 36 rubber pressure sensors was constructed for this study. This system was applied to 16 normal subjects, and the tongue pressure on the palatal region was measured when they were swallowing. Results: The maximum tongue pressures seen during swallowing were 85.0 g/cm2 in the early stage, 95.0 g/cm2 in the middle stage, and 93.0 g/cm2 in the late stage. The average maximum tongue pressure throughout swallowing was 91.0 g/cm2. The tongue pressure in the early stage ranged from 3.37 g/cm2 to 8.74 g/cm2. A significant difference was found between the anterior and the posterior regions and between the central and the posterior regions. The value in the middle stage ranged from 5.32 g/cm2 to 10.22 g/cm2. Significant differences were found between the anterior and the posterior regions and between the central and the posterior regions. Values in the late stage ranged from 6.80 g/cm2 to 7.91 g/cm2. Conclusion: The average maximum tongue pressure against the palate of approximately 90 g/cm2 suggests that a PAP sufficient for swallowing should be strong enough to withstand this amount of pressure. The device is also useful to check for variations in the tongue contact area during trial of the prosthesis.
Int J Prosthodont 2005;18:471–474.