The journal of nutrition, health & aging

, Volume 22, Issue 9, pp 1133–1137 | Cite as

Submental Muscle Activation During Lingual Tasks in Healthy Adults

  • Elizabeth R. OommenEmail author
  • Y. Kim



Lingual strengthening exercises are established to improve lingual function, thereby oral swallowing. This study measured submental muscle activation during maximum isometric pressure (MIP) lingual tasks in healthy adults, tasks that are or can be adopted in lingual strengthening exercises. In addition, the effects of age and gender on submental muscle activation are examined.


Forty-nine participants between the ages of 18 to 35 years and greater than 60 years were included in the study. Participants completed trials of intraoral MIP lingual elevation, protrusion, and depression, during which submental muscle activation was measured using surface electromyography (sEMG). Peak amplitude measures were normalized and log transformed, following which a three-way ANOVA was performed.


Peak amplitudes of submental muscle activation were highest during lingual MIP protrusion, followed by lingual depression, and were least during lingual elevation. No significant differences in peak amplitudes were observed between older and younger adults, but higher peak amplitudes were recorded in women.


The differential effects of lingual task, age, and gender on peak submental muscle activation are examined. The potential impact of incorporating tasks adopted in this study in lingual strengthening exercises to improve oral and pharyngeal swallowing is discussed.

Key words

Age gender lingual task maximum isometric pressure submental muscle activation sEMG amplitude 

Supplementary material

12603_2018_1084_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (382 kb)
Supplementary material, approximately 381 KB.


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Copyright information

© Serdi and Springer-Verlag France SAS, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Speech Pathology and Audiology DepartmentCalvin CollegeGrand RapidsUSA
  2. 2.Communication Sciences and Disorders, Grover Center W233Ohio UniversityAthensUSA

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