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Keywords

tongue, muscle strength, instrumentation

Abstract

In clinical speech-language pathology practice, tongue force is usually evaluated qualitatively. Perception and practical experience are used to classify this force. The Biomechanical Engineering Group from the Federal University of Minas Gerais developed an instrument to quantify tongue force. The purposes of this study were to quantify maximum tongue protrusion force in Brazilian subjects with normal tongue strength and to compare force values between gender groups. In total, 105 subjects, 43 men and 62 women, aged from 18 to 29 years, with normal tongue strength according to qualitative evaluation, underwent quantitative evaluation by using the instrument. The mean of the maximum tongue force values of all participants was 17.58±7.95 N. There were significant differences in the median values for maximum tongue forces between the genders, with higher values observed for men. In intersubject comparisons, high variation coefficients were evident due to the variability among individuals. However, the study suggested that the instrument could be an interesting tool for intrasubject comparisons, especially during the follow-up.

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