Swallowing Patterns and Evaluation Methodology. A Review of the Literature

2018 • Volume 12 • Issue 4

Priscila Chuhuaicura; Giannina Álvarez; María Florencia Lezcano; Alain Arias; Fernando Jose Dias & Ramón Fuentes



Swallowing is a critical function for the human being. It is a complex activity that requires the coordination of multiple structures. Currently there are different methods to evaluate this process, however, the ability to describe the behavior of structures in its three dimensions is limited. It has been shown that lingual movement is key for food bolus formation and propulsion to the oropharynx. Hence, lingual movement patterns have been identified through various techniques. The objective of this review is to report the different swallowing assessment techniques and identify the patterns established by each of them. A review of the literature was carried out in different databases, through a systematic search strategy. The key words “Deglutition”, “Swallowing”, “Movement Tracking”, “evaluation” and “patterns” were used in English and Spanish. Unlimited studies without restriction on the date of publication, carried out in human subjects, in English, Spanish and Portuguese, were included. Different techniques were found to evaluate swallowing, videofluoroscopy, endoscopy, electromagnetic articulation, electromyography, computed tomography, manometry, electropalatography and ultrasound. Videofluoroscopy is one of the most popular methods used, this technique has attempted to describe patterns of movement during swallowing, as well as electromagnetic articulation. On the other hand, electromyography has described swallowing patterns, but in relation to the contraction and relaxation of certain muscle groups. There are different methods to assess swallowing. Each of the techniques has made it possible to elucidate this process better, nonetheless, a greater number of comparative studies is necessary to resolve doubts about the validity and effectiveness of the techniques described.

KEY WORDS deglutition, swallowing, movement tracking, patterns.


How to cite this article

CHUHUAICURA, P.; ÁLVAREZ, G.; LEZCANO, M. F.; ARIAS, A.; DIAS, F. J. & FUENTES, R. Swallowing patterns and evaluation methodology. A review of the literature. Int. J. Odontostomat., 12(4):388-394, 2018.


PDF of the article.