Surface electromyographic activity of submental muscles during different types of swallow-specific tasks: A comparative study

Söyler A. K., SEREL ARSLAN S., DEMİR N., Kıylıoğlu N.

Journal of Oral Rehabilitation, vol.50, no.7, pp.580-586, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 50 Issue: 7
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/joor.13448
  • Journal Name: Journal of Oral Rehabilitation
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, CAB Abstracts, CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database
  • Page Numbers: pp.580-586
  • Keywords: dysphagia, effortful swallow, electromyography, submental muscles, swallowing, swallow-specific task
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Background: Repetitive performance of a motor task has been proposed to increase the ability to perform that motor task. Therefore, exercise training including swallow-specific task may be an optimal training to improve swallowing function. Objectives: To determine the submental muscles activity during different types of swallow-specific tasks (effortful swallow, ES; tongue-hold swallow, THS; swallow with Kinesio taping, SwKT; and head extension swallowing exercise, HESE) compared to normal swallow (NS), and also compare these tasks within themselves. Methods: Thirty-five healthy adults participated in this prospective experimental study with one participant group. The surface electromyography (sEMG) was used to evaluate submental muscles activity while performing swallow-specific tasks. Results: While the greatest submental muscles activity was revealed during the ES, HESE, NS and THS tasks, respectively, the lowest was obtained during SwKT. When compared to NS, ES caused a statistically greater submental muscles activity (p1 =.000 and p2 =.000), although SwKT revealed a lower submental muscles activity (p1 =.002 and p2 =.000). When swallow-specific tasks were compared within themselves, ES caused the highest muscles activity (p <.005) than all other tasks, and HESE caused higher muscles activity than THS and SwKT (p <.005). Conclusion: Different swallow-specific tasks can cause increased or decreased submental muscles activity compared to NS task. Since ES and HESE are superior in selective submental muscles, they appear to be more promising in terms of submental muscles gains in long-term exercise training.