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Oral exercises significantly improve oral functions in people with mild and moderate dementia: A randomised controlled study
journal contributionposted on 2023-02-28, 03:49 authored by K Somsak, S Tangwongchai, O Komin, Michael Maes
Background: There have been no standard protocols of oral exercises for maintaining and improving oral function for people with dementia. Objective: This study aimed to determine the effects of home-based oral exercises on the oral function of people with mild to moderate dementia. Methods: Twenty-two participants at King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital were randomly assigned to the exercise group (n = 11) or control group (n = 11). The exercise group was instructed to do three home-based oral exercises, consisting of tongue-strengthening, oral diadochokinesis (ODK) and mouth-opening exercises, for 3 months, while the control group received advice on oral health care. The maximum tongue pressure (MTP) was the primary outcome. MTP, ODK rates of /pa/, /ta/, /ka/, modified water swallowing test (MWST) and oral moisture were measured at baseline, and after 1, 2 and 3 months of training. The generalised estimating equation analysis was used to evaluate the effects of oral exercises on the oral function. Results: The MTP and all ODK rates in the exercise group were significantly increased after 3 months of training. There were significant interaction effects between time and intervention in MTP and all ODK rates. No significant interaction effects between time and intervention in oral moisture were found. The MWST scores in both groups did not change through the end of study, and no adverse effects were reported. Conclusion: Home-based oral exercises were found to be effective for improving tongue strength and tongue-lip motor function in people with mild to moderate dementia.