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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 39  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 158-159

Current scientific information on rehabilitative tongue therapy: An overview on dental perspective

1 Department of Prosthodontics, Shree Bankey Bihari Dental College and Research Centre, Ghaziabad, India
2 Department of Biochemistry, Shree Bankey Bihari Dental College and Research Centre, Ghaziabad, India
3 Private Practitioner, Pitampura, New Delhi, India
4 Department of Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics, IDST Dental College, Ghaziabad, India

Date of Web Publication11-Jan-2013

Correspondence Address:
Asha Raj
Department of Biochemistry, Shree Bankey Bihari Dental College and Research Centre, Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0974-5009.105931

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How to cite this article:
Kumar P, Raj A, Khattar A, Goel R. Current scientific information on rehabilitative tongue therapy: An overview on dental perspective. J Sci Soc 2012;39:158-9

How to cite this URL:
Kumar P, Raj A, Khattar A, Goel R. Current scientific information on rehabilitative tongue therapy: An overview on dental perspective. J Sci Soc [serial online] 2012 [cited 2022 Oct 5];39:158-9. Available from: https://www.jscisociety.com/text.asp?2012/39/3/158/105931


In the entire monarchy of human physiology, no muscular mechanism is more complicated or has more assorted functions, unusual motility, and importance in social contacts than the tongue. The tongue is an important oral structure that affects speech, the position of teeth, periodontal tissue, nutrition, swallowing, nursing, and certain social activities. As well, it is associated with the functions of taste, mastication and deglutition and takes part in the mechanism of sucking, receiving food into mouth, and vocalization. Amendment of these usually requires immediate medical aid, lack of which may cruelly prejudice patient's quality of life. The tongue is the principal articulator of the consonants and changes position and shape for the pronunciation of each of the vowels. The tongue contacts a specific part of the teeth, alveolar ridge or hard palate during pronounciation of consonants. [1] In completely edentulous patients, these structures are replaced by the denture, therefore the dentist ought to know where the tongue contact them so that they can be correctly restored in the prosthesis. Furthermore, the neutral zone concept entails acquired muscular equilibrium by tongue and cheeks towards the success of denture therapy usually in terms of denture stability. A well formed neutral zone records aid in determining the correct tooth position.

Roughly, more than 4% of all cancers occur in the oral cavity of which carcinomas of the tongue represent 26% of all reported cases, so it is recommended that each patient who comes for the dental treatment be screened for these problems, despite of the obvious need or lack of need for treatment. [2] It is approximately estimated that 12,770 populace in the United States will be diagnosed with tongue cancer and that about 15% will die from their disease. From 2005 to 2009, the median age at diagnosis for tongue cancer in the U.S. was 61 years of age and the median age of death from tongue cancer was 66 years of age. The incidence of tongue cancer varies amongst countries with the highest incidence found in India (9 cases per 100,000 people per year). The occurrence of tongue cancer in the United States for white males has been anticipated to be about 2.5 cases per 100,000 per year; though, it has been reported to be nearly twice as high in African-American males. Tongue cancer is much more prevalent in males than females by a ratio of about 3 to 1. The highest incidence of tongue cancer is found in men between ages of 60 to 80 and is rarely observed in young adults under age 20. [3],[4]

The definitive goal managing tongue carcinoma following complete glossectomy is the early placement of tongue prosthesis that can aid in effectual deglutition and speech. [5] Tongue prosthesis constructed in conjunction with mandibular removable partial denture with the tongue portion in an elevated position, equip patient the additional help needed to conquer this initial reluctance. Tongue prosthesis can speed the recovery of patient and return them to society to enjoy nearly normal diet and life. Moreover, oral cancer patients can be benefited from dental implants placed during ablative surgery, with a high survival rate of the implant retained prosthesis. [6] The patient are able to quickly regain their speech, swallowing abilities and socialization. This letter is an endeavor to draw an attention towards the potential role of diagnosis, treatment planning and implementing rehabilitative therapy for tongue disorders so as to benefit both the doctor and patients.

  References Top

1.Rothman R. Phonetics consideration in denture prosthesis. J Prosthet Dent 1961;11:214-23.  Back to cited text no. 1
2.Davis JW, Cathy L, Logemann J, Hurst PT. Effect of maxillary glossectomy prosthesis on articulation and swallowing. J Prosthet Dent 1987;57:715-9.  Back to cited text no. 2
3.Preview of the Medifocus Guidebook on: Tongue Cancer. Available from: http://www.medifocus.com/2009/preview.php?gid=OC022 and a=a. [Last cited on 2012 Oct 01, Last updated on 2012 Jun 07].  Back to cited text no. 3
4.American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts and Figures 2012. Atlanta: American Cancer Society; 2012. Available from: http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/content/@epidemiologysurveilance/documents/document/acspc-031941.pdf. [Last cited on 2012 Oct 01].  Back to cited text no. 4
5.Koshino H, Hirai T, Ishijima T, Ikeda Y. Tongue moor skills and masticatory performance in adult dentates, elderly dentates, and complete denture wearers. J Prosthet Dent 1997;77:147-52.  Back to cited text no. 5
6.Korfage A, Schoen PJ, Raghoebar GM, Roodenburg JL, Vissink A, Reintsema H. Benefits of dental implants installed during ablative tumor surgery in oral cancer patients: A prospective 5-year clinical trial. Clin Oral Implants Res 2010;21:971-9.  Back to cited text no. 6


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