Purpose: To investigate the profiles of swallowing and tongue functions, and to identify factors influencing swallowing in maxillectomy patients. Methods: Maxillectomy patients whose swallowing function defined by Eating Assessment Tool (EAT-10) score and tongue functions (oral diadochokinesis: ODK, maximum tongue pressure: MTP) with or without obturator prostheses had been evaluated were enrolled in this study. The effects of the history of radiotherapy and soft palate defect on swallowing function were evaluated. The effect of radiotherapy on oral dryness was also evaluated. To examine correlations of swallowing function with continuous variables, Spearman correlation coefficients were calculated. Results: A total of 47 maxillectomy patients (23 males and 24 females, median age: 71 [IQR: 63–76]) were registered. The median value of EAT-10 scores was 3 [IQR: 0–14]. Patients with the history of radiotherapy, but not with soft palate defect, showed significantly declined swallowing function. ODK and MTP of patients wearing obturator prostheses were significantly improved. No significant effect of radiotherapy on oral dryness was found. A significant correlation was found between EAT-10 score and MTP (P = 0.04). Conclusions: Swallowing function in maxillectomy patients was relatively impaired and the patients with the history of radiotherapy showed lower swallowing function. Obturator prostheses could contribute to the improvement of MTP and ODK (/ta/). MTP may play a crucial role in swallowing in maxillectomy patients.
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