Training lip force by oral screens. Part 3: Outcome for patients with stroke and peripheral facial palsy
Journal article, 2020
Clinical and Experimental Dental Research published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd The aim of this study was to investigate whether training with an oral screen can improve oral motor function in patients with stroke and peripheral palsy. The participants in the study were eight patients with orofacial dysfunction after stroke, included 7–14 months after onset, and seven patients with peripheral palsy, included 14–28 months after onset. A customized oral screen in acrylic was made for each participant. The screen had a tube around the handle to allow air to pass when measurements were made of the perioral muscle force. When measuring the ability to suck, the hole was sealed with wax. The participants trained with the oral screen two times daily for 5 min. Measurements were made at baseline, after 1 month and thereafter every third month until no further improvement was achieved. Measurements were made with two different instructions, to squeeze and to suck. In the stroke group, muscles around the mouth improved when pouting and smiling; these participants also achieved statistically significant changes when sucking. For the peripheral palsy group, little improvement could be seen when pouting and smiling. However, these patients reported less or no drooling, and the measurements for sucking increased significantly for six of the seven patients. The first recorded significant change was seen in the stroke group after 4 weeks training and in the group with peripheral palsy after 6 weeks. Training with a custom-made oral screen can significantly improve perioral muscle force and the ability to create negative intraoral pressure. The patients reported less leakage in saliva, drink, and food as well as fewer bite injuries and less food accumulation.