Weakened capability of eating and swallowing is common among elderly population, affecting negatively
on their health and well-being. This work measured occlusal force and tongue muscle strength of
elderly patients and then assessed whether correlations existed between oral physiological properties
and the eating and swallowing capability. A total of 26 elderly patients with potential swallow disorder
were recruited in this work. Participants’ denture status and daily diet texture were determined by a
pre-questionnaire analysis. Their swallowing capability was assessed and rated by water drinking test.
Maximum tongue pressure, incisor occlusal force and hand gripping force were measured for each subject.
It was observed that participating subjects have on average a significantly lower biting force and
maximum tongue pressure than that of normal adults. The swallowing grades assessed by water drinking
test showed significant correlations with both the biting force (r =−0.498, P < 0.05) and the tongue muscle
strength (r =−0.544, P < 0.05). The biting force of dysphagia participants correlates significantly with
dental conditions (P < 0.05). The observed correlation between tongue pressure and diet texture indicates
that tongue muscle strength could be used as a reliable indicator of the eating and swallowing capability
for elderly people.