Lingual pressures induced by mouthgags

Craig W Senders, John H. Eisele

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Airway obstruction from tongue edema following intraoral procedures is uncommon. However, the insidious nature of postoperative lingual edema and the gravity of acute airway obstruction requires diligent monitoring by the surgeon. The etiology of lingual edema is likely related to tissue ischemia, secondary to venous or arterial obstruction. This study shows that during normal usage the mouthgag can easily generate pressures which typically exceed venous pressure and often exceeds arterial pressure. Suspension of the mouthgag almost always exceeds arterial pressure. Whether that pressure is transferred to the respective arteries and veins is likely highly variable and relates to the patient's individual dentofacial anatomy. Avoidance of these high pressures should minimize the risk of postoperative lingual edema. The U.C. Davis Mouthgag Usage Protocol is presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-60
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1995


  • Etiology
  • Intraoral procedure
  • Lingual edema
  • Tissue ischemia
  • Tongue edema
  • Venous or arterial obstruction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Surgery


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