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Two-point discrimination values vary depending on test site, sex and test modality in the orofacial region: a preliminary study

Sang-Yeun WON, Hye-Kyoung KIM, Mee-Eun KIM, Ki-Suk KIM


The two-point discrimination (TPD) test is one of the most commonly used neurosensory tests to assess mechanoperception in the clinical settings. While there have been numerous studies of functional sensibility of the hand using TPD test, there have been relatively not enough reports on TPD in the orofacial region. Objective The aims of the present study were to determine the normal values of TPD in the six trigeminal sites (the forehead, cheek, mentum, upper lip, lower lip, and the tongue tip) and to investigate the effect of the site, sex, and test modality on the TPD perception. Material and Methods Forty healthy volunteers consisting of age-matched men (20) and women (20) with a mean age of 27.1 years were recruited. One examiner performed the TPD test using a simple hand-operated device, i.e., by drawing compass with a blunt or sharp-pointed tip. The static TPD with a blunt-pointed tip (STPDB), moving TPD with a blunt-pointed tip (MTPDB), and static TPD with a sharp-pointed tip (STPDS) were measured. The predictors were the site, sex, and test modality, and the outcome variable was the TPD value. Three-way ANOVA was used for statistics. Results The analysis showed a significant effect of the site, sex and test modality on the TPD values. Significant differences between the test sites were observed with the descending order from the forehead and cheek>;mentum>;upper lip and lower lip>;tongue tip and index finger. Women showed lower TPD values than those of men. The STPDS measurements were consistently lower than those of the STPDB and MTPDB. Conclusions The normal values of TPD in this study suggest that the cheek and forehead were less sensitive than other regions evaluated and women were more sensitive than men. The STPDS was the most sensitive test modality.


Facial; Oral; Location; Sex; Modality; Perception

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/1678-7757-2016-0462

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