Types of Swallowing Problems!

There are a large number of possible swallowing problems: There may be difficulties closing the lips, moving the tongue to control food during chewing or to push food from the front to the back of the mouth. Muscles of the face may be weak and allow food to collect in the cheeks. There may be a problem with sensation in the mouth so that the patient cannot feel where food is located, or even be aware that there is any food in the mouth. Some patients have a problem triggering the pharyngeal stage of swallowing so that the muscles in the pharynx do not begin to work fast enough. Other patients may have difficulty coordinating the muscles that close and protect the windpipe (larynx) or with muscles that close the valve into the nose (the soft palate). Sometimes there are difficulties lifting the windpipe (larynx) or opening the valve into the esophagus. The control of muscles that push food through the pharynx may be damaged, causing food to be left behind in the throat. Finally, the muscles of the esophagus may be damaged so that they cannot contract and put pressure on the food as it enters the esophagus. Any one of these problems can occur by itself or in combination with other abnormalities.



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