Feeding and Swallowing Disorders at Different Stages in The Swallowing Process

Feeding and Swallowing Disorders at Different Stages in The Swallowing Process

Feeding disorders include problems gathering food and getting ready to suck, chew, or swallow it. For example, a child who cannot pick up food and get it to her mouth or cannot completely close her lips to keep food from falling out of her mouth may have a feeding disorder.

Swallowing disorders or dysphagia can occur at different stages in the swallowing process:

  1. Oral phase- sucking, chewing, and moving food or liquid into the throat
  2. Pharyngeal phase- starting the swallow, squeezing food down the throat, and closing off the airway to prevent food or liquid from entering the airway (aspiration) or to prevent choking
  3. Esophageal phase- relaxing and tightening the openings at the top and bottom of the feeding tube in the throat (esophagus) and squeezing food through the esophagus into the stomach

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