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You have probably seen a few segments recently on some success stories regarding…

You have probably seen a few segments recently on some success stories regarding dysphagia (difficulty swallowing) treatment. Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) with appropriate training and competence are involved in the diagnosis and management of oral and pharyngeal dysphagia. SLPs also recognize causes and signs/symptoms of esophageal dysphagia and make appropriate referrals for its diagnosis and management. They are integral members of an interprofessional team.
Safe and effective swallowing is dependent upon perfect timing of three basic stages, as well as the effective performance by many nerves and muscles involved in the process.
Today we will discuss the Oral phase of swallowing: During the oral phase, food is chewed and mixed with saliva to form a soft consistency called a bolus. The tongue then moves the bolus toward the back of the mouth.
Patients with impairment of the oral stage may experience difficulty creating a seal around a fork or spoon with their lips, chewing solid consistencies, forming chewed food into a bolus or moving the bolus to the back of the mouth.



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