Deglutition Process

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The act of swallowing or deglutition is a process studied by speech-language pathologists. The normal swallowing mechanism includes many motor, sensory, and timing processes working in unison with one another. The deglutition process consists of four phases including the oral preparatory phase, oral transit phase, pharyngeal phase, and esophageal phase. Swallowing and respiration are similarly anatomically linked and work together to protect the airway. Swallowing structures and functions change across the lifespan, and consist of numerous normal variations. Knowledge of the development and effects of aging on the mechanics of the normal swallow is important to know in order to study the intervention processes for people with swallowing disorders.…show more content…
The goal of the oral phase is to prepare the bolus and move the bolus posteriorly to be swallowed. The oral phase can be separated into the oral preparatory phase and the oral transit phase. The oral preparatory phase includes the oroproprioception of food entering the oral cavity or mouth (Logemann, 1999). Sensory information is sent to the brain regarding bolus volume, consistency, temperature, and taste to communicate when the bolus is adequately formed (Corbin-Lewis, Liss, & Sciortino, 2005). Biting is occasionally involved for food to enter the oral cavity and requires combining muscles for jaw gradation. The lips and cheeks activate to grip the bolus to bring the bolus into the oral cavity. The muscles of mastication are needed to bite down on the bolus, and a labial seal occurs (See Appendix A) (Groher, 2010). Once placed in the mouth, sensory receptors, such as taste, temperature, and pressure on the tongue and in the oral cavity, are activated by saliva to help facilitate taste and form the bolus (Groher,…show more content…
The different types of respiration include quiet breathing, forced breathing, and speech breathing. Quiet inspiration utilizes diaphragm contraction and often external intercostal contraction to expand the ribcage, and in turn, cause the lungs to expand (See Appendix B) (Siekel, King, & Drumright, 2000). The alveoli generate negative pressure and causes air to rush in. Quiet exhalation is a passive process as the diaphragm relaxes and the rib cage recoils. Due to the pleural linkage, the lungs return to normal position and positive pressure in the alveoli causes air to flow out (See Appendix B) (Siekel et al., 2000). The next type of respiration is called forced breathing. Forced breathing requires similar muscles as quiet breathing, but also recruits additional muscles to utilize more muscle contraction and use larger lung volumes for air to flow in and out (See Appendix B) (Siekel et al., 2000). Forced exhalation is typically only used for coughing and speaking. The final type of respiration is speech breathing. Speech breathing requires a deep inhalation for a large amount of air to enter the lungs necessary to produce utterances of various lengths (Hixon, Weismer, & Hoit, 2014). Speech breathing musculature is similar to that of forced breathing, but speech breathing applies the “checking action” mechanism (See Appendix B). The muscles of forced exhalation use a “checking action” to sustain and control the airflow depending on the

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