Discover what dysphagia is and how it's evaluated. We offer top-notch Dysphagia therapy in Denver, CO.
Dysphagia is defined as "difficulty swallowing." Swallowing proceeds in three main phases (and locations): the oral phase (the mouth and area where chewing occurs), the pharyngeal phase (the throat at the back of the mouth behind the uvula and extending downward), and the esophageal phase (the tube that connects the throat to the stomach). The swallow mechanism's purpose is to close off the trachea (windpipe) and direct food, liquid, pills, and saliva to the esophagus (swallowing pipe).
When a patient's swallow muscles are not functioning properly, he or she can become at risk for other medical problems. One common, high-risk complication arising from dysphagia is aspiration pneumonia, a type of pneumonia caused when solids, liquids, and/or saliva enter the lungs (aspiration) and become a breeding ground for a lung infection.