Swallowing disorders can occur at different stages in the swallowing process. The oral phase is sucking, chewing and moving food or liquid into the throat. The pharyngeal phase is starting the swallow, squeezing food down the throat, and closing off the airway to prevent food or liquid from entering the airway or to prevent choking. The esophageal phase is 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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