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Anatomy for Dental Students$
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Martin E. Atkinson

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199234462

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199234462.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use.date: 27 May 2022

Swallowing and speech

Swallowing and speech

(p.308) 29 Swallowing and speech
Anatomy for Dental Students

Martin E. Atkinson

Oxford University Press

Swallowing or deglutition is a series of closely integrated actions that propel the contents of the oral cavity through the pharynx and the oesophagus to the stomach and ensuring that they do not enter the lower respiratory tract. Some of these actions are voluntary whereas others are reflex. We tend to think of swallowing merely in terms of eating and drinking. In reality, a relatively small proportion of the total number of swallows performed in a day occurs during meals; the majority of them take place to clear excess saliva from the mouth. We are generally unconscious of salivary clearance swallows, but concentrate on your swallowing as you read this chapter—you will be surprised by how often you do swallow. A single swallow usually takes 1.5 to 2 seconds from mouth to stomach. This rapid action means that it is difficult to be absolutely categorical about the precise order of events. For convenience of description, swallowing is usually divided into three phases according to the position of the food but, in reality, the three phases are continuous with each other. The phases are: • The oral phase , usually subdivided into an oral preparatory phase and an oral phase ; • The pharyngeal phase ; • The oesophageal phase . The oral phase is voluntary whereas the second and third phases are reflex. In the oral preparatory phase , food is chewed to the right consistency, mixed with saliva, and collected into a single mass, the bolus , on the dorsum of the tongue. This subphase requires the muscles of mastication, suprahyoids and infrahyoids, used during mastication as described in Chapter 26, together with the tongue muscles and the muscle of the lips and cheeks to push food between the teeth. The consistency of chewed food is measured by sensory receptors in the oral mucosa. The oral phase is initiated when food is judged to be of the right consistency. The bolus is pushed rapidly backwards towards the oropharynx by raising the tongue against the hard palate from front to back. This action is brought about by elevating the hyoid bone by the contraction of the suprahyoid muscles and the musculature of the tongue itself.

Keywords:   alveolar consonants, consonants, dysarthria, epiglottis, gag reflex, hyoglossus muscles, intrinsic muscles, labial consonants, multiple sclerosis

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