Swallowing Reflex, Phases and Overview of Neural Control, Animation.


Swallowing, or deglutition, is the process
by which food passes from the mouth, through the pharynx and into the esophagus. As simple
as it might seem to healthy people, swallowing is actually a very complex action that requires
an extremely precise coordination with breathing since both of these processes share the same
entrance – the pharynx. Failure to coordinate would result in choking or pulmonary aspiration.
Swallowing involves over twenty muscles of the mouth, throat and esophagus which are
controlled by several cortical areas and by the swallowing centers in the brainstem. The
brain communicates with the muscles through several cranial nerves.
Swallowing consists of three phases: 1. Oral or buccal phase: this is the voluntary
part of swallowing, the food is moistened with saliva and chewed, food bolus is formed
and the tongue pushes it to the back of the throat (the pharynx). This process is under
neural control of several areas of cerebral cortex including the motor cortex.
2. Pharyngeal phase starts with stimulation of tactile receptors in the oropharynx by
the food bolus. The swallow reflex is initiated and is under involuntary neuromuscular control.
The following actions are taken to ensure the passage of food or drink into the esophagus:
– The tongue blocks the oral cavity to prevent going back to the mouth.
– The soft palate blocks entry to the nasal cavity.
– The vocal folds close to protect the airway to the lungs. The larynx is pulled up with
the epiglottis flipping over covering the entry to the trachea. This is the most important
step since entry of food or drink into the lungs may potentially be life threatening.
– The upper esophageal sphincter opens to allow passage to the esophagus.
3. Esophageal phase: food bolus is propelled down the esophagus by peristalsis – a wave
of muscular contraction that pushes the bolus ahead of it. The larynx moves down back to
original position.

Comments 54

  • Very useful. Thanks a lot 🙂 Please keep uploading more.

  • no it wasnt im trying too find the pushes the bolus

  • what the disease that we have to find this reflex?

  • Subahan Allah wabihamdihi la ilaha illallah muhammadur rasool Allah.

  • Amazing >>THANKS alot 🙂

  • anyone thought of millions of years of evolution before accrediting deglutition to an invisible creator. i wonder whether you could do the same for cancer.

  • Thanks for not helping me get over my pseudodysphagia and instead making it sound even more frightening.

  • i have this problem whenever eating the thing is i can SWALLOW but the part where the muscles pushes the food to the esophagus i CHOKE is it because of acidity(acid reflux) or?? please this is my first time this has come to me
    it has stopped but then it has come again help anyone please?

  • when i try to sleep i swallow even when i have no saliva .. i hate it ..i cant control this effect , i have no saliva in my mouth but i have very strong urge to swallow . when i ignor it. i swallow without my will.i cant explain this thing !
    TL:DR – i swallow even when there is no saliva and i have strong urge to do it .
    Please help.

  • was helpfull

  • I was coughing for as long as I could remember over 12 years now I have try all kind of things and I had all kind if test done but I still have the problem can anyone related to this

  • I have the fear of swallowing down the wrong pipe even though ik it's unlikely. can anyone please help

  • I can't breath now without getting anxiety after watching this vid, thanks Obama.

  • when I eat food I feel like I can't swallow but when I do it feel like it gets stuck I feel like I'm gonna choke

  • TRAZADONE. I was hoping to find a video about this specific drug. I take several medications at different times of the day. No problem except -TRAZADONE.
    First of all whoever decided to make this pill in a geometric shape with 4 sharp corners and brick like is an asshole. I've never seen anything like it. My first doses I knew I had a prob. The pill would lodge in my throat and a couple times It diverted to my wind pipe and I was choking–by myself mind you. I thankfully huffed it up to where it shot out of my mouth.
    The next zany experience was when I decided to Judy drop it in my Diet Coke and let it dissolve before drinking. OMG the second I dropped it in the soda shot up in the air in foam spewing like shaken bottle of champagne being uncorked. Holy Shit. It settled down so I began siping and it tasted awful.
    The only theory I have about that incident is perhaps they made it to do that so you'd know if somebody slipped you a pill.
    I continue to struggle with consuming this med but it DOES seriously help with my mental Heath issues which are bipolar/major depression. Anyone have this experience with trazadone ?

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  • so at 0:52 this back tongue thingy is moved (by gravity of food?) backwards to close off the airpipe…now I see that when I have the "dry" cough the mucus of the (inflamed?) back throat is simply free to slip into the air pipe (during sleep; in shock awake because of suffocation).
    Why oh why isn't our body evolved to deal with this shit ?

  • So all the idiots who I head say "It went down the wrong tube" whenever a liquid went down my throat before I was ready. NEEDS To see this video. smh There is only one tube.

  • This is kinda scary question to ask …."I been sick awhile they told me it was BRONCHITIS but im not coughing much anymore but when I sleep I suddenly get up Gasping for Air as if Im choking" it scares me alot not enuff to even go to sleep anymore

  • Can Anyone or Plz tell me whats wrong and wat should i do?? Really looking for answrrs or recomendation on what to do …..plz help 😐

  • very helpful

  • Was trying to find a animation video of swallowing, watched 5 videos so far, this is the best!

  • SubhanAllah

  • I made a funny animation about a fisherman who swallowed a live fish, check it out on my channel!

  • All videos r good and so easy to understand and filled with basic information..Thanks

  • my father faces the swalllowing problem….he can,t swallow anything proprly..even water or liquid..he uses ng tube for getting food. kindly help me

  • wtf this video make it worse for me

  • Can peristalsis occur in the PHARYNGEAL stage of deglutition too?

  • Great summarized and still enough detailed video !

  • Yesterday, at work (assembly line) I attempted to quickly use my albuterol inhaler… I didn't check it for debris. Took a big puff, something blocked my airway. I thought it was a tiny piece of "Lifesaver" candy. I hustled off the line to handle this (away from 50 people), though, I kept my eye on a friend, just in case I needed the Heimlich. One big cough and out comes a finger cot. They're worn on fingers… they look like little condoms. Wow… that was frightening. Hope, I learned my lesson: never, ever be too busy to check the inhaler for debris. I wonder how many people have died this way… there ought to be a statistic out there about it. Thx for listening. And, thanx for this video… I was trying to get a better idea of what physiologically happens during choking; this was helpful.

  • Thank you

  • Help us make more videos like this! Support us on Patreon and get FREE downloads and other great rewards: https://www.patreon.com/AlilaMedicalMedia/posts
    Thank you so much!

  • Almost choked on my drink. Got curious. Thank you!

  • thanks for the video helped me a lot

  • We are the perfect machines

  • nice,exact details, thank you

  • Thank you very helpful

  • Am I the only one who’s fascinated by the way the BOLUS pushes through to the esophagus?

  • Very helpful ty!

  • After watching this, I stuck my phone in the very back of my mouth, turned flash on, and took a photo…. I could see my epiglottis.. blech…

  • im Always swollowing every 2 min and its Really getting me annoyed my throat feels like its closing and i cant laugh or eat cause i feel like theres something wrong with me breathing tubes

  • Good. Great help for med students.

  • Which one is larynx

  • This video was very helpful. I am a singer n they tell u "dont let your swallowing muscles get in the way when singing. This helped pin point where everything is.
    Thanks so much! Great video.
    BTW, who knew u used over 20 muscles alone, just to swallow.

  • Uff thanks…. It's a very clear concept…

  • thankS for Video helped me a lot

  • this is so well done, thank you so much! ❤

  • I cant eat without fear of food go into my lung

  • this really helped me work on my deep throating! Thanks!

  • Thank you..

  • Good job.. Sir…!!

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