Swallowing chewed food begins one of the body's basic functions, digestion. Swallowing (deglutition) pushes chewed food from the mouth through the throat and esophagus into the stomach. Swallowing is an intricate action because it involves not only the tongue but also all the muscles of the oral cavity, face, larynx and esophagus. Swallowing begins by squeezing the jaw, at the same time the tongue presses the bite against the hard palate and pushes it into the throat, squeezing the muscles in the throat creates high pressure that strongly pushes the bite into the esophagus through which food does not fall into the stomach by its own weight. than by the work of the muscles of the esophagus. The muscles of the esophagus contract after a bite and with wavy movements push it into the stomach. The most dangerous moment of swallowing is the arrival of food in the throat. While the oral cavity is a common pathway for the digestive and respiratory systems, the pharynx represents their intersection. From the pharynx, air enters the trachea and lungs through the larynx, and food enters the stomach through the esophagus. Swallowing is set to prevent food from entering the airways, and swallowing is controlled by a special center in the brain.

Swallowing takes place completely unconsciously only the beginning of swallowing man controls by his will. Once food enters the pharynx and esophagus, swallowing takes place completely independently of our will. Any disorder of food transport from the mouth to the stomach is called dysphagia. Such disorders people usually call difficulty swallowing, and can occur due to changes (inflammation, tumors) in the oral cavity, pharynx, larynx and esophagus. Difficulty swallowing is experienced by the patient in a variety of ways, and the disturbances may be accompanied by pain, the pain may be slight or non-existent. The disorders are described as itching or burning when swallowing, some complain that food enters their trachea or nose. Swallowing problems can be accompanied by speech, chewing, breathing problems or occur only when swallowing solid foods, some have difficulty taking fluids.

Pain when swallowing is most often caused by inflammation of the throat and esophagus. Difficulty swallowing accompanied by pain is a constant sign of almost any sudden, acute inflammation of the throat, the pain is of varying intensity, and there can only be a feeling as if a foreign body is in the throat. Angina is a common cause of pain that increases abruptly with swallowing, with fever and general malaise. Severe pain is caused by burns caused by swallowing hot food or hot liquids and inhaling hot air, accompanied by hoarseness, and in severe cases, breathing problems, even suffocation. Even stronger pains occur by swallowing strong acids and alkalis, these are the so-called. chemical injuries of the pharynx and esophagus or chemical burns. Terrible pain and fear at the very thought of having to swallow something is the first sign of rabies. It occurs only three weeks to three months after the bite of a rabid animal. When the first signs appear, the disease cannot be cured, it can only be prevented by timely vaccination for the first few days after the bite.

There is no man who has not choked at least a few times in his life. A piece of food comes at the very entrance or enters the trachea. A strong cough in most cases throws out that foreign content. Older people choke more often. The cause is a mismatched work of the swallowing muscles due to changes in the nerve cells of the swallowing center in the brain or arteriosclerosis of the blood vessels and a poorer blood supply to the brain. If a foreign body has entered the respiratory tract and has not been expelled by coughing, the person should be placed in a supine position. By breathing calmly, the foreign body can be held in the wide, main airway. Standing up or intensified breathing can move a foreign body to lower, deeper parts of the lungs. Such a person should be transferred to the hospital in a supine position. When inhaled smaller foreign objects reach the deeper parts of the airways, where they remain, severe forms of pneumonia can develop, the so-called. aspiration pneumonia.

Sudden death that occurs when swallowing food is not such a rare occurrence, and it is also called bolus death (bolus means a bite). In the United States, food suffocation is the sixth leading cause of accidental death, the number of victims is higher than the number of those who die from firearms or plane crashes. Choking and death occur because a bite of food, or some other object, gets stuck in the back of the throat or between the vocal cords, completely closing the airway. The victim cannot speak or breathe, becomes pale, soon begins to turn blue (cyanosis), and loses consciousness within a few seconds. Most often, such a person completely stiffens, bulges his eyes or in a panicked mortal fear begins to run around the room, but soon falls unconscious and dies before the eyes of those present.