Chapter-22 Dysphagia

BOOK TITLE: Fundamentals of Oral Medicine and Radiology

1. DN Bailoor
2. LK Chatra
3. R Gopakumar
Publishing Year
Author Affiliations
1. Yenepoya Dental College and Hospital, Mangalore
2. Yenepoya Dental College and Hospital, Mangalore
3. AB Shetty Institute of Dental Sciences, Mangalore, Chhattisgarh Dental College, Rajnandgaon, Chhattisgarh, India
Chapter keywords


Dysphagia or difficulty in swallowing denotes the subjective sensation evoked when a food bolus is impeded in its passage from the mouth down the esophagus, to the stomach. Stoschus B and Allescher HD state “Dysphagia describes the disability or problems in swallowing a wet or dry bolus properly and is normally associated with an impaired transport of bolus. The difficulty in swallowing brings the patient to dental surgeon because most laymen believe that only oral cavity takes part in the swallowing process. The truth is that swallow consists of the oral phase, the pharyngeal phase and the esophageal phase. The esophagus appears to be a simple organ, and yet the esophageal diseases are common. They range from heartburn, aspiration, obstruction and hemorrhage. The description of difficult swallowing by a patient should alert the dentist. After removal of the oral causes, if the problem persists then the possibility of referral to a specialty medical center should be considered. Since carcinoma of the esophagus is a real possibility in many cases gastroenterologists opinion is the first to be sought and the oral medicine and radiology specialist must work very closely with this professional to chalk out the diagnostic tests required. In advanced cases, involving nutritionist and a clinical psychologist helps in a more complete health care management of the problems that are difficult to swallow!

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