The structures involved with the process of swallowing include the tongue, teeth, epiglottis, and esophagus.
The teeth are used to grind and chop up food into tiny pieces, while the glands in the mouth moisten the food with saliva. In the first stage of swallowing, the tongue pushes the food into the throat. In the second stage of swallowing, an important small flap of tissue called the epiglottis, folds over the voice box (larynx) at the entrance to the windpipe (trachea), preventing food from going down the wrong way. In the final stage, the esophagus contracts and moves food toward the stomach.
A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, also known as the American Accreditation
HealthCare Commission (www.urac.org). URAC's accreditation
program is the first of
its kind, requiring compliance with 53 standards of quality and accountability,
verified by independent audit. A.D.A.M. is among the first to achieve this important
distinction for online health information and services. Learn more about A.D.A.M.'s editorial
process. A.D.A.M. is also a
founding member of Hi-Ethics (www.hiethics.com) and subscribes to the principles
of the Health on the Net Foundation (www.hon.ch).
A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the
information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
The information provided herein should not be used during any
medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition.
A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any
and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to
other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements
of those other sites.