Several conditions can result in difficulty swallowing liquids and food safely.
Signs to look for include:
- coughing while eating
- a “slow” eater
- increased congestion
- dry mouth
A speech-language pathologist can assess risks, provide exercises to strengthen oral mechanism and provide strategies for safe swallowing.
Mary-Ellen Thompson has attended the Toronto Bedside Swallowing Screening Test (TOR-BSST©) and is certified in SLP Dysphagia Expert Training and is a TOR-BSST©-trained SLP
The TOR-BSST© offers an accurate method by which to identify stroke patients with dysphagia in both the acute and rehabilitation setting
The Sequence of the Swallow
Images supplied by Toronto Bedside Swallowing Screening Test ( TOR-BSST© ) Learning Module One
"This sequence (the swallow) seems simple, yet the physiology is so complex that the fact that swallowing succeeds more than it fails... is amazing."
- J.L. Pitcher
A successful swallow is dependent upon the precise, coordinated movement of a large group of muscles plus a number of well-formed and healthy anatomical structures.