Signs of swallowing problems can include:

▪ Needing to chew food for a long time before swallowing
▪ Pocketing food in the space between the gums and inner cheeks
▪ Significant food left over on the tongue after swallowing
▪ Difficulty managing mixed textures in the mouth
▪ Coughing after swallowing liquids or solids
▪ Choking on foods
▪ Aspiration pneumonia: This is when food goes into the lungs instead of the stomach: the airway and the esophagus (where food travels to get to the stomach, are very close together in the throat)
▪ Delayed trigger of the reflexive swallow
▪ Significant fatigue with consumption of food and drink

These can be signs of a swallowing problem known as dysphagia. Eating may be tiring, increase the risk of choking or developing aspiration pneumonia. There are many things that can help improve the swallow and ensure adequate nutrition. Contact a speech-language pathologist if you are suffering from swallowing difficulties.

Tough to Swallow