What is dysphagia? Swallowing difficulty is the occurrence of serious problems in swallowing solid or liquid foods. In case of difficulty in swallowing, it sometimes occurs during the ingestion of solid foods, sometimes liquid foods, sometimes in both. Swallowing is a process that occurs through the joint work of organs that include the mouth, tongue, palate, pharynx, and alimentary canal (esophagus). Every person who has illnesses affecting one or more of these organs may experience swallowing difficulty.
Organs participating in swallowing activity; disruption of function by infection, tumoral, metabolic, neurological, congenital, and other causes constitutes a difficulty of swallowing. Inflammations of mouth, teeth, tongue, tonsils, and stomach have difficulty swallowing and are painful. Severe pain is felt when swallowing in cases of infection such as pharyngitis, tonsillitis, and inflammation of tooth and tongue. Aphta (small wounds) in the mouth and throat region sometimes make swallowing difficulties by making a pain in the throat sometimes there is reflected pain in ears. In the brain and nervous system diseases, there is a problem when the muscles of the pharynx and the alimentary canal are working and it is difficult to swallow the liquid foods.
Acquired and congenital muscle diseases cause difficulty in swallowing. In these illnesses, the swallowing difficulty is accompanied by coughing because of escaping saliva and food to the airway. As the disease progresses, it also becomes difficult to swallow solid foods.
Difficulty in swallowing solid foods is often seen in the good and malignant (cancer) tumors of swallowing organs that occupy space. The difficulty of swallowing liquids as the tumor grows begins. Depending on the size of the tumor in the alimentary canal (valve part), tongue base and larynx may have difficulty at different rates. It is difficult to swallow in children with congenital anomalies in the pharyngeal region of the lip and palate region.