Dealing With Dysphagia

As physicians working with older adults recognize, swallowing function can deteriorate with age. Older adults’ teeth are often weak or absent. The mucosal surfaces in the mouth and throat are less moist. There is a loss of muscle strength in the mouth and throat that slows swallowing and makes it difficult to swallow hard or dry solid foods. But it’s dysphagia, problems with neural control or structures in any part of the swallowing process, that often makes the eating process extremely challenging for older adults.

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