Oropharyngeal dysphagia is usually either a secondary manifestation of neuromuscular disease or a primary abnormality related to structural aberrations of the oropharynx. In either case, a focused history is essential in defining the malfunction and distinguishing oropharyngeal dysphagia from globus, xerostomia, or oesophageal dysphagia. The functional evaluation of the oropharyngeal swallow is best accomplished by a videofluoroscopic swallowing study which is used to assess efficacy of functional elements within the swallow: nasopharyngeal closure, UOS opening, airway protection, tongue loading, tongue pulsion and pharyngeal clearance. Both diagnosis and therapy of oropharyngeal dysphagia are based on this functional assessment.
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