Swallowing and respiration are well-coordinated and interdependent functions. When one of these processes is impaired, the ramifications may be negative for the other. This article describes the mechanics of normal swallowing, the disorders of swallowing the effects of tracheotomy and mechanical ventilation on swallowing, and the procedures used to assess and treat swallowing. Combining a basic understanding of these concepts with practical management can increase safe and efficient oral intake in patients with artificial airways

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