Dysphagia: Pathophysiology, presentation, diagnosis, and dental management

Kishore Shetty, Alison E. Fronczak, Jeffrey James

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


When faced with an undiagnosed dysphagia patient in private practice, it is the clinician's responsibility to recognize that there is a problem that can be detected through a thorough medical history and head and neck examinations. In addition, the dentist needs to decide whether the patient should be referred to a physician for dysphagia treatment. Similarly, if a patient is referred to a dental professional for treatment of dysphagia, the dentist must understand the condition and the appropriate dental treatments, which ultimately may include restoring natural or prosthetic dentition to proper hygiene and function. Dysphagia is seen in a large population of the community that receives oral health care. This disease entity can lead to serious complications, such as aspiration pneumonia, that can result in death. As a result of the increasing population of older patients, the general public expects dental professionals to consider systemic health as it relates to the oral cavity. It is the duty of the dentist to be aware of important health problems, such as dysphagia, so that he or she can work in conjunction with other health care providers to improve oral care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)260-263
Number of pages4
JournalGeneral dentistry
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)


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