Search the Health Library
Get the facts on diseases, conditions, tests and procedures.
I Want To...
Find a Doctor
Find a doctor at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center or Johns Hopkins Community Physicians.
I Want To...
Find Research Faculty
Enter the last name, specialty or keyword for your search below.
Swallowing is a set of coordinated muscle movements that control the mouth, the back of the throat (pharynx) and the food tube (esophagus). Swallowing occurs without us even thinking about it, yet it is a complex and vital function; it is very important to eating and to social interaction.
Swallowing Disorders: What You Need to Know
- A person swallows approximately 600 times per day, so swallowing disorders can seriously interfere with your quality of life.
- The term “swallowing disorders” includes a number of different conditions. If you have any unexplained pain or difficulty swallowing, see your gastroenterologist for a definitive diagnosis.
- Diagnostic procedures include endoscopy and motility studies.
- There are a variety of treatment options for swallowing disorders, depending on your specific diagnosis. Treatments include medication, Botox injections and surgery.
Read a more in-depth article about swallowing disorders, written by Johns Hopkins gastroenterologists, which details the anatomical description of the causes of swallowing disorders.
Read our FAQs about swallowing disorders.
Why choose Johns Hopkins Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology for swallowing disorders?
Noninvasive and painless, the Wireless Motility Capsule provides data that can help treat your gastroparesis.Learn more about the Wireless Motility Capsule.
Our Patient Education
The per-oral endoscopic myotomy (POEM) is a relatively new surgical treatment for achalasia.Watch a video that explains POEM.