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Swallowing, sometimes called deglutition in scientific contexts, is the process in the human or animal body that makes something pass from the mouth, to the pharynx, and into the esophagus, while shutting the epiglottis. Swallowing is an important part of eating and drinking. If the process fails and the material (such as food, drink, or medicine) goes through the trachea, then choking or pulmonary aspiration can occur. In the human body the automatic temporary closing of the epiglottis is controlled by the swallowing reflex.
The portion of food, drink, or other material that will move through the neck in one swallow is called a bolus.