The scientific or medical study of the processes and pathophysiology of deglutition
Deglutology is a branch of science specializing in the physiologic aspect of deglutition. Deglutition is a medical term for the process of swallowing food and fluid by animals and humans. A professional or expert in this field is called a deglutologist.
Deglutology tackles various disciplines but aims to address different deglutition disorders, particularly in those individuals whose health is compromised by dysphagia and other related pathologies. The general aspects of this field include digestion, gustation, olfaction, and respiration in connection with deglutition. It also tackles the natural airway protective mechanisms and reciprocal physiology of the deglutitive axis. It also studies the central regulation of deglutition. Examples of their studies in that discipline include the cerebral cortical control and the brainstem control of deglutition.
Deglutition is a physiologic process comprised of the following phases: oral phase, pharyngeal phase, and esophageal phase. Thus, these are the major aspects of study in deglutology, incorporating fields of anatomy, embryology, and physiology of the body parts generally used for deglutition.
Deglutology also attempts to discover the physiological dysfunction of the deglutition process in various disorders and pathologies such as dementia, dysphagia, appetite disorders, Zenker’s diverticulum, cricopharyngeal achalasia, etc.
Word origin: Latin dēglūtīt , from dē– + glūtī (re) (to swallow) + logy (study)