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A reflex action initiated by the presence of food in the pharynx. During deglutition, the soft palate is raised, which prevents food from entering the nasal cavity; the epiglottis closes, which blocks the entrance to the windpipe; and the oesophagus starts to contract (see peristalsis), which ensures that food is conveyed to the stomach.

Subjects: Dentistry — Biological Sciences.

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