How does swallowing work?



What happens to allow food to go from the mouth to the esophagus and then the stomach?

In: Biology

Fancy medical word for it is “peristalsis”, and it’s basically your esophagus flexing the muscle it’s made of in a wave like motion to move food from the mouth to the stomach. It’s the same method used in your small and large intestines as well.

[Heres a video explaining it in just over a minute](

Two things are at work here – gravity and peristalsis. Your esophagus is lined with smooth muscle that contracts in a sequence. These contractions literally push the food down toward your stomach. This action is called peristalsis. The same action also pushes it through your intestines after the stomach releases it.