Does air enter oesophagus while eating?

  1. Hello everyone,

    Another quick question. When you swallow food I know nasopharynx closes and cricopharyngeus muscle relaxes. This means air can enter oesophagus easily right? Then why are we not burping all the time while eating. Thanks :smile:
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2010
  2. jcsd
  3. Moonbear

    Moonbear 12,266
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Speak for yourself. :biggrin: Mainly, it's just that we don't have a lot of air in our mouths with the food when we swallow. There's nothing really stopping us from swallowing air with our food, and those who eat quickly can do a lot of that.
     
  4. Air certainly does go down, but not so much in the form of direct intrusion from the back of the nose, as in
    1) bubbles mixed into the bolus while you chew, and going down when you swallow,
    2) bubbles in foods that contain hollows, such as crispy salad veggies and fruit,
    and
    3) gases dissolved in food or evolved physiologically through fermentation chemically (though most of that happens further down the gut).

    We perpetrate more eructation and flatus than we (and most of our neighbours) usually realise. A great deal of our gut function depends on it. When the mechanisms go wrong in ruminants, they suffer from bloat. It can be fatal. It is a curse to stock farmers, who constantly have to be on the look-out when their cattle get moved into rich pasture.

    Meanwhile, (urp! 'scuse...) good digestion wait on appetite, and health on both,:cool:

    Jon
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2010
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