Deglutition is the scientific term for the process of swallowing any food stuff into the body, particularly passing from the mouth, to the pharynx, and down through the esophagus. The food stuff ingested and swallowed is called a bolus.
There are three stages of deglutition. The first stage is the voluntary closure of lips and tooth approximation. The second stage is the involuntary peristalsis so that the bolus would be propelled down the esophagus. At this stage, the nasal passage and pharyngeal airway are shut. The third stage is the passing of the bolus along the length of the esophagus and then into the stomach, again, through involuntary peristalsis. 1
Word origin: Latin dēglūtīt , from dē- + glūtī (re) (to swallow) + -ion
1Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc.