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This paper aims to review the cranial nerves involved in dysphagia and to clearly determine their individual contribution to the swallowing process. Firstly, the cranial nerves involved in swallowing will be identified and their functions will be delineated with regard to swallowing.


It is anticipated that this review will contribute to the self-learning of the author, as well as extending on insights and understandings of dsyphagia within the literature at this present time.
The trigeminal nerve is the largest of the cranial nerves. It is very important in swallowing due to its afferent control of general sensation to the face, teeth, gum, muscles of mastication and the anterior two thirds of the tongue (Miller, 2006). Its efferent control is of the muscles for mastication. Innervating the tensor velar palatine, the trigeminal is partly responsible for the flattening and tensing of the soft palate. Innervations of the extrinsic laryngeal muscle results in the nerve's support for the upward and anterior movements of larynx.
The facial nerve's main function is its motor portion; although, its afferent portion is involved in taste sensation from the anterior two thirds of the tongue (Miller, 2006). It provides motor innervations to the sublingual and submaxillary salivary glands. More specifically, it is involved in swallowing by regulating the lip sphincter and the buccal muscles, which allows food to be held inside the mouth and also assists in pulling the larynx up and back.
The glossopharyngeal (GPN) is composed of the lingual branch of the GPN (GPN-li) and the GPN-ph. ...
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