This article briefly reviews normal swallowing physiology and the nature of dysphagia in the traumatically brain-injured population. Traumatically brain-injured individuals may demonstrate oral and pharyngeal stage dysphagia. Typically, more than one abnormality in swallowing is observed. Aspiration can occur before, during, and after the pharyngeal swallow as a result of these swallowing problems. Tongue control for speech and swallowing, and the oral and pharyngeal effects of the tongue during swallowing are compared. Effects of head injury on lingual control for swallowing and speech are different. Oral tongue functioning appears to be a poor predictor of tongue base retraction during the pharyngeal stage of swallowing.