Swallowing

Like breathing, swallowing is a reflex and essential to everyday life. Humans swallow at least 900 times a day: around three times an hour during sleep, once per minute while awake and even more often during meals. We swallow food, liquids, medicine and saliva. People who have trouble swallowing are at risk of poor nutrition and dehydration, while babies and children may not take in enough nutrients to support growth and brain development.

http://www.speechpathologyaustralia.org.au/library/2013Factsheets/Factsheet_Swallowing.pdf