Depends . It largely depends on the reason for the dysphagia (swallowing problem). In most cases of dysphagia that is not related to an esophagus problem, modifying the texture or consistency of the food/liquids, using special head postures or maneuvers, and doing tongue throat exercises are helpful. This is usually prescribed as necessary and treatment is performed by a speech language pathologist.
Find cause. Dysphagia has many causes. It is often divided into the location- oral, oropharyngeal and esophageal. In a demented patient, the etiology is often oropharyngeal. Treatment includes changing consistency of diet after a swallowing eval and positioning the head to prevent aspiration. Esophageal dysphagia maybe due to a mass or spasticityof the esophagus.
Many answers. Dysphagia is a very broad term for difficulty in swallowing. Various things can cause this: infection, inflammation, mass, excess mucus, nerve paralysis. After your primary care doctor takes a detailed history and performs a complete physical, he/she can direct you to the next steps. This may include specific x-rays and endoscopies by an ear, nose, & throat or GI doctor.