The main function of the gullet, otherwise known as the esophagus, is to transfer food and drinks from the mouth to begin digestion in the stomach, according to University of Maryland Medical Center. The muscles of the esophagus squeeze food and drinks down involuntarily.
Sphincter muscles close at the ends of the esophagus to keep food from entering the throat until swallowing and prevent items in the stomach from refluxing into the mouth, according to Healthline. Swallowing causes the sphincters to relax to allow digestion. The sphincters also ease to allow gas and reflux to release from the stomach and then squeeze again to keep the esophagus free of debris, according to University of Maryland Medical Center.