Dysphagia is the medical term for swallowing difficulty.
Dysphagia can occur for a number of different reasons, including anatomic obstruction, ingested foreign body, nerve/motility disorders, or allergic conditions. Dysphagia is never normal, but if it has been longstanding, some patients may not even realize it is a problem.
Prior to your gastroenterology appointment, it can be helpful to keep a food journal to see if there are particular foods that are more difficult to swallow than others. If the patient often gets food stuck in their throat, takes a long time to chew (especially with meat), has to sip their beverage between bites, or is avoiding certain foods that are difficult to swallow, they may be experiencing dysphagia and deserve a thorough medical work-up, which can include esophageal imaging and/or upper endoscopy.