In studies on the gastroduodenal contents of infants and children, it was found more satisfactory to pass the gastroduodenal tube through the nose rather than through the mouth, for the following reasons:
The subject cannot resist the passage of the tube by clenching the teeth, biting the tube, elevating the tongue or refusing to swallow.
The position of the tube in the digestive tract is not obscured by redundant coils in the mouth.
The gag reflex is less readily stimulated. There is less retching, vomiting and choking.
The flow of saliva which may dilute the gastric contents is not stimulated.
The tube cannot be injured or severed or aspiration stopped during episodes of negativism on the part of the subject.
Test meals and feedings are more readily taken and swallowed when the tube is not in the mouth.
A tube could not be found