The impact of varying Sodium Starch Glycolate (SSG) grade and wet granulation intensity on the mechanism of disintegration and dissolution of mannitol-based Immediate Release (IR) placebo tablets was investigated. MRI and 1H NMR provided mechanistic insight, and revealed a four-fold range in both tablet disintegration and dissolution rates. MRI was used to quantify the rates of change in tablet volumes and the data fitted to a hydration/erosion model. Reduced levels of cross-linking change SSG from a swelling to a gelling matrix. The tablet hydration and dissolution rates are related to the viscosity at the tablet-solution interface, with high viscosities limiting mass transport.