Common Causes of Painful Swallowing

Odynophagia — this tongue-twisting word is the medical term for painful swallowing. Most people will encounter pain when swallowing at least once in their lives. Usually, it can be blamed on causes that tend to resolve on their own after a few days, which means there’s really no need for you to panic if you encounter it.

This article will tell you about some of the most common causes of painful swallowing, so read on if right now you are having a hard time eating or drinking. Of course none of the pieces of information found below should be mistaken for as medical advice, which can only come from the mouth of your trusted health care provider.

Make sure that you share this article on your various social media sites later on so that your family members and friends may also know that painful swallowing can be due to any of the following:

The Cold or Flu

One of the most common causes of pain when swallowing is the common cold or flu. Such can be expected as there is an ongoing viral infection of the upper respiratory tract, and that includes your throat.

Usually, the cold or flu is accompanied by cough, which is something that can leave your throat irritated. Needless to say, such can cause you to experience some discomfort or pain not only when coughing but also eating and drinking. Enjoying ice pops or gargling with warm salt water can help you attain much-needed relief from painful swallowing.

Sore Throat

There are so many different things that can leave your throat sore and achy, and the ones already discussed above are included. A sore throat may also be blamed on strep throat, allergies, cigarette smoking, and exposure to irritants. Screaming and shouting a lot can bring about painful swallowing, too.

Aside from pain when swallowing, you may also experience some other signs and symptoms. It all depends on which of the above-mentioned things can be held accountable for the problem.


At the back of your throat are a pair of gigantic soft tissue masses referred to as the tonsils, and they are there in order to capture microbes such as bacteria and viruses in the air you breathe, food you swallow and liquids you drink.

But just because they are tasked at trapping infection-causing agents doesn’t mean that they are impervious to getting infected — infection of the tonsils is referred to as tonsillitis. Treatments for tonsillitis include home remedies, a course of antibiotics, and surgical removal of the tonsils in some instances.

Yeast Infection

Despite what many people believe, a yeast infection does not only affect the vagina. It can actually affect the oral cavity, too, which is something that can leave you experiencing pain when swallowing.

Also called oral thrush, a yeast infection of the mouth can cause signs as symptoms such as the presence of plaques or white patches, redness of the throat and other soft tissues of the mouth, and an unpleasant taste. There are various home remedies and antifungal medications for dealing with a yeast infection of the mouth.

Acid Reflux

Everyone is aware of the fact that acid reflux is something that causes heartburn. Not everyone knows that it is also capable of causing painful swallowing especially if acid that escapes the mouth reaches and irritates the throat.

It’s very much likely for pain during swallowing to be due to acid reflux especially if it’s coupled with coughing and the presence of a metallic taste in the mouth. These symptoms tend to show up after the intake of foods that are spicy, acidic and fatty, as well as consumption of beverages that are carbonated or caffeinated.

WARNING: Make sure that you pay your doctor a visit if pain during swallowing lasts for more than a week or seems to be intensifying. Get medical assistance without any delay if the problem is accompanied by unusual signs and symptoms such as trouble with opening the mouth, drooling or difficulty breathing.

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