Causes of Throat Pain When Swallowing

throat hurting when i swallow

Pain in the throat during swallowing occurs in both children and adults. Although the main reason of throat hurting when you swallow is an infection, but there may be other causes as well.

Below are the reasons why a sore throat when swallowing saliva and / or food. The accompanying symptoms are also indicated, on the basis of which you can better understand the cause of the malaise.


Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a typical virus that can infect nearly anyone. When infected, your body maintains the virus for life. The majority of people don’t understand they have CMV due to the fact that it seldom causes issues in healthy people, according to Mayo Clinic. The majority of people infected with CMV who are otherwise healthy experience couple of if any signs or symptoms. When first infected, some adults may have symptoms similar to infectious mononucleosis, including fatigue, fever, sore throat, or muscle aches.

CMV is connected to the viruses that trigger chickenpox, herpes simplex and mononucleosis. CMV may cycle through durations when it lies dormant and after that reactivates. If you’re healthy, CMV mainly remains dormant.

During activation you can pass the virus to other individuals. Casual contact doesn’t transmit CMV. The virus is spread out through body fluids — including blood, urine, saliva, breast milk, tears, semen and vaginal fluids.

Herpes Simplex Virus

According to a case report in Case Reports in Infectious Diseases, herpes esophagitis hardly ever impacts healthy patients with operating body immune systems. Normally, the infection targets people with a suppressed body immune system, such as those with HIV, those who have undergone an organ transplant or those taking drugs that impact their body immune system. The infection also tends to affect men more frequently than women.

According to the Case Reports in Infectious Diseases article, the following symptoms may appear in a client with herpetic esophagitis:

  • Hard or painful swallowing
  • Sores in the back of the throat or esophagus
  • Fever
  • Weight-loss
  • General discomfort

A dental or medical expert will likely detect the problem through endoscopy, a procedure that allows them to look down your esophagus. They will aesthetically examine the sores in the area and may take tissue samples to test.

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)

As WebMD states, HIV is a virus that resides in human blood, sexual fluids, and breast milk. It compromises your body immune system, so your body has a tough time battling common germs, viruses, fungi, and other invaders. It spreads out primarily through unprotected sexual contact and sharing needles. The first signs of HIV are It occurs due to the fact that the body is responding to HIV, and the body immune system attempts to fight it off. The first symptoms of HIV in human include: fever, headache, upset stomach, sore throat, swollen glands, rash, and aches and pains in muscles and joints.


Pharyngitis is inflammation of the back of the throat, known as the pharynx. [2] It normally results in an aching throat and fever. Other symptoms might consist of a runny nose, cough, headache, and a hoarse voice. Symptoms normally last 3-5 days. Problems can include sinus problems and acute otitis media. Pharyngitis is a kind of upper respiratory tract infection. A lot of cases are triggered by a viral infection. Strep throat, a bacterial infection, is the cause in about 25% of children and 10% of adults [“Evidence-Based Evaluation And Management Of Patients With Pharyngitis In The Emergency Department – link“] Here are the primary signs of the condition:

  • Absence of a cough
  • Swollen and tender cervical lymph nodes
  • Temperature more than 38.0°C (100.4°F)
  • Tonsillar exudate or swelling
  • throat hurting (especially during swallowing)
  • Age less than 15 (a point is deducted if age is more than 44).

Esophageal Thrush

Esophageal thrush is a yeast infection of the esophagus. The condition is also referred to as esophageal candidiasis. If you’re healthy, it’s unlikely you will develop this condition. People with jeopardized body immune systems, such as those with HIV, AIDS, or cancer, and older adults are at a higher threat. Having AIDS is the most common underlying risk factor.

The symptoms of esophageal thrush include:

  • white sores on the lining of your esophagus that might look like cottage cheese and might bleed if they’re scraped
  • pain or discomfort when swallowing
  • dry mouth
  • difficulty swallowing
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • weight loss
  • chest pain


The precise reason for achalasia is not known. Some scientific scientists think that the condition might be triggered by the degeneration of a group of nerves located in the chest (Auerbach’s plexus). It is thought that there might be an unusual, inherited type of achalasia, however this is not yet well understood at this time.

The symptoms of achalasia normally appear gradually. Many people with this disorder experience a disability in the capability to swallow (dysphagia) as a major and early sign. There may likewise be mild chest pain that reoccurs. Some impacted individuals experience pain that is very intense. Retention of saliva and ingested food in the esophagus might frequently cause regurgitation of these contents. In addition, such contents may likewise be moved into the lungs throughout breathing (tracheobronchial aspiration).

Other symptoms of this disorder might consist of a cough throughout the night and significant weight loss, due to the fact that of problem in swallowing, in cases that remain unattended. Dry eyes (keratoconjunctivitis sicca) and dry mouth (xerostomia) are not uncommon in patients with achalasia. The aspiration of saliva and food contents by people with achalasia may cause pneumonia, other pulmonary infections, or perhaps death. The occurrence of esophageal cancer is significantly increased in patients with achalasia.

Esophageal Spasm

An esophageal spasm is the unexpected, unusual squeezing of the food pipe (esophagus). That’s tube that brings food from your mouth to your stomach.

Doctors aren’t sure what causes esophageal spasms, however it is understood that they are a type of motility disorder. That indicates there’s an issue with how the muscles in the food pipe capture together (contract) to move contents through the rest of the gastrointestinal (GI) system.

Symptoms of Esophageal Spasms include difficulty and pain during swallowing and chest pain. The spasms can be extreme enough to wake you from sleep and may feel like a cardiac arrest. If you have abrupt chest pain or other signs of a cardiac arrest, call 911 or go to the closest hospital emergency clinic.

Other symptoms of esophageal spasms can consist of:


Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) does not close effectively and stomach contents leakage back, or reflux, into the esophagus. The primary symptoms are consistent heartburn and acid regurgitation. Some people have GERD without heartburn. Instead, they experience pain in the chest, hoarseness in the early morning, or problem swallowing. You may feel like you have food stuck in your throat or like you are choking or your throat is tight. GERD can likewise trigger a dry cough and halitosis.


Esophagitis is defined as inflammation of the esophagus, which is the tube that links the throat to the stomach. It can be triggered by infection, inflammation of the esophagus, or inflammation of the lining of the esophagus. According to MedicineNet, symptoms and signs of esophagitis consist of:

  • Difficult and/or painful swallowing
  • The feeling of food getting stuck while swallowing
  • Heartburn
  • Acid reflux
  • Undesirable taste in mouth
  • Aching throat
  • Hoarseness
  • Cough
  • Mouth sores
  • Queasiness
  • Throwing up
  • Stomach pain
  • Indigestion
  • Chest pain
  • Bad breath.

Nutcracker Esophagus

Nutcracker esophagus describes having strong spasms of your esophagus. It’s likewise called jackhammer esophagus or hypercontractile esophagus. It comes from a group of conditions connected to unusual movement and function of the esophagus, called motility conditions, states HealthLine website. The primary sign of nutcracker esophagus hurts swallowing. You may have other symptoms as well, including:

  • sudden and serious chest pain that can last for numerous minutes or take place on and off for hours
  • difficulty swallowing
  • heartburn
  • dry cough
  • feeling like something’s stuck in your throat

Throat Ulcers

Throat ulcers are open sores in your throat. Sores can also form in your esophagus – the tube that links your throat to your stomach – and on your vocal cables. HealthLine mentions, that you may have these symptoms together with throat ulcers. If so, see your doctor.

  • mouth sores
  • trouble swallowing
  • white or red patches in your throat
  • fever
  • pain in your mouth or throat
  • lump in your neck
  • bad breath
  • trouble moving your jaw
  • heartburn
  • chest pain

Something Stuck in the Throat

In some cases after you swallow a tablet it might feel like it “got stuck” or didn’t go all the method down. This feeling typically disappears within 30 to 60 minutes if you consume liquids or eat a piece of bread. You might not have any symptoms when something is stuck in your esophagus. But when symptoms exist, they might consist of:

  • Rapid, loud, or high-pitched breathing.
  • Increased drooling.
  • Problem swallowing, pain when swallowing, or complete failure to swallow.
  • Gagging.
  • Vomiting.
  • Declining to consume solids.
  • Pain in the neck, chest, or abdomen.
  • Feeling that something is stuck in your throat.

If an item is stuck in your esophagus, your physician will require to remove it.


If you feel a painful sensation in your throat when swallowing saliva, liquid or food, then pay attention to how soon this feeling passed. Perhaps it was because of the dryness of the mouth and throat and enough water to get rid of it. If the pain when swallowing is prolonged, or repetitive, or you think it is weird or severe, then immediately consult your doctor.

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