Painful swallowing is a common condition many people go through while gulping anything down, and it feels like a squeezing or burning sensation. But why does it hurt to swallow in the first place? There are many reasons why you might have an issue.

The feeling of a lump in your throat can go away quickly with many remedies and external medical help. Let’s discuss some common causes to know why does it hurt to swallow.

Why Does Your Throat Hurts A Bit When You Swallow?

The condition of the patient ranges from mild to severe, and each has its own set of treatments.

Viral Infection

Mostly, your throat hurts to swallow when you have a virus such as a cold or flu. This may or may not be because of sinus troubles.

Your throat pain is mainly because of tonsil inflammation, excessive coughing, or post nasal drip. In case of a viral or sinus infection, you will have other lingering signs like a runny or stuffy nose, frequent headaches, cough, or elevated body temperature.

Treatment options include OTC medicines and adequate rest. In certain severe cases, your healthcare practitioner can also give prescription drugs or steroids.

Throat Infection

Strep throat and tonsillitis are 2 conditions that are caused by bacteria. These situations are different than that of viruses since the throat is directly affected. You may suffer from a fever, gastrointestinal symptoms, or swollen lymph nodes with a throat that hurts when you swallow something.

You can use OTC pain medicines or antibiotics to get rid of the bacteria; however, you may need a tonsillectomy in some instances.

Allergic Reaction

Post nasal sinus drip by a stimulus can result in mild pain when you swallow food or drink. In cases of severe allergies to food, the reaction can be life-threatening, called anaphylaxis. During anaphylaxis, your throat closes, which is why it hurts to swallow or breathe.

This reaction can potentially become life-threatening, so the patient should always have an EpiPen shot with them, always.

Oral Thrush

Candida albicans overgrow in the lining of the oral cavity and spread toward the tonsil and throat, resulting in irritation or burning, making it difficult to eat and swallow. In such conditions, antifungal medicines work well for relief.

GERD or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

If you have GERD, burning in the throat is quite common to you, which hurts more when you swallow something. When stomach acid reaches or goes into the esophagus, it damages the inner lining making your throat hurt when you try to swallow food

Throat Injury

It is common to injure your throat via eating a piece of food too hard or large to accommodate or having food and beverages that are too hot to handle by the esophagus. Any sort of scrape, burn, or sore throat can result in painful or discomforting swallowing.

Your body has constant mechanisms of healing that are innate, and with that, you can make use of OTC pain medications.


It is a rare phenomenon, but discomforting swallowing patterns may serve as an indicator of throat or esophageal cancer. The lump in your throat or bloody saliva may show up with it.

Final Take Out

Now you know why it hurts so much when you swallow. Pain while swallowing is usually not a concerning cause; however, you must talk to your doctor in case more symptoms are making it difficult to perform mundane tasks.

Talk to one of our dentists at Vintage Oral Surgery to get to the root cause of your problem. Visit us or call to make an appointment at 281 800 8852.

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