Lots of things can cause a stuck feeling in the throat, but can TMJ disorder be one of them?
A persistent stuck feeling in the throat is one of the most annoying symptoms, and usually it has a benign cause such as acid reflux or anxiety.
For other individuals, the feeling of a stuck lump in the throat is a source of fear — fear of throat cancer.
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder
“Inflammation of the TMJ can cause an imbalance in the muscles that are used for swallowing and therefore pain in the throat,” says Dr. Idan Snapir, DDS, of the Dental Smile Center in Van Nuys, CA.
Dr. Snapir continues, “For example, the action (contraction) of the medial pterygoid is closure of the mandible. Like in the act of swallowing — spasm of the medial pterygoid muscle can cause elevated TMJ pressures.
“So, if this muscle is shortened due to a TMJ issue, that may cause a stuck feeling or sore throat sensation.”
Solutions to Stuck Feeling in Throat from TMJ Disorder
Dr. Snapir advises “stretching exercises for TMJ and swallowing muscles, soft diet, avoid chewing gum.”
Stretching Exercise #1 stuck feeling throat
• While the jaws are relaxed (and never when they are tensed), keep your mouth closed.
• Next, slide your jaw to the left while you are looking to the right to achieve a deep stretch.
• Finally, slide your jaw to the right and look to the left.
Stretching Exercise #2
• Again, make sure that your jaws are relaxed first. This is important.
• Open your mouth gently but as wide as you can.
• Do not open beyond what feels natural.
• Keep your mouth open for a few seconds.
• Close gently.
Do both these exercises twice a day. See if they don’t reduce or even eliminate the sensation that there is something stuck in your throat.
For many years Dr. Snapir has promoted dental health, treated TMJ disorder, created beautiful smiles and improved the overall well-being of thousands of patients. He will customize the best possible treatment plan for every patient.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.