Q:

Why do I choke on my saliva?

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Quick Answer

Gastroesophageal reflux disease, obstructive sleep apnea, and post nasal drip are all possible sources of choking on saliva although it is impossible to say for sure without a doctor's check-up, according to NetWellness. A review of the patient's medical history, current medications and any current medical conditions is recommended.

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Full Answer

Guillain-Barre syndrome is another possible cause of saliva choking, but Mayo Clinic states that the condition comes with numerous other symptoms, such as extreme weakness, pain and difficulty breathing. This condition also requires immediate hospitalization.

Trauma to the brain or the neck also causes swallowing difficulties, according to the University of Cincinnati Neuroscience Institute. Therapies for treating these types of conditions include specialized medication, changing of the diet, and physical therapy specifically focused on the muscles and nerves used when swallowing. The treatments help reduce excess stomach acid and saliva, strengthen the muscles used in swallowing, and improve the coordination of the mouth and the throat structures. In extreme cases, surgery is also an option when muscles or structures need to be stretched or expanded to make swallowing easier. An otolaryngologist performs these types of procedures.

Choking on saliva is not likely to be a life-threatening or dangerous condition by itself, according to NetWellness. The problem is typically treatable with the assistance of an experienced physician.

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