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Avatar universal

Small Food particles stuck in back of Throat

I have had a problem for years.. I get mall particles of food that gets stuck in the back of my throat somewhere around the nasal passage area.  These are small particle of hard food like a part of a peanut shards after being chewed up.. or really small pills like 10mg lipitor (I don't know how many of the liptors have literally dissolved back there instead of my stomach)  Almost every night I have something stuck there it causes my sinus to swell in the during sleep and can sometimes get painful if it does not get dislodge.

Sometimes I can dislodge it by rattle my sinus on that side. (“snuffing in” which  drive my wife crazy)

I have seen a ENT and they find nothing. They did a Barium Swallow and gave be a "horse" pill.  It showed nothing…. But the problem is the small stuff.

This seems to be out of the ordinary and the Doctors don't have a clue. I even asked a pharmacist and he said he had never heard of people having problems with little pills only big pills..

Help.. if you have a similar problem and found someone that could help you I would appreciate the details..
204 Responses
Avatar universal
if you crush these small particles in bettween your fingers and then smell it.If it smells really bad they are tonsile stones. that all i can offer as it sounds like what i have. hope it helps  
Avatar universal
i think the only cure is tonsile removel but i dont think they will do it for just tonsile stones, have a look on the web for the stones some web sites provide picture mabey you can match them up have fun. :D

Avatar universal
Hi Mary,
I don't think it is tonsile stone.. I never do get the particle back into my mouth.. They eventually go down after several hours or maybe even a day or so.
The things that get stuck are really  small food particles or small pills just ingested.

If I had to guess I would say somehow when I swallow I am pushing the particles up into the soft tisssue as a part of the swallowing process and bits stay there.  The area that seems to be affected is the same tissue that may be causing "brain Freeze" when eating icecream.. It is around there.  But thanks for your thoughts.
Avatar universal
Hi Mary,
I don't think it is tonsile stone.. I never do get the particle back into my mouth.. They eventually go down after several hours or maybe even a day or so.
The things that get stuck are really  small food particles or small pills just ingested.

If I had to guess I would say somehow when I swallow I am pushing the particles up into the soft tisssue as a part of the swallowing process and bits stay there.  The area that seems to be affected is the same tissue that may be causing "brain Freeze" when eating icecream.. It is around there.  But thanks for your thoughts.
Avatar universal
Hi Marv,
I don't think it is tonsile stone.. I never do get the particle back into my mouth.. They eventually go down after several hours or maybe even a day or so.
The things that get stuck are really  small food particles or small pills just ingested.

If I had to guess I would say somehow when I swallow I am pushing the particles up into the soft tisssue as a part of the swallowing process and bits stay there.  The area that seems to be affected is the same tissue that may be causing "brain Freeze" when eating icecream.. It is around there.  But thanks for your thoughts.
Avatar universal
Hi Mary,
I don't think it is tonsile stone.. I never do get the particle back into my mouth.. They eventually go down after several hours or maybe even a day or so.
The things that get stuck are really  small food particles or small pills just ingested.

If I had to guess I would say somehow when I swallow I am pushing the particles up into the soft tisssue as a part of the swallowing process and bits stay there.  The area that seems to be affected is the same tissue that may be causing "brain Freeze" when eating icecream.. It is around there.  But thanks for your thoughts.
180749 tn?1443598832
These exercises may help your problem.Do it for at least 3 months.
Build up your timing gradually.If you feel tired or dizzy, stop and resume after one minute.
Anulom Vilom –
Close your right nostril with thumb and deep breath-in through left nostril  
then – close left nostril with two fingers and breath-out through right nostril  
then -keeping the left nostril closed  deep breath-in through right nostril
then - close your right nostril with thumb and breath-out through left nostril.
This is one cycle of anulom vilom.
Repeat this cycle for 20 to 30  minutes twice a day(maximum 60 minutes in one day).
Children under 15 years – do 5 to 10 minutes twice a day.
You can do this before breakfast/lunch/dinner or before bedtime or in bed.Remember to take deep long breaths into the lungs.You can do this while sitting on floor or chair or lying in bed.

Bhramri Pranayam -Close eyes. Close ears with thumb, index finger on forehead, and rest three fingers on base of nose touching eyes. Breathe in through nose. And now breathe out through nose while humming like a bee.
Duration : 5 to 12  times
Avatar universal
Thanks.. Sounds interesting.. I will give it a try.
Avatar universal
I had something stuck in my throat for the second time tonight. The first time it was Pizza and I thought maybe I scratched my throat and was mistaken but tonight it happened again with rice. It was so uncomfortable I was considering going to the urgent care center. I gulped water, ate bread, made myself puke and I finally came to the conclusion that it was trapped somewhere between behind my tonsils and my nasal cavity. I got the flashlight out but I couldn't find a good object to stick back there to poke around. I was hoping to find some chopsticks but the best I could find was the end of a spoon, a paper clip and a Q-tip with the cotton pulled off. I didn't even try the paper clip but the other two objects just made me gag. I even tried treading a thin rubber strand of elastic thread that is intended for bead projects and about the size of a spagetti noodle through my nose but I still couldn't reach it and it was too wierd. After a few hours of spazzing out I started dripping water through my nose every few minutes and swallowing continuously and the food slowly disolved. I am going to see my doctor about this. I have always had oversized tonsils so I think that may have something to do with it. Every time I see a new doctor he/she is surprised I never needed them removed. I hope this helps someone and I'm glad to see I'm not the only one that's had this problem.
Avatar universal
Hi Dennis,

I have the same problem - rice, bits of corn or peanuts although not with pills. So let me know what the doctor recommended you.

In the meantime this might help - I do it every morning and every evening since I also have sinus problem sometimes. Nasal Irrigation - look this up online, passing saline solution from one nostril to the other or even better to the mouth. Helps unclog the sinuses and if there is any food particles they are also moving.
Avatar universal
Hi Dennis,

I couldn't be happier the moment I found your post!!

I have been troubled by the same problem for almost a year now and had failed every single time when trying to explain it to other people. No one has EVER heard of such thing and I was given an impression that this is far too insignificant to consult a doctor. To tell you the truth, I couldn't bring myself to explain my situation to another person if s/he is going to think that I’m really strange!

Just last night I had such pain in the back of throat+nasal passage I didn't even sleep! I knew what was causing the pain - little rotten food bits that were stuck there! I've tried everything to prevent it get up there in the first place - swallow food slowly and cautiously, washed food down with loads of water....nothing really work.

The worse thing is that when something got stuck and I fail to remove it, then the amount would accumulated and than my breath would become totally unbearable -- because it is rotting away!!! (Sorry, it is a bit disgusting!)

So this morning I spent almost one and a half hour to 'snuffing in' then 'cough' it out - out it came bright orange phlegm with blood and 6 little food particles. All the rotten bits are tiny like half or quarter of a rice and some pieces have already turned dark reddish in colour!

I'm deeply troubled by this and would like to know if anything could prevent it or to help remove them.

I have just 'normal' size tonsils.

C
180749 tn?1443598832
Do the exercises I suggested on Mar 04, 2008, and this will help with your problem.
Come back to report your progress.
Avatar universal
I can't believe there is actually someone else with my problem. Appx 4 years ago I started having trouble eating and swallowing. I went to the ER several times and finally wound up at an ENT office. I tried to explain the symptoms as food going up my nose when I ate, because to me that's how it felt. The ENT thought I was crazy. I went for a barium swallow which showed nothing unusual. I also have trouble swallowing my birth control pills (which I have to take daily) and they are just tiny things. They too feel like they are going up my nose and staying there. Sometimes it takes hours to get it down. Sorry I don't have and explaination or cure. I have just learned to live with it. I do tend to get chocked on food easily. I had an endoscopy, but my esophogus didn't need stretching. I wish I could find a Dr to help. I have so many throat problems, it gets depressing at times.
Avatar universal
Still no relief.  It has just become a constant daily problem I am living with.  Hopefully someone having the same problem will find the answer.
;-)

DennisO
Avatar universal
You sound like you have the same problem as I do.  About 2 (maybe 3 now) years ago, I swallowed some hot salsa that ended up going my nose (it was the most horrible,burning feeling ever).  It seems like ever since then everytime I eat (anything) I have to be careful to swallow carefully and even then food will "push" it's way up into my nose.  I've been to an ENT (twice) who scoped it (twice) and said there was thick mucus in the back of my nasal cavity and that it was irritated.  I always feel like I have pressure in the back of my throat and actually have to "snort" (I know that sounds disgusting) very aggressively to finally dislodge some thick mucus so that the back of my upper throat/nasal passage feels better--sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.  When the pressure caused by the mucus is there (or the food) it makes it so I feel like I can't even swallow saliva and my throat always feels sore.  It happens almost daily (where food goes into my nose).  I have GERD too but that doesn't seem to be the issue here, it happens on swallowing and not that the food comes back up.  The other symptom that happened after the salsa incident was that I lost my sense of smell (about 6 months or so after that).......does all that sound like your problem and is there anyone out there that has any answers?  I'm not a complainer, I hate going to the doctor and after going to the ENT twice I feel like he just didn't help (just the scope--twice--and said don't eat at night--but never could tell me why food refluxes into my nose immediately when I swallow). 
Avatar universal
I actually had 3 ‘end of spaghetti’ like tiny pieces came out yesterday and I took a photo of it. I’m determine to show the photo to my GP.
Again it has been ‘resting’ in the back of my nasal/throat passage for days and inflamed the area. It came out with bright orangey phlegm.

Only if I can get it dislodge sooner I wouldn’t have any problem with it. The slowly-rotten food particles cause throat inflammation and bad breath. I’ve tried the Nasal Irrigation - it eased the inflamed area but it didn’t wash the particles out. I’ve tried to pass the saline solution from nostril to nostril and nostril to back of throat but none prevail. L

And yes, sdlidstone, it is a daily problem to me too. I’m not good at rattling my sinus and my fingers are too short!!!

My appointment is on coming Thursday, I’ll let you know what my GP is going to say.


C.
Avatar universal
I am not an ENT, but I found a solution that might work for you sufferers.

This involves you being able to ignore your gag reflex a bit.

1. Pour some minty fresh Listermint into a small cup, just enough that you can dip your right index finger (if you are right handed) into it. This disinfects (somewhat, assuming you also washed your hands first) and lubricates your finger.

2. Where you feel the rice/food is stuck, put your finger there at the very back and top of your throat (it should be a soft palate, not the hard palate of your mouth... so this is WAY in the back). You should be able to feel the stuck food there with your finger. Press fingertip on soft palate in back of throat, where the food is felt underneath, and then move fingertip (with some pressure) along the roof of mouth to try to manouevre the stuck food bit(s) TOWARDS the closest tonsil so that it can exit back out and be visible.

3. It's best not to do this just after your meal as you may throw back up some of your meal. It's better to wait a little bit after your meal so that you don't end up barfing your dinner up. You'll have to try to ignore your gag reflex in order for this to be successful.

I can actually feel the stuck food bits through the soft palate of my throat/nose area at the very back. And this seems to work some of the time to force the bits to get dislodged back out, with less pain than "snuffing" or "coughing" it out.

Does this make sense to anyone? I hope this helps you folks. It's a very mechanical way, and really, hopefully the most obvious way, to get those stuck food bits out of that area. It's so obvious, that no ENT or medical doctor seems to think of this. I'm an engineer turned nursing student, so go figure.

Olympic Grade Rice-Eater
Avatar universal
I have also had the same problems for about three weeks now and it's getting really annoying and depressing. One evening after taking my birth control, it felt as if the pill was stuck in my throat. All night I tried over and over to get it just about all of the ways you guys have explained. Finally after three days of this I went to the ER (because it started to bother me in my sleep) They said to have seen nothing and recommend I see a specialist. The next week as I saw the specialist the symptoms seem to have gone away. The Dr. said it looked at if I had a small cut in my throat because all he saw was redness and irritation. He also mentioned my tonsils were very large and wanted to have me tested for sleep apnia. He also explained that acid reflux could be the cause. So he said the scratch would heal on it's own. However I also have large tonsils that catch food particles. I can stick a q-tip in their, it's literally a small pouch filled with food. I'm wondering if there are other small pouches down my throat that are holding particles and small pills. (if that's possible) When this condition seems to bother me and start up again it's always after I take my birth control. It feels like the pill is just floating up top and makes me gag. It has made me throw up a few times also. I have also suffered from bad sinus's for the past few weeks as well. I'm wondering if tonsil removal is the answer. Im sure ill be going to the DR again for a second opinion because I am way to young to have to just learn to live with this.
Avatar universal
I'm glad I found a site with people that share similar problems. About 2-3 weeks back I was eating a bag of chips, where I burped up a little of what I was eating and it felt like some of the chips got stuck in between where my sinus cavity meets the back of my throat. At the time there was a lot of pressure back there, and I kept swallowing in hopes to alleviate the problem. It worked until now.

Now it feels like I have something stuck back there for the past 2-3 days. No pain really, just a very uncomfortable feeling. I'm going to attempt a sinus irrigation in hopes that this may help fix my problem. But as Pamen described, it is very annoying and starting to be depressing. It doesn't feel all that uncomfortable when I just wake up, but as the day gradually progresses I start to feel it more and more.

I suffer from a slight case of anxiety and this issue has become the bane of my existence. Any feedback or suggestions would be greatly appriciated.

DGCA
Avatar universal
As a side note, just like Dennis, I don't believe it is tonsile stones. Its pretty much the exact same problem he has.

DGCA
Avatar universal
I had a simular problem but not as often as you. I use a spray bottle filled with water and turned it to the fine point spray setting and it would knock them off after a few direct hits.
Avatar universal
I developed tonsil stones inside my tonsils in my early 30's, and had my tonsils removed after discovering that my tonsils were simply gorged with them. Several years passed with no problems regarding tonsil stones or bad breath.

I am now in my late 30's and have discovered the same bad breath reminiscent of tonsil stones even though I no longer have my tonsils. After some searching, I realized that small food particles have been somehow getting stuck somewhere in the back of my throat after I swallow. I did some throat-tensing exercises and began to push the food particles back up, and lo and behold I discovered what was basically a tonsil stone....same consistency and horrible smell resulting from small food particles and bacteria.

So, yes...you can develop what is technically a tonsil stone even without your tonsils....all it takes are small food particles stuck somewhere in your mouth and a little time.

My concern now is to figure out where exactly these food particles are getting caught on the way down after I swallow....I can feel them, and it feels as though the food particles are getting lodged in my throat just below the back of my tongue somewhere. Brushing, rinsing and gargling several times a day has not helped to dislodge them and remove them. It is vexing me how they can remain lodged in my throat even when swallowing other food or drink instead of getting dislodged and swallowed with the rest of the food.

I looked at the anatomy of the throat, and can't figure out where these food particles are getting caught and forming into tonsil stones....unless a pocket has formed back there somehow to catch the food particles. Does anyone have an idea where these food particles can possibly be getting trapped back there?
Avatar universal
Like you, I always like to question things and try to find the answer. This problem has been bothering me for a long long time. It not only affects my swallowing, but also produces excessive think mucus in my back throat, which in return affects my breathing act. I guess there are a few things that can cause this problem. Firstly, we may not chew the food well enough to be swallowed. I tried a couple of times to chew food until it became paste like. I didn't have particles stuck back there. Secondly, while swallowing food, our muscle doesn't work orchestrally and is not able to push down all particle like food. Lastly we may have thick mucus accumulated in back throat and food particles easily get stuck on thick mucus. Maybe there is a pocket in back throat, but unless doctor can diagnose it, I can't tell. I suggest we do some swallow exercises to strengthen swallowing muscle to swallow thick mucus and/or food particles, but I don't know how.
Avatar universal
Thanks for the response. When I am doing the throat-tensing exercises and am pushing the particles back up, I notice the majority of the time, the only thing being pushed up is thick mucous that lines the back of my throat, possibly resulting from post nasal drip. But I also assume the mucous lining the throat is natural in order to aid swallowing and prevent food from actually getting stuck and choking you. So it's possible the food particles are becoming lodged in the thick mucous lining my throat, but I am really concerned that some type of pocket may have formed in my throat just below my tongue that is catching the food particles and along with mucous, saliva and bacteria is now forming tonsil stones, since I have discovered pin-head sized tonsil stones in the mucous before when I pushed it up out my throat. Only occasionally will I feel actually food particles though, the majority of the time there are no food particles or tonsil stones in the mucous, but my saliva will have the same smell and taste as a tonsil stone, so I have to assume that a tonsil stone is in there somewhere and I can't locate it, and nothing I do dislodges it. I use Therabreath and Biotene products several times a day, as well as a water oral irrigator pik, and nothing has helped the tonsil stones in my throat. I am at wits end.
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