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How can I overcome my swallowing problem?

Hi Jennifer, this may sound ridiculous but here is my problem: for as long as I can remember I’ve had problems with my throat and swallowing. I know it’s a psychological thing because I’ve been tested by my doctor. Anyway, I’ve avoided the dentist for around 6 years now and so my teeth are in a real state, I remember the last time I went, I had the urge to keep swallowing when my mouth was open but couldn’t and instead kept making these horrible choking sounds and felt as though I was suffocating. My dentist was lovely and tried to help but I just walked out of the practice. Please can you give me some advice, it’s taking over my life and now my health :( thank you.

Im sorry you are having this problem.  First find a sensitive dentist , then just go for a check up and talk through your difficulty .
It may help to learn some relaxation exercises to help regulate your breathing while you have your mouth open . A mild sedative such as diazepam may help relax the tension around your throat and chest
What psychological advice have you had about your condition?Often GPs dont have much knowledge in that direction but just tell you theres nothing physically wrong .
Perhaps you could think of some strategies such as sitting in an armchair , relaxing your shoulders and breathing from your diaphragm rather than higher up your chest , then open your mouth and practice swallowing . It might help to have treatment in a semi-upright position rather than lying down .
Just take small steps and acheive maybe something easy first .
Jenny

Answer provided by: Dr Jennifer Pinder Retired
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