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Tightness and pressure in neck, feeling of mucus stuck in throat, wisdom teeth infection. Cause of neck problems?

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ENT Specialist
Practicing since : 2001
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Over the last 2 months I have been experiencing some issues with my neck and throat.
My neck symptoms seem to consist of a tightness and pressure on the left side of my upper neck just under my jaw line that feels like something is stuck there in that spot that resembles the feeling of someone slightly pressing into my neck. It does not hurt whatsoever but does cause extreme discomfort. I can still swallow food and speak properly and the symptoms seem to worsen when I am more stressed. I have times where I do not feel the symptoms whatsoever, this tends to happen first thing when I wake up in the morning.

The symptoms I am experiencing in my throat are the same tightness and pressure on the left side, almost like something is bulging into my throat, without any change in breathing or talking well as the feeling of something like mucus constantly stuck in the back of my throat. I have tried to cough and clear my throat with no changes. Again, I have some moments where I do not feel anything in my throat but majority of the time the symptoms are there.

I have been getting infections in my wisdom teeth in the past 6 months and was curious as to if this may be the cause? I am scared that these infections may be causing abnormalities in my neck and throat like a cancer growth or something very serious. Could this happen?

When I touch my throat to feel for any lumps or bumps I can't seem to notice anything there. The only other thing that I have noticed is when I rotate my neck in different directions It sometimes makes the irritation worse and hurts a little bit.
Thank you for your help!
Posted Mon, 3 Sep 2012 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Naveen Kumar 5 hours later

Thanks for the query

The feeling of something stuck in the throat, in the absence of any signs of infection could be due to acid reflux from the stomach into the throat.

Acid when it regurgitates from the stomach into the throat, causes burning of the mucosa of the throat leading to inflammation of the throat. Inflammation of the mucosa in turn induces swelling in the mucosa of the throat giving rise to foreign body sensation.

In some individuals there exists silent reflux, wherein the acid reflux is not actually perceived, but the certain minor symptoms of laryngopharyngeal reflux such as sensation of lump or foreign body sensation is felt.

Although silent reflux is harder to diagnose than GERD, a doctor can diagnose it through a combination of a medical history, physical exam, and one or more tests such as endoscopic examination and 24 hour acid pH monitoring.

The causes of reflux of acid are many, medicines, obesity, stress, food habits, smoking, alcohol, etc. Identifying the causative factors and avoiding them can give you relief from this problem.

Apart from this, hypertrophied lingual tonsils in the back of the tongue can also cause grating sensation over the back of the throat, which is relatively harmless and can be confirmed only after examination of the throat.

My suggestion to you is to drink plenty of warm water; avoid coffee/alcohol/stress/retiring to bed immediately after taking food. Also, you can try taking medicines such as proton pump inhibitors (Esomeprazole, Pantoperazole) and prokinetics (Domperidone).

Hope I have answered your query; I will be available for the follow-up queries.

Dr. Naveen Kumar N.
ENT and Head & Neck Surgeon
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Tightness and pressure in neck, feeling of mucus stuck in throat, wisdom teeth infection. Cause of neck problems? 16 hours later
Hi doctor Thanks for the reply.
Today I had an extremely stressful day and noticed that the discomfort in my neck got much worse and actually began to hurt! That one section of my neck feels very tight and also a bit swelled. Is this a normal symptom of bad stress? How can I reduce this? Could it be something much worse? Thank you.
Answered by Dr. Naveen Kumar 17 hours later

Welcome back

Q:     Is this a normal symptom of bad stress?
A:     No, it is very unusual to have a sore neck because of stress. The soreness could be due to strain over the muscles of the neck.
Q:     How can I reduce this?
A:     First of all, try to avoid stress. Secondly, you can try taking mild pain relievers such as paracetamol or diclofenac when you feel you are having sore neck.
Q:     Could it be something much worse?
A:     No, it doesn’t seem to be due to a serious underlying problem. You can just follow my instructions as mentioned in my previous response. Also, try going for a morning or evening walk, do meditation and de-stressing exercises; you should be alright.

I wish you good health.

Dr. Naveen Kumar N.
ENT and Head & Neck Surgeon
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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