Burping or belching (eructation) is the (often noisy) release of
swallowed air from the
stomach through the mouth. Burping is a normal way to
release swallowed air and gas from the stomach and usually is not
Occasional problems with swallowing happen to many people. Eating too
fast, trying to swallow large pieces of food, or talking while eating may cause
problems with swallowing. If you feel nervous or anxious, you may have a
feeling of fullness in your throat and a sense of not being able to swallow
Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia) occurs when food does not pass
normally from the mouth through the
esophagus to the stomach. Dysphagia may occur when
problems with the mouth, tongue, or teeth interfere with the normal process of
chewing and swallowing. You may drool, spill food out of your mouth, or have a
very dry mouth. You may feel as though your food is catching in your throat, or
you may feel like you need to swallow repeatedly just to get the food to go
down. This may cause you to cough or feel as if you are choking.
Difficulty swallowing may also be caused by a narrowing or blockage
of the esophagus. The muscles that are needed to move food or fluids through
the esophagus may not be working correctly. Difficulty swallowing that occurs
with weight loss may be a sign of a more serious problem, such as
cancer of the esophagus.
Call your doctor for a checkup if you have problems with burping and
difficulty swallowing that does not get better with home treatment.
Susan Van Houten, RN, BSN, MBA
Sydney Youngerman-Cole, RN, BSN, RNC
Primary Medical Reviewer
William M. Green, MD - Emergency Medicine
September 1, 2009
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
September 01, 2009
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
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