Odynophagia is pain when swallowing.[1][2] The pain may be felt in the mouth or throat and can occur with or without difficulty swallowing.[3] The pain may be described as an ache, burning sensation, or occasionally a stabbing pain that radiates to the back.[4] Odynophagia often results in inadvertent weight loss. The term is from odyno- "pain" and phagō "to eat".

  • /ˌdɪnəˈf(i)ə/


Odynophagia may have environmental or behavioral causes, such as:

  • Very hot or cold food and drinks
  • Taking certain medications
  • Using drugs, tobacco, or alcohol[3]
  • Trauma or injury to the mouth, throat, or tongue[5]

It can also be caused by certain medical conditions, such as:

See also


  1. "odynophagia". The American Heritage Science Dictionary. Houghton Mifflin Company. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  2. "Medical Definition of Odynophagia". MedicineNet. 13 May 2016. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  3. Schiff, Bradley A. (January 2016). "Ear, Nose, and Throat Disorders: Oropharyngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma". Merck Manuals Professional Edition. Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  4. Allan B. Wolfson, ed. (2005). Harwood-Nuss' Clinical Practice of Emergency Medicine (4th ed.). pp. 307–8. ISBN 0-7817-5125-X.
  5. Scully, Crispian (2008). "Chapter 14: Soreness and ulcers". Oral and Maxillofacial Medicine: The Basis of Diagnosis and Treatment (2nd ed.). Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone. pp. 131–139. ISBN 978-0-443-06818-8.
  6. Mayo Clinic Staff (8 August 2016). "Epiglottitis Symptoms". Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  7. "Search results for: Odynophagia". Merck Manuals Professional Edition. Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. Retrieved 28 February 2017.

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