A typical issue that is frequently brought on by a throat infection or injury is pain during swallowing.

Due to the inflammation of the tissues in your throat, it is not uncommon for these disorders to also make you ache when you yawn.

The majority of reasons people yawn in discomfort, such as the common cold or flu, are typically not significant.

An extremely rare medical illness like throat cancer or epiglottitis may be the cause of yawning pain.

Continue reading to learn about some of the diseases that may cause you to yawn in pain and how to address them.



Many medical disorders might lead to pain when yawning.

The majority of these ailments are minor, but some less common ones, such as epiglottis or throat cancer, call for medical treatment.

You can manage your symptoms with over-the-counter medications and by getting plenty of rest if you think you have a mild infection like the flu or a common cold.

✅ It’s a good idea to consult a doctor if your symptoms don’t go away after a few days or if they get worse.


What could be the reason that when I yawn, my throat hurts?

Here are a few causes of how yawning can irritate and harm your throat.

Throat aridity

Your throat may feel scratchy due to discomfort from a dry throat, especially while swallowing, talking, or yawning. When your membranes don’t create enough mucus to keep your esophagus moist, a dry throat frequently results. Numerous things can contribute, such as:

A typical cold, influenza, and COVID-19

Numerous viruses, including those that cause the common cold, the flu, and COVID-19, can infiltrate the tissue in your throat and aggravate it. Air, food particles, and saliva may come into contact with the inflamed areas when you yawn and activate pain receptors.

Viral infections account for 50–80% of sore throat cases. Pharyngitis can also result in throat irritation.

Throat infection

The highly contagious Streptococcus pyogenes bacteria are the cause of strep throat. Yawning frequently results in a sore throat, especially while swallowing, but it may also irritate already inflamed areas.

About 5 to 15% of occurrences of sore throat in adults and 20 to 30% in kids are due to strep throat, according to Trusted Source.

Throat damage

The tissue in the back of your throat can get scratched if you swallow something pointy like a chip or cracker. When food crumbs and saliva irritate the painful spot, yawning or swallowing may ache.


The Epstein-Barr virus infection known as mono, sometimes known as mono, frequently results in a sore throat, fever, and swollen lymph nodes. This might make swallowing painful.

In most cases, the virus is spread through saliva, and symptoms appear 3 to 6 weeks after exposure.


Two lymph nodes in the back of your throat are your tonsils. A common symptom of tonsillitis, an infection of these lymph nodes, is an extremely sore throat that hurts when swallowing and perhaps when yawning.

Numerous viruses, including the strep throat-causing bacterium, can cause tonsillitis. Strep throat typically results in pharyngitis, but because the tissues of the tonsils and throat are interconnected, it can also result in tonsillitis.

Tonsillitis and strep throat typically have identical symptoms.

Thrush in the mouth

Yeast overgrowth in your mouth causes oral thrush. Your mouth typically develops white or yellow patches as a result. A cotton-like sensation in your mouth and a lack of taste are some potential symptoms.

Even though it’s rare, you can also have esophageal thrush, a throat condition that hurts when you swallow and may even make you yawn. The biggest risk group includes those who are immunocompromised, such as those receiving cancer treatment or those living with HIV. Antibiotic use also raises the possibility of esophageal thrush.

The use of inhaled corticosteroids, which are frequently prescribed for the treatment of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, increases the chance of developing esophageal thrush.


Your esophagus will be inflamed if you have esophagitis. Acid reflux is a typical cause, although it can also be brought on by infections or as a side effect of some drugs.

A painful throat and difficulty swallowing are frequent symptoms. It’s likely that yawning could potentially irritate or hurt.


Your epiglottis, the tissue that covers your airways when you swallow, can become infected, a condition is known as epiglottitis. It typically results from a bacterial infection and, if your airway totally closes off, it might be fatal.

The most common symptoms are a sore throat, fever, and difficulty swallowing. Your epiglottis changes when you breathe and yawn, therefore it’s likely that this could potentially cause pain.

Mouth cancer

The symptoms of throat cancer can vary depending on where the tumor is located. One of the most typical symptoms, according to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, is persistent throat soreness or discomfort. Other typical symptoms include hoarseness, difficulty swallowing, swollen lymph nodes, a persistent cough, and difficulty breathing.

It’s conceivable that a tumor could hurt when you yawn, particularly if it’s close to your epiglottis.

Abscess in the oropharynx

Retropharyngeal abscesses can be problematic.  An abscess behind the throat that develops as a result of an upper respiratory infection or trauma may be the source of difficulty breathing and swallowing. High fevers may also be related to it.


How can yawning make your throat hurt?

The root cause will determine the kind of agony you yawn in. Sharp pain may be felt on one side of your throat or in a specific location as a result of an injury or scratch. One side of your throat may experience pain as a result of tumors.

Tonsillitis and the common cold are two illnesses that can hurt your throat on one or both sides. Throat infections frequently induce pain that people describe as being rough, scratchy, or itching.


How to handle throat discomfort when yawning

The underlying reason for your sore throat will determine the best course of treatment.

Drugs that fight against fungus and bacteria

In order to treat strep throat and other bacterial illnesses, a doctor may prescribe antibiotics. A doctor might prescribe an antifungal drug like fluconazole or clotrimazole for oral thrush.

Typical DIY treatments

Avoid smoking and places where you might be exposed to secondhand smoke, and use home remedies like gargling with warm salt water frequently throughout the day, drinking plenty of warm liquids to help soothe your sore tissue, and sucking on medicated lozenges containing zinc, which have been shown to treat throat inflammation and pain.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen, can be used to treat pain if necessary.

Treatments for cancer and emergencies

If your airway closes off due to epiglottitis, you may need emergency medical treatment to improve your breathing. A cricothyroidotomy or tracheostomy, both invasive emergency operations, may be necessary if you are unable to breathe. Surgery is frequently used in the treatment of throat cancer as well as Radiation treatment and chemotherapy

Retropharyngeal abscesses may necessitate hospitalization, intravenous antibiotic therapy, or even surgical drainage. If you experience breathing difficulties or a high temperature, several additional illnesses, such as COVID-19 or tonsillitis, may necessitate immediate medical attention.


When should I go and see a doctor?

A sore throat may typically be treated at home. You should contact a doctor if you have any of the following symptoms

  • swollen glands
  • a high fever
  • swollen tonsils on one side
  • breathing issues
  • excruciating pain
  • discomfort that lasts for more than a few days.


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