Constantly rubbing tongue against teeth

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Gowithawinner

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Mar 29, 2019
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I thought that I had a problem called Tardive Dyskinesia and I had my family doctor, a psychiatrist and neurologist tell me that’s what it was due to a possible medication reaction. They want to put me on Austedo but I haven’t tried it yet. I am not 100% sure if I should try it. My tongue hurts so bad and my gums behind my teeth from rubbing my teeth and sucking my teeth. It’s enough to drive me crazy, I’ve tried putting wax behind my teeth but I end up chewing on the wax. Does anyone have issues with too much swallowing now too ?

Yes. When I’m not sucking on my tooth I feel like my mouth is filling with saliva and I must swallow! This has been going on for over 2 years and started when I had a root canal. I thought maybe I was allergic to the material used for the crown so the dentist made me a new one out of a different material. Didn’t help! I believe it’s because I feel like it’s too big in my mouth and everything is misaligned. The dentist and specialists I’ve seen think I’m crazy at this point! My tongue is sore but I can’t stop! I need help!
 
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Redhelix

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Apr 8, 2019
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I don't know how this works. I'm new here. But I am thankful I found it. I recently found out that I am OCD and I asked to be put on an anxiety pill for anxiety attacks. It helped until I started to suck on the inside lower teeth. It got worse when the pill gave me a side effect of a bitter tasting mouth and then turned metallic tasting. I sucked contently and tried so hard not to suck on them because the more I did it the worse it got. I went to my dentist. He did xrays and said everything was fine. I told him that I feared that it might be ok for now but could have long term effects. He didn't have any suggestions. I have a mouth guard but he will only give me one for the top teeth. That just makes it worse. I stopped taking the pill, hoping it would all stop. The metallic taste went away. But not the bitter taste. So I'm not sure how much was the pill or how much was my sucking on the tooth or a combo. The constant swallowing has made my stomach feel sick constantly. I also feel bloated. So at first I thought the trouble was coming from my stomach. I have used the gum and mints and I'm constantly eating or drinking which is causing weight gain. Wouldn't be so bad of a trade off if any of it worked for more than a few minutes. I am going to try some of the suggestions. There has to be a way out of this horrible cycle. It is nice to know I'm not alone because no one around me understands what I'm going through.
 
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Gowithawinner

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Mar 29, 2019
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I know what you mean. People will tell me “if you’re aware of doing it just stop!” If only it were that easy.
 
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AnotherOne

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May 5, 2019
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I created an account just to vent about this. I’ve had this same problem for almost a year now and it’s so much worse when I’m anxious. I also have trichotillomania which is hair twirling/pulling. I’ve always had some OCD tendencies growing up but these two things got really really bad after I went off a bunch of medications last May. I was misdiagnosed bipolar and epilepsy and was on a whole cocktail of meds for 7 years before spending a week in the hospital for intense 25/7 EEG monitoring and mental evaluations...that’s when they told me I had BPD with psychogenic non epileptic seizures. Those two things aren’t treated with meds so I went off everything. One of the types of meds I was on were antipsychotics (risperdal, zyprexa)...And those meds can cause tardive dyskinesia (involuntary repetitive muscle movements) which someone mentioned above. Someone also mentioned nail biting and hair pulling in their past. I think it’s an OCD/BFRB (body focused repetitive behavior) thing and I wish I knew how to fix it. I guess I may have to go on anxiety meds because I’ve also recently started having random heart palpitations for no reason and I’m rubbing my tongue on my teeth and sore gums as we speak. I have no health insurance so I don’t know what I’m going to do but I just wanted to vent and say it feels good to at least know I’m not alone even though I’d rather no one have to suffer with this insanity.
 
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MountainMama

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I started doing this when I started having issues with my teeth last year. I was actually preventing healing of my front upper tooth after an abscess/root canal. It was worse at night because I would push on it in my sleep. I got an upper night guard and the tooth became less sore. Now that I had another lower extracted and can't wear the nightguard for a few weeks (hits extraction site), my front tooth is sore again. Ugh.
 
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Riff

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May 14, 2019
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I did this frequently with cavities and a tooth that cracked. This bled over into rubbing the fillings and eventually I just started doing a tongue check of my teeth all the time. Sore gums, tongue, the works. What helped me control it started with my dentist actually, who told me to maybe think about my active tongue a little differently. I am naturally a bit prone to obsessive actions, spurred on mainly by stress and anxiety, and they know this, so they said that rather than focusing how often I'm messing with my teeth, maybe focus on thinking of it as a maintenance. My one cavity which was going to be filled a bit later on would actually BENEFIT from my constant attention, they said. I was keeping the area as clean as I could and saliva is healthy for teeth and since I was always fidgeting my mouth was never dry. The issue was moderating the amount of times I check. Once I started to think of it not as a nervous tick or something I had no control over, but rather a healthy response to my mouth possibly having some issues, it became easier to catch myself. With the root of the anxiety sort of addressed, I guess my brain just got tired of all the effort. I still mess around, but I never feel any pain or as though I am subject to the whims of my nervous state
 
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LackingMolar

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May 18, 2019
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I registered just because of this thread.

Like many others of you, I'm having disturbing tongue activity in which it goes to one part of my teeth and attempts to dislodge food that isn't there. It's like my brain thinks there is food there, but in reality there is no food, or anything else. The location is where I had my upper right rear molar removed due to being cracked. Ever since the removal, my tongue has seen this area as an anomaly and probes it for something that isn't there, constantly. I've even recently started to swish water into and out of that area, and have started sucking air/saliva through those teeth. Day in and day out. If I'm not actively trying to stop it, it just keeps happening. I have to sit down and give 90-100% of my concentration to make it stop, which mind you, I CAN do. But if I get distracted, it goes right back to it.

I've learned a lot by reading this whole 4 page thread about us folks who have this issue, and I have not visited my dentist because of fear of dismissal like so many others. I'm glad to know I'm not alone, it's comforting.

However the last few days I've really been concentrating on stopping this actively. When I catch myself doing I stop and chastise myself. I take time during work and other times of day to specifically concentrate on not letting my tongue misbehave. I really feel like with the concerted effort of an active campaign to make my tongue stop this behavior that it's possible. Just today I spent MOST of the afternoon trying to do this and I'd say I'm at about 40% success when actively thinking about it. If that's one afternoon, imagine what I might be able to do in a week.

I'll try to update this post soon, probably within the next 2 weeks. It's been about a year that I've been doing this just so everyone knows.
 
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Marienne

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Nov 7, 2018
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Hello! I wanted to post on this because I seriously understand how frustrating this can be, and it does tend to impact on wellbeing. Talking from someone who has been to multiple dentists, I strongly suggest to do your research and find one who is highly knowledged and listens, and stick with them. I made a silly mistake of seeing too many at once for this issue that it got worse until I decided to stick to one and communicate my concerns very clearly. The tiny gap or ridge between my bottom lower teeth was so annoying, that despite polishing and cleaning, the only thing that has made it feel more “normal” is getting a little filling (composite resin). Although I had to push my dentist to do it, I’m really glad I did because it feels a million times more normal. So keep persisting, and try really hard not to become too focused because I did and it became a bit obsessional. What I did to help with the obsessional checking is taking a mental note of acknowledging the urge is there to explore with my tongue, and then resisting the urge/replacing the habit with another behaviour. Even if you resist it for 30 seconds, it still is sending a message to the brain and eventually you can continue to resist for longer intervals. I hope this helps!!
 
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capusotto

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Jun 6, 2015
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I had this for 15 years if it is what I believe. Its a good awful and sad pain on the sides of the tongue? Seems that pappillae gets irritated by a traumatic habit like sucking of the tongue. The mouth (and their muscles) do a lot of strenght, the poor pappilae is between the theet gaps and get irritated af. Because thats like your teeth are "pinching" the most sensible part of your tongue (many times). Its like "sucking on your tongue". Thats an habit that is worst when you re anxious (unconsciusly you do this to "stop" the anxiety, but instead of stop it, it aggravate it and becomes a vicious circle) its also worst when more gaps you have on your teeth and of course when is less space ok your tongue. I tried lot of things to paliate the awful sensation, i used more anestesy and "buchex forte". You can also do this when you re barely anxious but for something good (like is your birthday) , you re with friends,and also when you re boring, or seeing tv. It might sometimes left one of your pappillae red and or your tongue scalloped. To worst, the tongue doesnt heal like in a day and when you have these ugly syntoms, and keep continue using your tongue (like for talk) it stop the healing :(.
If I right with this please send me feedback I might help you as I investigate this since 2004!!. Last one and to make it even worst, doctors usually doesnt know/ care about this and so your friends and family wouldn know how awful suicidal you would feel. In case I dont came back on this forum please write me at [email protected]
 
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MERMAZING

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Jun 9, 2019
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Wow! I'm so glad I have found this forum. I am driving myself crazy with this weird habbit, personally I feel mine is partially to do with vaping, I saw someone else on this thread thought the same for them too. My mouth is always dry which is making my tooth decay even worse so I have had tooth ache recently too. I'm terrified of the dentist but went a few weeks ago because I was in so much pain got the tooth cleaned and temporarily sealed up and was supposed to go back for a root canal but cancelled the appointment as I'm so scared. (The last root canal I had ended with an abscess and the dentist who did the root canal told me that i didnt have an abcess, i went to a different emergangy dentist who confirmed it was an abcess and pulled the tooth for me, it was horrendous and i was heavily pregnant so couldnt take a lot of pain medication) so because it was only a tempory filling thats now come out and part of the tooth has broke away and is sharp and for some reason I keep poking it with my tongue and now the tip of my tongue feels like i have an ulcer! I also keep sucking the inside of my bottom lip which is just adding to the pain. I can't believe how many people are going through this, my husband thinks I'm mental and has told me to just stop doing it if it hurts but it's impossible!! 😂😂
I saw someone else mention about oil pulling, is that with coconut oil? I've briefly come across this on YouTube, can anyone tell me the benefits of doing this and how you how about it? TIA xx
 
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Tempest

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Jun 19, 2019
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I am so glad to have found this thread I'm not going mad!!! For me I think rubbing tongue on back of lower is a nervous tick. I first noticed it about a year ago when I was at an interview - very stressful Nearly freaked out as I thought the interviewers could see what I was doing 😁the tips given were very helpful 👍 I will try to remember to smile 😁 But the most helpful of all was to know I'm not alone!! I told friends about it and the look on their faces was priceless! THANK YOU ALL!!
 
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Marienne

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Nov 7, 2018
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Thought id give an update.. (long post ahead)

so basically, i had success with this until recently i didnt and the feeling somehow returned. I was reluctant to see my usual dentist as he said theres nothing else he could do and wasnt listening to my concerns, so i seeked another expert opinion. I am glad I did as I have finally found a dentist who i can speak to and not feel stupid (the other one sort of made me feel like that - he is very skilled and I trust him, just felt as though still I couldnt totally tell him my concerns without feeling silly). In my situation, everything was fine (i even posted back in november saying all was finally good), but then things turned to shit when my wire retainer snapped and I believe a tiny bit of an old filling I had there did too.

This time around, my new dentist told me that the reason I am still feeling this sharp ridge/gap is because when I had the filling put on in between there, it has never gone all the way down the tooth, given I had a fixed wire retainer blocking it. He said it would have been a much better result if I had the wire removed, the filling done properly all the way down in between there, then the wire put back on. Even though he advised me not to do it again, I dont care at this point. So, here i am, the retainer has been removed, and next week ill have the filling re done then the retainer wire will be put back on! I have a lot more hope this time as its a different approach and I feel better knowing itll be done in the right steps. But of course, ive become somewhat fixated on this/obsessive, so for my own sanity I am having the wire put back on in a different way thatll block the feeling more in between there/stop my tongue just incase it still doesnt feel right. Honestly, I have been through hell and back with this for 6 months, multiple dentists have screwed it up and ripped me off big time. And it 100% is driven by and causes severe anxiety and depression - I dont want anyone here to feel like they cant reach out to a good dentist and talk to them, no matter how small you have every right to get options and have it treated. For the anxiety/depressive side of things, its important to seek treatment for that too - if you dont feel comfortable taking medication which in my opinion is a big help, then at least turn to a few counselling sessions or even online you can find various different suggestions on ways to ease your anxiety/obsessional habits. One way is called exposure prevention therapy.


As a graduate in psychology, I can also tell you that we aren't delusional, stupid or psycho. It is so important to find a dentist who LISTENS to you, who makes you feel comfortable and doesnt judge you, who explains CLEARLY what they will do, and doesnt take you for a ride or do a half ass job, and provides every solution in every way they can. Get second or third opinions and choose the one you feel most comfortable around - dont settle for anything less. Ill give an update end of next week when all is done, but for those suffering keep persisting until you are more happy.There are a few psychological techniques that do help! These cases are also common and not unheard of according to my dentist. If your teeth are relatively straight, I would also 100% get a wire retainer put there just to stop and block you from feeling the gap/ridge with your tongue. We aren't totally nuts, just obsessive and perfectionists haha (at least i am)
 
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Heidalt

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Aug 3, 2019
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Same as so many others on this thread. I straightened my teeth with Invisalign Two years ago and once I removed the braces, I could not stop touching the back of my front lower teeth. At first it was because I thought there were ridges that my tongue wanted to check out. But that developed into an obsessive habit. I tried adding a metal retainer but no luck. Even when I concentrate it is hard not to. How wonderful if one of us could find a solution and share. Thank you.
 
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OCDTongue

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Sep 17, 2019
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Mine started a couple weeks ago with a small bump on my tongue. I kept rubbing it against my teeth, then started sucking my tongue to my teeth, and I have to do it in a pattern (I have always touched my tongue to my teeth in a counting pattern - but not all the time, or even daily). Of course my bump got worse. I can't seem to stop doing it, however, last week I was on a girls weekend at the river and didn't do it while there. My tongue felt better and thought it was over. Then Monday morning I was doing it again and haven't stopped. Chewing gum helps, but I have TMJ and my jaw gets sore after a while. I read someones post about this being stress related and am wondering if that is it. Especially since I didn't do it while having a relaxing weekend of fun. I am stressed the &*@$ out with my job. Even when I concentrate on trying not to do it, I still do it. Like y'all, I'm very frustrated and just want it to stop.
 
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tonguetwister

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Sep 27, 2019
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Wow! I thought it was just me! I've been constantly worrying the roof of my mouth directly behind my front teeth with my tongue for about three years now, and am also driving myself crazy 24/7! Feels like I've got down to the nerves and am in constant pain, which leads to my tongue going there even more. It's the first thing I do in the morning, and unless I make a really conscious effort, keep on doing it all day. I have been wearing a mouth guard at night which does provide some relief, but next day...repeat...I also do it unconsciously when concentrating, e.g. reading.
Been referred to the hospital and had biopsy, nothing wrong. Just stop doing it, they said. That was 3 years ago. Now feels like the flap of skin I've created is huge, but of course looks so small when you take a look.
Tried salt water, toothpaste, mouth ulcer medications and chewing gum. All temporary relief. Got dentist appointment in a few weeks so will update with any new advice. Am going to try the 'throw head back' idea seen above and make a huge effort to get mind over matter. Trying to put the mouth guard in whenever I become aware of doing it, but not practical when at work!! Aaargh!
 
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Heather68

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Oct 16, 2019
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2
Hi,
I can't believe that I found this and that I'm not alone. I had to get my veneers replaced after 20 years of the same ones. At the same time my mom was dying. It has been since March and the minute I wake up before I even think about it, I start doing it. My tongue hurts and still, all night long. When I am busy working at my store, talking to people and my mind is bust talking, I stop without knowing but as soon as i get in my car and head home, I can't stop. I'm trying to hold my tongue back and it feels restless. I also developed TMJ from this.I feel crazy and it is causing me so much more anxiety. I find wearing my mouth guard stops it at night when I'm watching tv.Maybe I should wear ai as much as possible to break the habit. I feel scared. I am going to talk to my shrink about it and see if there is something I can take to stop it. I already take ativan and klonopin for my anxiety. What is wrong with me? I want my old teeth back!
I am also going to try acupuncture.
Thank you fro being here. I hope we get some hopeful news from someone.
 
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Sabine

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Nov 24, 2019
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Fellow Tongue Grinders:

I have had this addiction for two years now, although I feel I am starting to conquer it. It started when I had a filling done on the inside of my lower front tooth. My tongue found a small ridge on the inside of that tooth and also found a strange satisfaction in grinding away. The more damaged my tongue got, the more sensitive it became and strangely the more masochistic satisfaction I seemed to get.

I guess this is a bit like tongue thrusting (which is what little kids do) in the sense that the satisfying discomfort produced may also be the same for kids too and that is why they are compelled to continue.

My dentist polished the little ridge of the filling, which helped for a bit, until my tongue was traumatized (ulcerated?) a bit more and was therefore sensitive enough to feel ridges that almost don't exist. While she hadn't come across this predicament before, she said that the tongue is a muscle and has muscle memory like any other muscle. In other words, once it gets into the habit of grinding, it will keep going without any conscious effort. No surprise there.

For other reasons (apparently I have an aggressive bite), she made a mouth guard for me and said it might help my tongue grinding too. And it does help, in a way. Every night that I wear it (and I don't particularly like wearing it), my tongue heals a bit and then through the next day all is reversed as the habitual grinding undoes the overnight healing.

At one point I reasoned that if I could just give my tongue a chance to heal for a few days, the sensitivity would go away enough that I might kick the habit. So on the next long weekend, I wore the mouthguard for 72 hours straight (except when eating, of course, and if I had something to say). My tongue healed perhaps 80% of the way back to normal but within a couple of hours of habitual unconcious grinding, I was right back where I started the long weekend.

I am starting to think that, like smoking, alcoholism and incessant scratching, nail-biting and baby finger-sucking, this is just a bad habit from which the body gets a weird kind of pleasure/reward, withstanding that, at the same time, it is damaging to our physical selves (and social selves too, perhaps).

So the cure?

Train my body to stop, I guess. If I could make the tongue suffer an electrical zap like a dog gets when it approaches an electrical fence, I bet I would drop the habit pretty quickly. Of course, this is not practical. But lately I have started every morning with an hour of consciously keeping my tongue away from my lower front teeth. I don't get a lot else done in the hour and sometimes during the day I find myself back with the old ways, but it gradually seems to be a fading habit. As someone earlier mentioned, tilting the head back pulls the tongue away and seems to be a good way of telling my tongue "OK, I am in charge here, and this is going to stop".

Billions of people don't have this habit and for all my life except the last two years, I was one of them.

I hope this is helpful to someone out there.
 
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Heather68

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Oct 16, 2019
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2
I saw my dentist a few days ago and she reshaped where I was rubbing and then polished it down. It feels so much better. But we spoke about when it began and it was when my mom passed in March. She said, " anxiety always has to land somewhere and mine chose my mouth. SO I am wearing my mouth guard whenever I'm home( I don't do it when that is in) and listening to soothing meditations and stories on my phone when falling asleep. She said to massage my jaw and put heat on it for my tmj that developed. It is getting much better. i'm doing it much less now and she said it will take months to break the habit/tick as I've been doing it for months. I'm also crying about my mom more and seeing my therapist weekly.
Hang in there. We will get though this!!
 
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GumSucker

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Feb 15, 2020
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By the way, feeling strings of stuff on your teeth can be an allergic type reaction to fluoride in toothpaste. It is a real thing. Many people have swollen gums from their own toothpaste.

As for tmj, the repetitive movement of the tongue tightens up the muscle under your chin. If it noticeably is sore to push on, it is aggravating your lower jaw, and causing your TMJ flareups due to excess strain on that muscle. Put your finger under it and feel what it's doing when you move your tongue all over. This also extends to the back of the throat, and can provide the sharp pains in your throat that you feel when you're trying hard to hold back tears.
 
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