Last updated: October 4, 2023 at 14:46 pm
The name for the gulping noise we make when swallowing is the gag reflex. It’s a noise that is more prominent in children, as the gag reflex is significantly more sensitive as a child. Having said this, swallowing food or drink can be loud even as adults for several reasons.
There are ways to swallow quietly and implement these tips into your everyday life, and this article will cover these solutions.
IN THIS ARTICLE
What Exactly is the Sound?
The sound you tend to make when swallowing food or drinks occurs most commonly when lots of food or water hits the back of your throat. Another potential cause of noise is when you swallow food or water along with air.
Another less common explanation for this noise is that you have a very strong tongue. What happens here is that your tongue pushes the food that you eat down the digestive tract at a fast speed which creates a loud swallowing noise.
Not only are there many different explanations for this sound but there are numerous solutions.
9 Ways to Swallow Quietly
While this is a common occurrence for many people, it can be annoying when sharing food and drink with others and there are a few ways to manage this problem.
The first step is to identify the cause and thus, resolve it. Below are several potential causes of this loud swallowing noise along with simple solutions to avoid it.
1. Take Your Time
One of the main causes of loud swallowing noises is that you are eating at a fast pace. When you eat food at a fast pace, you’re also swallowing air. As a result, the air that you swallow along with the food that you’re eating can come back up and produce a loud gulping noise. So slow down and take smaller bites.
Similarly, when we drink liquids at a fast pace, the liquid in your throat is under too much pressure and this will result in a loud gulping noise. In order to swallow liquids in a quiet manner, you need to avoid the liquid gathering at the back of your throat and creating this loud noise.
You can do this by allowing your drinks to flow across your tongue before swallowing it and taking your time while doing this. Smaller sips of your drink will allow you to do this. Another tip would be to drink liquids in smaller amounts, so you won’t feel the need to rush it.
2. Breathe Correctly
A common reason for loud gulping noises when drinking is because people often become hyper-focused on their drink and forget to breathe correctly. This can cause loud gulping noises that occur whenever you drink as it creates a lack of oxygen in your lungs.
When your lungs lack oxygen, your muscles tense up and then contract to breathe in more air. This process can cause you to swallow hard and create loud swallowing noises.
3. Avoid Carbonated Drinks
We tend to burp after drinking carbonated drinks, such as sparkling water or soda, as you’re allowing lots of air to be brought into your intestines. This happens because of the bubbles that are in carbonated drinks. If you want to avoid noisy digestion altogether, avoiding carbonated drinks is a good place to start.
But if you can’t cut these drinks out of your diet completely, we recommend tilting your head back slightly to allow the bubbles to rise to the top of your glass. This way, the bubbles will gather at the top of your glass as opposed to the top of your mouth, causing loud noises.
4. Change the Drinking Material
Plastic can result in loud gulping noises occurring when you use them to drink from. This is because plastic is a thin material as opposed to the likes of ceramic or glass, that would muffle the sound of gulping.
If you can’t remove plastic cups entirely from your life, a great tip is to not tilt your drink too far back when you’re using a plastic cup. In this way, you’ll avoid too much liquid hitting your throat and creating a loud gulping noise. But the best solution would be to avoid plastic material altogether.
5. Visit a Doctor
Sometimes there are health reasons to explain why we make a loud noise when swallowing. You may be suffering from nasal congestion which occurs when there’s a blockage in your nose. When your nose is blocked, you naturally begin to use your mouth to breathe.
This results in loud noises when you swallow as you’re trying to breathe and eat at the same time. If you suffer from this problem, it’s a good idea to visit a doctor and ask for their professional advice to solve it.
Another health issue that could be causing this problem is a condition called aerophagia. This is a medical condition that involves swallowing air and can cause issues with your stomach, your ability to burp, your ability to pass gas, and your ability to hiccup.
The condition can make swallowing not only difficult but loud too, but the good news is, the condition can be fixed. Visiting a doctor is the first step to solving this issue.
6. Use a Straw
Straws naturally force you to drink slower, so they’re a good option for swallowing quietly. Along with this, straws help to separate the sound of the air that moves in and out of your mouth and the liquid hitting the cup.
You can purchase cups with built-in straws that are reusable and easy to clean to solve this issue.
7. Keep Your Head Down
Make sure to avoid lifting your head when you’re drinking liquids as this will create that loud and unnecessary gulping noise.
When you raise your head to take a drink, you’re allowing excess air to enter your throat. Along with this, you’ll swallow faster if your head is tilting upwards and as stated above, this will create loud swallowing noises.
Once you get into the habit of keeping your head down when you’re drinking, you’ll notice you’re able to swallow quietly.
8. Hold the Cup Correctly
This may seem hard to believe, but the way that you hold your cup matters in terms of being able to swallow quietly. If you hold your cup or glass with a tight grip, you’ll be able to reduce the amount of space inside which in turn, reduces the loud gulping noise as less liquid can be swallowed.
You can do this by holding your cup or glass with both of your hands and always ensuring a gentle but firm grip.
9. Other Reasons
There are some additional reasons why you’re swallowing loudly that cannot be controlled, and you should try not to worry about them as they’re a natural way of life. Age is one of these reasons.
As you age, your throat muscles can become disoriented, and your control of your muscles drops dramatically. This can sometimes cause loud noises when you’re swallowing. This is just a natural way of life so try not to worry too much about this.
Along with this, it’s important to remember that when we’re swallowing food or drinks, or even saliva, we’re hearing this swallowing noise at a much louder frequency than everyone else.
We often forget that our throat is connected to our ears, and therefore it’s going to sound louder to us than it would to someone sitting near us. Chances are that the people around you can’t even hear what you’re worrying about, so don’t over-analyse yourself.
There are many causes for loud noises when swallowing and luckily, there are also many solutions.
Make sure to implement these solutions into your daily life when swallowing food, drink, or your saliva, to have the ability to swallow quietly in the future.