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Active member
Aug 11, 2008
San Diego
Is this a symptom of early bulbar onset? I'm really trying to move past this and not over analyze everything, but lately I've noticed that whenever I eat crackers, parts of them get stuck in the back of my mouth between my molars and my cheek and I can't get them out with my tongue. I don't feel I have any problems swallowing, and food doesn't appear to feel stuck. It also only happens with crackers. Any other types of food do not stick. Does this sound like something I should be concerned about? I wanted to thank Beth, Rose, and April for continuously responding to my posts. I meant to reply back but I was trying to stay off this forum for awhile. I thought it was completely normal to get crackers stuck to your gums, but when I asked my family, they never experienced it. Any opinions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
I'm also finding that more food is sticking in my teeth lately too. I'm really worried about this.
One more thing...I just bit my tongue in my sleep. I don't think I was completely asleep because my mind has been so fixated on this food sticking issue.

Dry foods, (crackers, bread, etc). will have a tendeancy to stick, especially if your mouth is dry.
You are paying attenion to every little detail and probably over analizing everything, where as your family is not even thinking about it when they eat so even if the food is sticking they are probably taking a drink and it is washing it down.

I don't know if you ever watched a hot dog eating contest, but they normally eat the hotdogs first then
WET The BREAD (so it is not dry) because it is easier to swallow.

The mind is a very powerful thing.
Thank you Crystal. Any ideas on why I bit my tongue when I was falling asleep? Is this concerning?
Kristin ... eating dry crackers and finding them stuck to your tongue/cheek/whatever is NOT a sign of bulbar onset. Not even remotely.

Also: Biting your tongue is a perfectly normal thing for healthy human beings to do occasionally.
I asked these same questions to a speech therapist yesterday at an ALS clinic. She said that with ALS these things happen. I'm not saying that it doesn't happen with people without ALS. She was not surprised by my questions. Sometimes we just have to go in there and get the food out - called finger swiping. And yes, wet the bread. I get bread stuck in the back of my mouth - won't come out - won't go down. She said that gravy is good for that! Also I have been told that since we may not be able to use our tongues as efficiently to get food away from our teeth we need to brush our teeth more often. I was told that I don't have major involvement with my tongue but I need to eat slowly and take smaller bites so I won't choke and I won't bite my cheeks, tongue or lips. Also it is better to put head down and use a straw if water and other liquids seem to hang me up. This blocks off the airway and lets the liquid go down easily.

Hope this helps. Choking occasionally, biting ourselves, etc. does not mean you have ALS. It may mean you need to pay closer attention when eating.

Thank you. Beth, do you have any idea what would cause me to bite my tongue when I was sleeping? It wasn't a soft bite either. It was a big chomp. I don't know if anxiety could cause it or what. I am at a loss.
A lot of bulbar patients have reduced swallowing so more saliva so crackers wouldn't stick. Biting your tongue was probably just a coincidence.

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