According to this site and some others:

Qusai Emad al-Khawalda died from lack of oxygen after swallowing his tongue during the first half of the match with Al-Jazeera in Amman, Faisaly official Ihab al-Khalili told AFP.

Is it possible to swallow your tongue, since the frenulum would prevent it from going that far? And will you really sufocate if you do it, or the muscle will become flacid as you loose concious and then someone could bring it back to position ?f

  • Yes, but you have to cut it out first.
    – John
    Commented Dec 12, 2013 at 10:18

1 Answer 1


From http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/22/health/22real.html

Swallowing the tongue is virtually impossible. In the human mouth, a small piece of tissue called the frenulum linguae, which sits behind the teeth and under the tongue, keeps the tongue in place, even during a seizure.

  • 2
    Allowing a looser definition of "swallow" I suspect it is possible to choke on your tongue, i.e. for it to obstruct your breathing/airway, if you're unconscious.
    – ChrisW
    Commented Nov 26, 2013 at 23:43

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