White Spots On Throat: Causes and Treatments

young boy with white pot on throat open his mouth widely

The two fleshy mounds in the back of your mouth, one on each side, are your tonsils. They play a key role in preventing throat and lung infections by trapping and destroying germs.

If the tonsils themselves get infected, though, white spots may form at the back of your throat.

Tonsil white spots can occur for a variety of reasons which are discussed in this article.

What Are White Spots In Throat

On the back of the throat, you’ll find the tonsils, which are part of the lymphatic system. Tonsil changes could indicate the body’s response to an illness.

You may also be bothered by symptoms such as a scratchy throat and inflamed tonsils.

Are white spots in the throat contagious?

Such build-ups of skin cells are not contagious. However, some infections can cause white spots in your throat.

One example is strep throat. This bacterial infection can cause sore throats, fever, and white spots on the tonsils.

If you think you might have strep throat, it’s important to see a doctor. They can prescribe antibiotics to clear up the infection.

close up sever strep throat

Causes of White Spots In Throat

White spots on the throat can be caused by a variety of infections. Bacterial infections, viral infections, and fungal infections are among them.

Strep Throat

person with strep throat

Strep throat causes white spots to appear on the tonsils. The bacteria that causes strep throat is highly contagious.

Medical attention should be sought if a person feels they or someone they care for has strep throat, If the bacteria spreads to other regions of the body, such as the heart, difficulties may emerge.

Aside from rheumatic fever, these conditions can also include ear infections, sinusitis, and kidney disease.

The following additional signs and symptoms may point to strep throat:

  • Sore Throat
  • Fever
  • Swollen Lymph Nodes In The Neck
  • Headache
  • Inflamed And Swollen Tonsils

Oral Thrush

oral thrush close up

Oral thrush is a fungal infection that affects the tonsils and generates white spots.

White spots can appear on other regions of your mouth as well, and they can sometimes come together to form larger patches.

Other symptoms that may be present include:

  • Trouble Swallowing
  • Redness And Discomfort
  • Pain When Swallowing
  • Lost Flavor

Viral Tonsillitis

enlarged tonsil close up

Tonsils become inflamed or swollen as a result of tonsillitis. In most cases, it is caused by a virus, but it can also be caused by strep throat.

Tonsillitis caused by a virus has the following symptoms:

  • Tonsils That Are Large And Red, Maybe With Pus,
  • Lymph Nodes In The Neck
  • Swelling
  • Fever
  • Unpleasant Breath
  • Sore Throat
  • Difficulty In Swallowing

Infectious Mononucleosis

Infectious Mononucleosis throat

The Epstein-Barr virus, which causes infectious mononucleosis or glandular fever, produces severe tonsillitis, which results in white spots on the tonsils.

Even though it’s a short-lived illness that clears up on its own in two weeks or less, you may still feel fatigued for a few weeks.

Person-to-person transmission is extremely common, and teenagers and young adults are the most vulnerable group.

White spots on the back of the throat may be accompanied by other symptoms, such as:

  • Fever
  • Sore Throat
  • Exhaustion
  • Aches In All Parts Of The Body
  • Lymph Nodes In The Neck And Underarms Become Engorged.
  • A Rash On The Liver Or Spleen, Or Even Both

Tonsil Stones

person with tonsil stones

Tonsil stones form when debris builds up in the back of your throat.

There are several possible causes of tonsil stones, the most common of which is the accumulation of germs and debris, such as mucus and food, within the tonsils’ openings.

White spots may appear on the tonsils as the debris hardens or calcifies.

Symptoms of tonsil stones include:

  • Bad Breath
  • Ear Pain
  • A Feeling Of Having Something Stuck In The Throat
  • Pain when Swallowing


person suffering with Leukoplakia

Leukoplakia, or white or gray patches in the mouth or throat that don’t go away with scraping, can be the result of certain tissue abnormalities.

Early cancer detection may be possible in some circumstances. With that, a biopsy may be recommended by a physician.

White Spots In Throat Treatment

young lady patient in consultation with doctor

The underlying cause of the white spots will dictate the course of treatment.

Treatment for Strep Throat

Antibiotics are normally required to cure strep throat, but symptoms usually disappear within a week of starting treatment.

Treatment for Oral Thrush

Oral thrush is rarely dangerous or contagious, and it normally goes away without treatment. Antifungal medicines are another treatment option.

Treatment for Viral Tonsillitis

Tonsillitis is usually caused by a virus, and symptoms normally disappear after a week.

Treatment for Infectious Mononucleosis

Rest and appropriate hydration are the treatments for this. Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve) are medicines that can aid with fever and body aches.

Treatment for Tonsil Stones

Antibiotics for infection or antihistamines for sinus problems or allergies are some of the medications used to treat tonsil stones.

Treatment for Leukoplakia

Minimizing your alcohol intake and not smoking are the first course of treatment for this condition. If a white spot is suspected of becoming malignant, it can be surgically removed.

What are some natural remedies for white spots in the throat?

If you wish to try natural remedies for white spots in the throat, here are some options:

  • Gargle with warm salt water – This can help to ease a sore throat and reduce swelling.
  • Drink plenty of fluids – Drinking lots of fluids can help to thin mucus and reduce congestion.
  • Eat soft foods – Eating softer foods can help to avoid irritating a sore throat.
  • Get rest – Getting plenty of rest can help your body to heal.
  • Try a humidifier: A humidifier can add moisture to the air and help to ease congestion.

When Should You Visit A Doctor?

If a person has the following symptoms, they should get medical help:

  • Symptoms That Are Severe Or Persistent
  • Symptoms That Could Indicate Recurring Strep Throat Infections
  • A Temperature Exceeding 101°f (38.3°c)
  • Any Other Worries Concerning White Patches On The Throat Hoarseness Lasting More Than 2 Weeks
  • Phlegm or Blood In Saliva
  • Earache From A Bump In The Neck

In order to provide prompt and convenient care, KingwoodER has expert physicians, a caring team, and state-of-the-art equipment.

If you have a medical condition that needs to be addressed at any time of the day or night, you can count on us to be there for you.

patient consulting to the doctor

Risk factors of white spots in the throat

When not treated immediately, white spots in the throat can lead to more serious conditions, such as:

  • Tongue cancer
  • Throat cancer
  • Laryngeal cancer
  • Esophageal cancer

While most cases of white spots in the throat are benign, it’s important to see your doctor if you experience any persistent symptoms. This is especially true if you have any risk factors for throat cancer, such as smoking or heavy alcohol use. Again, early detection is key to successful treatment.

Preventing White Spots In Throat

Although it is not always possible to prevent white spots on the tonsils, several factors that produce them can be avoided.

Some suggestions are:

  • Hands should be washed often to prevent the risk of infection.
  • Boosting the immune system through a well-balanced diet, exercise, and regular sleep
  • Avoiding infection transmission by covering the nose and mouth when coughing
  • Avoiding direct contact with people who are infected
  • Regular dental exams and maintaining optimal oral hygiene
  • Recognizing how the tonsils generally look and keeping an eye on any changes avoiding or quitting smoking

Final Thoughts

Anyone who is concerned about white spots on their tonsils should consult a doctor.

Many diseases that create white spots on your throat can be treated with a doctor’s prescription.

Make an appointment with your doctor, or contact Aether Health – Kingwood ER if you detect white spots on your throat that don’t go away after a few weeks.

One of KingwoodER’s primary goals is to provide Kingwood residents with a completely automated and comfortable emergency room with short wait times. Our freestanding emergency care center is located in Kingwood, Texas.

The sooner you see your doctor, the sooner they will be able to diagnose the problem and begin therapy.

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