White spots on the throat or tonsils can make one perplexed as they are visible to the naked eye and if seeing for the first time it might be more worrisome. While the problem might appear unpleasant, in the majority of cases it is not very severe and they are formed due to various reasons on your throat or tonsils. Once the underlying illness is treated, the white spots disappear too. For successful treatment of the condition, it is important to know the underlying cause of the illness that causing the white spots.
If you see white spots in your mouth, rather than getting alarmed you should know that it is a normal reaction of the body when it is invaded by any fungi, bacteria, viral infection or yeast. Skin of your throat is highly sensitive and is thus the first place where signs can be seen in case of any illness and it gives many clues about your health. Health specialist diagnoses the reason behind white spots on your throat. Let us now have a look at some of the most common reasons for having white spots on throat or tonsils along with their symptoms and treatments.
1. Invasion By Bacteria
In most of the cases, the reason for developing white spots on throat is a bacterial invasion. If you see that there are not only white spots on the throat but the throat is inflamed and red, a bacterial invasion might be the reason. Along with this, you might have other symptoms like fever, headache, swelling of tonsils. Visit a doctor and he/she may prescribe some antibiotics to eliminate the infection. The white spots will disappear once the infection is treated.
Pharyngitis is a type of bacterial or viral infection which is linked to the throat.
Symptoms – This type of infection often results in
- Throat inflammation
- White spots
Generally on the
- Mouth cavity
- Back part of the throat
Apart from this, a patient suffering from Pharyngitis often has persistent cough.
Treatment – In case of Pharyngitis, visiting a medical expert is highly recommended as the problem can get very severe in no time. The doctor would recommend antibiotics and may be even some local anaesthetics and analgesics.
Home Remedies – Salt water gargling is one of the best home remedies for treating Pharyngitis.
Read more on Sore Throat – Causes, Symptoms, Treatment
3. Tonsil Stones
Tonsil stones also known as Tonsilloliths are a common outcome of bacterial infection. However, it can also be caused due to hardened food or mucus. When something sticks to the tonsil crypts, it can cause white spots on the tonsils.
Symptoms – Common symptoms of tonsil stones are
- Pain in the mouth
- Metallic taste when eating
- Bad breathe
In most of the cases, this is not a severe condition and can heal on its own. The tonsils often heal themselves on their own and the spots vanish too.
Treatment – However, there are still a lot of cases when tonsil stones do not go very easily. Moreover, there is also a possibility that the tonsils might get so inflamed that it can make it difficult for you to breathe. There are a few very effective home remedies that can help remove the stone. But if the tonsil still remains after trying the remedies, consult a doctor as the tonsil might have to be removed with the help of a surgical procedure.
Home Remedies – If you have tonsil stones, eat crackers or dry bread to help your tongue clean the tonsils more effectively.
If this doesn’t help, irrigations can be a great option. For this, add ½ tsp. of salt in a glass of warm water and pour this solution in a spray bottle. Spray this solution on the tonsils at regular intervals.
4. Oral Herpes
In the majority of the cases oral herpes infection can occur on lips and look like cold sores. However, this can also happen in your mouth or throat.
- Symptoms – Herpes simplex virus is responsible for oral herpes. Fever blisters in the mouth and on lips are common symptoms. Once treated, the blisters can appear again. The condition spreads very easily if you come in physical contact with an infected person, like through kissing.
- Treatment – Oral herpes can be a severe condition and there is no permanent remedy for the same. Visit a doctor and he would generally recommend antibacterial medicines to reduce the effects. In a lot of patients, the symptoms generally reoccur multiple times in a year.
- Home Remedies – Apply cool wet compress on the blisters to help minimize the pain and ensure that they do not crack or dry. However, if you apply compress very often, it can further make the lesions drier. A moisturizing balm made from natural ingredients can be used to avoid this problem.
Read more on Strep Throat
5. Oral Candidiasis
Candidiasis can occur on different parts of the body. Candida yeast is generally responsible for triggering the condition and it can occur on throat as well. Adults and babies with a weaker immune system are common targets of this condition. Even patients suffering from diabetes, leukaemia, and AIDS commonly suffer from this problem.
- Symptoms – When a person is suffering from oral candidiasis, yeast colonies start residing on the throat and they look like white spots. Initially, the spots do not cause any kind of pain and most of the patients do not even feel anything. However, if treatment is not taken at this stage, the yeast colonies can easily spread to many other parts of the mouth.
- Treatment – Baking soda is one of the most commonly used treatment methods as well as effective home remedy for treating oral candidiasis. It helps in reducing acidity which is used by the yeast colonies to breed and spread. Baking soda is rubbed on these rashes to reduce and treat the problem. Doctors can also recommend some oral drugs to kill fungi.
- Home Remedies – Apart from baking soda, salt water gargling is also an effective remedy for treating oral candidiasis.
Other Common Causes Of White Spots on Throat
Apart from the causes discussed above, some other common causes of white spots on throat and tonsils include
- Streptococcal angina
- Infectious mononucleosis
- Syphilis infection
- Chemical exposure
While there are a lot of reasons that can cause white spots on your throat and there are also many effective home remedies to treat the condition, you should definitely visit a doctor if you cannot understand the cause or if nothing changes even when you try home remedies. While the problem is not known to be very severe, the underlying causes can sometimes result in serious outcomes.