White Spots on the Throat

Every second person suffers from a sore throat. Some people are a bit less fortunate when it comes to the cure. What is the reason?

Tonsillitis affects almost 60% of the world population, making it one of the most common ailments. There are various symptoms of tonsillitis. The most visible one is white spots on the tonsils.

Fortunately, there are ways to treat these white patches that are visible on the throat. Read more to know about the common causes for white spots on tonsils, home remedies that can cure these white spots on tonsils and its prevention. 

What are The Common Causes for White Spots on Tonsils?

White spots on the tonsils are one of the most common symptoms of an infection in the throat. The throat can be infected by bacteria, fungi or viruses.

Moreover, people with weakened immunity are at a higher risk of developing white spots in the throat.

Some of the infections that can develop are-

  • Strep Throat 

Children are at a greater risk of developing strep throat. This is a type of bacterial infection that leads to sore throat, swelling of glands in the neck, fever or headache. This bacterial infection often causes white spots on the throat.

  • Oral Thrush 

Oral thrush is another reason due to which a person can have white patches on the throat. This is for a fungal attack. White spots may also appear on cheeks or tongue. It makes it difficult to swallow food while causing pain and loss of taste.

  • Viral Tonsillitis 

Tonsillitis that occurs due to a viral infection is known as viral tonsillitis. Some of the symptoms that people experiences after developing a viral infection are- Swelling of tonsils, excessive pain while swallowing food, fever, and nasal congestion.

Tonsillitis, or inflammation of the tonsils, is a common disease that makes up to approximately 1.3% of outpatient visits.*


  • Tonsil Stones 

At times on the tonsils, materials can get trapped in the cracks and crevices of tonsils. These can solidify over time due to the buildup of food particles, mucus, and bacteria. 

  • Mononucleosis

Commonly known as the mono, this is an infection caused by viruses. Apart from white patches on the tonsils, some other symptoms of mononucleosis are fever, large tonsils, sore throat, etc. 

  • Oral and Genital Herpes

This is another reason due to which white spots on the throat can develop. This can easily spread from one person to another. 

Some uncommon causes that can lead to white spots on the throat are discussed below-

  • Leukoplakia
  • Oral herpes

Symptoms that occur other than White Spots in the Throat?

The white patches that are visible when you open the mouth are actually on your throat. Discoloration can occur on the tonsils, around the tonsils or throughout the mouth. People having such white spots on the throat often report of irritation and pain in the throat. Moreover, the pain can be severe sometimes that swallowing foods also becomes difficult. 

Some other symptoms that people suffering from white spots on the throat experience are-

  • Soreness in the throat
  • Cough
  • Running a fever
  • Congestion of the nasal airways
  • Pressure around the eyes
  • Pain in the whole body
  • Difficulty in swallowing

What is the proper diagnosis for White Spots on Tonsils?

Doctors suggest some blood tests that can identify the infection-causing bacteria and viruses. In addition to blood tests, they can also recommend throat culture.

In this diagnostic test, tissue samples are collected from the tonsils using cotton swabs and sent to laboratories for diagnosis. The throat culture helps confirm the type of infection that is causing white spots on the throat.

How to Treat White Spots on the Throat?

The treatment of getting rid of white spots in the throat depends on what’s causing it. The spots may be confined to your tonsils only while you may find them throughout your mouth as well. 

Home Remedies to get rid of white patches in the throat-

Home Remedies To Get Rid of White Spots on Throat

  • The hands-on treatment till you can reach out to the doctor is simple- gargling warm salty water several times during the day.
  • Antibiotics are the most common treatment prescribed by the doctors for white spots due to infection from viruses.
  • Sipping warm liquids continuously to get relief from throat pain.
  • Taking plenty of rest helps. The reason being when you are asleep, the body fights off the infection.
  • Taking throat lozenges can soothe out the discomfort associated with the condition.

In any case, when they do not seem to go away in a few days even after following these DIY remedies, you need to see the ENT doctor.

However, situations may get worse due to untimely identification, delaying treatment or lack of awareness. This at times calls for a surgery that simply removes the tonsils. 

What about surgery for white spots in tonsils?

Along with recurrent tonsils with white spots on them, if you have enlarged tonsils, then you can opt for Tonsillectomy Surgery. The damaged tonsils are removed using the plasma rays. The surgery might last up to 30 -45 minutes. This involves the total elimination of the infected tonsils.

You may recover from the surgery in a week or ten days. You may experience internal ear pain following the surgery – but do not worry! Your ears are simply safe.

How to prevent White Spots in the throat?


In order to prevent the infection that is causing the white spots on tonsils, you can follow some simple measures.

  • First, you can prevent the spread of infection by washing hands properly. You can focus on building a strong immune system.
  • Also, cover nose and mouth while coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid contact with people who are already sick.
  • Don’t share food, drink or utensils.
  • Don’t put your hands on the eyes and face.
  • Eat a balanced diet.
  • Drink at least 1.5-2 liters of fluids daily.
  • Take ample rest. 

Take good care of the throat and embrace all seasons. Moreover, if you are susceptible to developing white spots in the throat, you can visit Pristyn Care clinics for treatment. 

Also Read: Something Stuck in my Throat Remedy


How long will my white spots last?

Severe sore throat which could last from 6-10 days could lead to various complications like small white spots on the red throat or it could be pus on tonsils which can pose a bigger problem.

Can I have white spots without strep throat?

Although, the symptoms of both sore throat and strep throat are quite similar, white spots on tonsils only show up if you are suffering from strep throat.

Is there an STD which can cause white spots on tonsils?

If chlamydia occurs in throat, it can be called mouth infection. It may look like you're suffering from tonsils but it the chlamydia which is the reason for white spots on the back of your throat

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