Your health is your greatest asset; therefore, it can be discomforting realizing you have white spots on throat. This issue becomes even more aggravating if these spots are followed by other symptoms. White blotches on the back of the throat can be a sign of various health concerns, such as bacterial infections or oral yeast. These symptoms should not be ignored because the underlying reason can present a threat to your overall health. Consult your doctor if you notice these spots, especially if they are followed by a fever.
11 Causes of White Spots on Throat
1. Strep Throat
This is a condition that is common amongst children and teenagers; however, adults are not immune to it. Caused by bacteria, this is a contagious infection with symptoms such as white spots on the tonsils, fever, fatigue, throat pain, difficulty swallowing and headaches. This infection can cause major complications such as kidney inflammation if it is left untreated.
Treatment: While over the counter medication will help to relieve the pain, antibiotics such as amoxicillin and penicillin are often used to treat strep throat. Gargling with salt water and resting will also help to alleviate the pain and help you to heal faster.
2. Tonsilolith/Tonsil Stones
It is a condition that causes calcium deposits to form at the back of the throat in the small crevices of the tonsils. These changes are either caused by bacteria, mucus or un-swallowed food particles. The calcium deposits differ in sizes, but they are often very painful. Other symptoms of tonsil stones include bad breath, difficulty swallowing and a metallic taste.
Treatment: The tonsils are known to clean themselves; therefore, no treatment is required if there is no discomfort or pain. However, eating foods such as crackers that make the tongue work harder to clean the back of the throat will help to dislodge the stones. The periodic use of a saltwater spray will help to remove the particles and as a last resort, surgery is used.
Tonsillitis is a bacterial or viral infection that causes white spots on throat, swollen tonsils, pain, difficulty swallowing and fever. Swelling of the lymph nodes is sometimes noticed at the side of the neck.
Treatment: Antibiotics are common treatments used for tonsillitis. However, a diet high in liquid is recommended if it is hard to swallow; rest and gargling salt water are also effective treatments. The tonsils are removed if tonsillitis keeps returning.
4. Oral Thrush
The symptoms of oral thrush include white spots in the throat, throat pain, sore and ragged mouth corners, and difficulty swallowing. This infection is caused by a yeast infection and is common in babies and adults with a weak immune system.
Treatment: To treat oral thrush, antifungal medications are used. Breastfeeding mothers with this infection are given an antifungal cream to rub on the nipples to prevent the disease from passing on to their babies. To reduce the spreading of this infection to other areas of the mouth, it is recommended that children and adults gargle with salt water.
5. Oral Herpes
The most common symptoms of oral herpes include white spots on throat and lip sores. Caused by the herpes simplex 1 or 2 viruses, oral herpes is highly contagious and is spread through oral sex or the kissing or sharing of utensils with an infected person. Difficulty breathing and swallowing, fever, itching and burning are other common symptoms of this infection.
Treatment: While the herpes virus is incurable, antiviral medications such as famciclovir, acyclovir and valtrex are used to ease the pain and reduce the symptoms. Salt water also helps to soothe the throat and by getting an adequate amount of rest and fluid, the symptoms of herpes can be relieved.
White spots on throat, a burning sensation in the mouth, and difficulty swallowing are common symptoms associated with this disease caused by the yeast infection. Although rare, this condition is often seen in people with a weaken immune system.
Treatment: This infection can be treated with an antifungal prescription, but to reduce pain and spreading, the use of salt water is effective. Candidiasis can also affect children. If this happens, implement strict hygiene by ironing their sheets and clothes and washing their toys in soda powder.
7. Infectious Mononucleosis
Chronic fatigue, white spots on the throat, and swollen tonsils and lymph nodes are common symptoms associated with infectious mononucleosis. This is a viral infection that can easily spread to others through the sharing of utensils and food. This infection can lead to more serious complications such as an enlarged spleen.
Treatment: Because it is viral, mononucleosis is not treated with any medication and infected individuals are told to let it run its course. For pain and swelling, your doctor may prescribe corticosteroids; however, over the counter medications are also good for easing pain and discomfort.
It is pre-cancerous and is often determined by white spots on throat and in the mouth. When this condition becomes a problem, small spots in the mouth cannot be surgically or otherwise removed unless the person stops smoking, drinking or chewing tobacco. However, larger portions can be surgically removed with laser treatment or a scalpel. While caused by smoking and tobacco chewing, this condition is benign. If cancer is suspected, cells are frozen and removed for testing.
The frequent use of drugs such as aspirins can cause white spots in the throat that looks like burn. This condition becomes more apparent, especially if the pill is chewed instead of swallowed. If the spots in your throat are caused by you taking frequent drugs, use less and swallow instead of chew.
10. Chemical Exposure
Being exposed to chemical can cause white blotches to form in the back of the throat. If you were exposed to chemicals, seek immediate medical help and avoid any chemical associated with the spots in your throat.
11. Other Causes
There are still many causes of white spots in the throat. Other reasons for this symptom include blockage, abscess and chemical injury.
A visit to your doctor will determine the underlying cause for these white spots. In order for your doctor to determine the reason for your problem, provide your doctor with as much information as possible. This information should include, but not be limited to symptoms you are experiencing and when the spots began to form.