Causes and Treatment for White Spots on Tonsils
White spots on tonsils can be the result of an inflammation or infection. They need to be treated in order to avoid possible complications.
White spots on tonsils are usually the result of a pus accumulation or of an accumulation of other substances. They are often accompanied by a sore throat and difficulty in swallowing. White spots on tonsils can have various causes and they require treatment in order to avoid complications.
Causes of White Spots on Tonsils
- Tonsils stones - these are accumulations of various substances like food particles, dead cells, bacteria or mucus. They look like white spots on tonsils and sometimes they might not cause any discomfort at all. Nevertheless, there are people in whom these stones lead to difficulty in swallowing and need to be surgically removed. Tonsils usually prevent harmful substances from reaching the lungs thanks to their specialized cells. However, sometimes these substances accumulate into stones.
- Tonsillitis - this is a medical condition referring to the inflammation of the tonsils. In some cases infections also occur which lead to pus forming. Tonsillitis is often accompanied by fever, headache and stiff neck.
- Sore throat - also known as strep throat, this is a bacterial infection which causes white spots on tonsils, fever, difficulty in swallowing, pain and itchy throat.
- Oral thrush - it is a fungal infection caused by yeast. This normally lives in the human body without doing any harm, but it happens to overgrow in certain circumstances. Yeast infection causes white patches on the tongue and inside the mouth and can also determine white spots on tonsils. It is not necessary for tonsils to be swollen in case of oral thrush, but the sufferer might have impaired taste. People with low immunity or people undergoing chemotherapy are at risk of yeast infection.
- Mononucleosis - patients with this viral infection often complain of a sore throat accompanied by white spots on tonsils because of pus formation. Other symptoms include fatigue, swollen lymph nodes in the neck area, headache, fever and skin rash.
Treatment for White Spots on Tonsils
Even though white spots on tonsils might be asymptomatic or might cause only slight discomfort when eating, it is not a good idea to delay treatment. In the absence of adequate treatment, the infection might spread to other body parts like the ear or the sinuses and might also cause respiratory problems.
The usual treatment for infections leading to white spots on tonsils is a course of antibiotics. Home remedies like gargling with salt water might also help. Sufferers should avoid smoking and foods which might irritate their throat like spicy foods or acidic foods. Homemade yogurt can help in oral thrush because it keeps yeast under control. Sometimes surgical procedures are needed for removing the tonsils or the stones.