White spots on tonsils, stuff or pus, may occur with a sore throat but no pain, fever or strep. They may show up on both or just one tonsil due to various health conditions, especially STDs, cancer or mono. In some cases, the white spots just won’t go away. Explore facts, pictures, causes, signs and symptoms of white spots on tonsils. Furthermore, learn how to get rid of them with medical treatments and home remedies.
Summary of Page Contents
- Signs and Symptoms of White Spots on Tonsils?
- White Spots on Tonsil Pictures (Images)
- What Causes White Spots On Tonsils
- White Spots on Tonsils No Pain
- White Spots on Tonsils No Fever
- White Spots on Tonsils Not Strep
- One White Spot on Tonsil
- White Spot on Tonsil – Cancer
- White Spots on Tonsils STDs
- White Spots on Tonsils – Allergies
- Diagnosis of White Spots on Tonsil
- How to Get Rid of White Spots on Tonsils (Home Remedies & Treatment)
- 1. Treatment for Strep Throat
- 2. Treatment for Mononucleosis
- 3. Treatment for Oral Thrush
- 4. Treatment for Tonsilloliths (Tonsil Stones)
- 5. Treatment for Herpes (Oral and Genital)
- 6. Treatment for Diphtheria
- Treatment for Vincent’s Angina
- 7. Treatment for Leukoplakia
- 8. Treatment of Viral Pharyngitis
- 9. Tonsillectomy (Tonsil Surgery)
- 10. Other Treatments and Home Remedies
Signs and Symptoms of White Spots on Tonsils?
White spots on tonsils may occur only on and around the tonsils. However, it often affects the whole mouth. The white spots, patches or dots appear like white streaks at the back of the mouth. They may also look like smudges on or around your tonsils.
Furthermore, white spots on tonsils may feel rough and cause difficulty in swallowing. In case the tonsils become severely swollen, they may partially block the windpipe and cause difficulty in breathing
White spots on tonsil usually come alongside many other signs and symptoms. The following symptoms that usually accompany white spots on tonsils.
- Frequent sneezing
- Frequent headache
- Sore throat
- Bad breath
- Stuffy and runny nose
- Body aches and pains
- Discomfort in throat
- Pain while swallowing
- Swollen lymph nodes
However, you may develop white spots on tonsil without any other symptoms apart from the white stuff itself. Probably, this depends on the actual cause of the white spots or the strength of your immunity.
White Spots on Tonsil Pictures (Images)
We have inserted clear and illustrative pictures at various relevant sections throughout this post. Certainly, you understand the symptoms and appearance of white spots better. Also, you will be able to easily identify white spots on tonsils and take the necessary steps courtesy of these images.
What Causes White Spots On Tonsils
White spots on tonsils are generally caused by various infections. These infections are caused bacteria, fungi or viruses. The common causes of white spots on tonsils include:
1. Tonsilloliths (Tonsil Stones)
Tonsilloliths is also known as tonsil stones. This is a condition that causes deposits of calcium to form on the crevices of tonsils. This deposit appears as white spots on tonsils. The deposits may be mild leading to tiny tonsil stones, or severe leading to giant tonsil stones. Also, the condition causes the tonsils to swelling of the tonsils.
Other symptoms of tonsil stones include bad breath, difficulty in swallowing and a metallic taste in mouth. You may also experience an earache and sore throat.
Tonsilloliths often occur in adolescents than adults or babies. In most cases, tonsils stones, especially small ones, occur without any noticeable symptoms. However, giant tonsil stones manifest noticeable signs and symptoms as listed above.
Tonsillitis is an infection that causes inflammation of the tonsils. It is mostly caused by viruses although it may also be caused by bacteria. Tonsillitis may lead to the development of white areas or spots on tonsils. The white spots are usually pus-filled
Other symptoms of tonsillitis include swollen tonsils, pain when swallowing, coughing, headache, earache, malaise and fever. You may also experience loss or changes to your voice or have visually noticeable swollen lymph nodes in the neck.
3. Strep throat
White spots on tonsil could be a sign of strep throat. Strep throat is an infection that is caused by bacteria. It is spread through inhaling air that an infected person coughs or sneezes. It can cause white spots on tonsils and in mouth.
Other symptoms of strep throat include nausea, vomiting, fever, abdominal pain and pain when swallowing. Also, you can have a headache, swollen neck glands and inflamed tonsils. If left untreated, it can cause major complications including kidney inflammation.
4. Mononucleosis (Mono)
Mononucleosis is a highly contagious infection caused by viruses. It is commonly referred to as mono. It can be transmitted through contact with saliva. You can get direct contact with other people’s saliva by sharing of eating utensils like plates, cups and spoons and drinks. Also, if you incautiously share cosmetic products such as lip gloss, lipstick and lip balm, you may contact the infection.
Mononucleosis is one of the infections that can cause white spots o tonsils. Other common symptoms of mononucleosis include fatigue, sore throat, fever, rash, muscle aches, enlarged tonsils and swollen lymph glands
Diphtheria is an infection caused by a bacteria called corynebacterium diphtheria. Usually, diphtheria affects the mucous membranes in the noses and throat. However, this infection can also cause white spots on the tonsils. It often occur among children
The signs of diphtheria infection include a sore throat, runny nose, swollen lymph nodes, fever, chills and hoarse throat. Other signs include malaise, and difficulty in breathing
6. Vincent’s Angina
In some cases, the white spots in the oral cavity start as pus-filled ulcers. It also affects the pharynx and the gums. Usually, the formation of the ulcers begin from the gums and spread to the other parts of the mouth, including the tonsil. These is a symptom of Vincent’s angina.
Upon developing, the ulcers become fragile. They easily bleed when slightly touched, leaving white spots on the tonsils. Vincent’s Angina may be caused by either viruses or bacteria.
7. Viral Pharyngitis
This is an infection that affects the pharynx. It causes both the pharynx and the tonsils to swell. Often, pus forms on the tonsils and it appears as white spots on the tonsils. Viral pharyngitis is caused by either virus or bacteria.
8. Oral thrush
Oral thrush is also referred to as oropharyngeal candidiasis. It is an infection that is caused by fungi (yeast) and it affects your mouth and throat. You might develop white spots on these locations hence even on tonsils.
Generally, thrush infections are common among babies and people who have a weak immunity system. Apart from white spots in mouth and throat, other common symptoms of oral thrush include redness, sore throat, rugged mouth corners, and pain when swallowing.
Leukemia is a precancerous condition that is characterized by white spots in mouth. The risk factor for this condition is usually chewing or smoking tobacco.
10. Use of Drugs
Frequent use of drugs such as aspirin may also be the cause of white spots in the throat and on your tonsils. This even becomes more pronounced if you chose to chew the drugs before swallowing instead of swallowing them whole.
11. Chemical Exposure
Exposure to certain chemical may lead to the formation of blotches at the back of your mouth, including on tonsils.
Some sexually transmitted diseases can cause white spots in mouth and on tonsils. Such diseases include chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes simplex virus and HIV/AIDS.
The general symptoms of this diseases include fatigue, pain, and fever, lack of appetite, sore throat, mouth ulcers, itchy mouth, swollen gums, swollen uvula and swollen lymph nodes.
Specifically, HIV/AIDS may drastically reduce the body immunity and thereby make your body susceptible to many diseases and conditions. Some of these conditions are those which may lead to the formation of white spots in mouth and on tonsils.
13. Oral herpes (HSV-1)
Oral herpes is a common oral infection caused by herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1). It is usually t transmitted through sexual activities such as kissing and oral sex with an infected person. However, you can also contract this disease if you share utensils such as cups and plates with an infected person.
The typical symptoms of oral herpes include fever, tingling and itchy sores in mouth. However, it can also cause white spots on tonsils.
14. Genital herpes (HSV-1)
Genital herpes is a common infection that affects male and female genitals. It is caused by herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2). Genital herpes is transmitted through sexual intercourse. It can cause white spots on tonsils. The symptoms of genital hers are partially shared between males and females.
In males, the common symptoms include lesions on the glans, shaft of penis, around genitals, inner thigh, buttocks and anus. Other symptoms include pain, itching, burning, fever and headache muscle pain, swollen lymph nodes and penile discharge.
In females, the common symptoms include lesions on mons, clitoris, around the vulva, buttocks and anus. Other symptoms include pain, itching, burning, fever and headache muscle pain, swollen lymph nodes, vaginal discharge, painful urination, inflamed uterus.
15. Other causes
- Smoking: Tobacco smoking increases the risk developing oral cancer and leukoplakia. Leukoplakia is a precancerous condition. Both oral cancer and leukoplakia can lead to the formation of white spots on tonsil.
- Post-nasal drip
- Dry air
White Spots on Tonsils No Pain
There are cases when you may have white spots on your tonsils without pain. This could mean that the cause of the condition is a viral infection or a malignant growth. In general, viral infections and malignant growths will clear up on their own.
In this case, you do not need to worry. To help heal such conditions faster, use home remedies such as gargling warm salty water. However, you may still need to go and see your doctor for diagnosis to rule out other potentially harmful conditions.
White Spots on Tonsils No Fever
Sometimes, you may have white spots on your tonsils without fever. It so happens that some of the infections and conditions that cause white spots on tonsil may not with fever, Tonsillitis is an example of such a condition.
In the event that you see the white spots but realize you do not experience fever, do not leave it at that. Instead, you still need to go and see your doctor. The doctor will carry out diagnosis and treat you or give you the necessary advice. There is a tendency to neglect such conditions which do not seem harmful but this is not always a good practice.
White Spots on Tonsils Not Strep
In case a test for strep returns negative results, it simply means that the cause could be one of the other infections or conditions that we have already discussed. It does not mean that you do not have any other problem just because the white spots on the tonsils is not strep. Rather, this means that your doctor will run other tests to decisively determine the cause of your problem.
One White Spot on Tonsil
It is also possible for some of this conditions to manifest themselves in just one white spot on tonsil. The bottom line is to visit your doctor for diagnosis to definitely determine the cause. The doctor will then treat you and give you the necessary advice.
White Spot on Tonsil – Cancer
As we have seen, white spots on tonsils may be a sign of leukemia, a pre-cancerous condition, or oral cancer, thou rarely. We know that cancer is a dreaded condition since it might be challenging to treat it once it has gone past certain stages.
Definitely, no one in their sound mind will want to take chances with cancer. So, it is a good idea to always visit your doctor for diagnosis, especially to rule out oral cancer, whenever you notice white spots on your tonsil.
White Spots on Tonsils STDs
We have listed certain STDs as possible causes of white spots on tonsils. You can always avoid STDs by practicing abstinence or being faithful to one faithful partner. Alternatively, only engage in protected sex, for example, use of condoms.
However, it might be a bit challenging to engage in protective oral sex in a bid to avoid contracting such STDs. Probably, the only way out here is to avoid practicing oral sex apart from with your one faithful partner.
White Spots on Tonsils – Allergies
In some cases, the cause of the white spots on tonsils is seasonal allergies such as post-nasal dripping. It is also possible that from previous occurrences, you happen to know which allergic conditions lead to the formation of white spots on tonsils. In such cases, find can find a way of preventing the allergies or treating them to get rid of the white spots.
Diagnosis of White Spots on Tonsil
Usually, the white spots will disappear on their own if the cause is not a serious health problem. However, if the white spots become persistent visit your doctor.
The doctor may carry out a simple physical examination to try and diagnose the problem causing the white spots. This includes looking at your throat and gently and feeling your lymph nodes for any swells. He may also ask you a few questions about your experiences as a result of the condition.
However, your doctor may request for lab tests on white substances from your tonsils for any germs. Other likely tests to be carried out include blood tests and culture tests. It is vital for the doctor to identify the actual cause of your problem in order to prescribe the right medication.
How to Get Rid of White Spots on Tonsils (Home Remedies & Treatment)
The treatment that will be administered to you will basically depend on the cause of the white spots on your tonsils. If the cause of the white spots is a virus, the spots should vanish on their own However, if the white spots are caused by fungi or bacteria, your doctor will administer antifungal or antibacterial medications respectively
In case there are underlying health problems, then the doctor will prescribe a treatment for those problems. Upon recovering from the underlying issues, the white spots will also disappear. The treatment for each of the possible underlying diseases and conditions is as described below.
Furthermore, certain home remedies may be used alone or together with prescribed treatment, to mitigate the conditions. The home remedies are particularly important when the causes are viral conditions, which generally don’t have medications. In this case, the home remedies are used to relieve the effects of the condition as it runs its course.
1. Treatment for Strep Throat
If strep throat is diagnosed, your doctor will prescribe you antibiotics. In addition, he may prescribe or recommend over the counter painkillers for you. The painkillers will help relieve pain on the tonsils and the body if any.
2. Treatment for Mononucleosis
Since mono is a viral infection, the doctor doesn’t normally prescribe any medicine. However. If you experience severe inflammation, the doctor may prescribe corticosteroids and some over the counter painkillers to relieve the pain and inflammation.
Good home care is strongly recommended to mitigate the effects of mononucleosis until the infection takes its course. Therefore, the doctor will advise you to have good rest and have plenty of drinks until the condition heals.
3. Treatment for Oral Thrush
In case oral thrush is responsible for the white spots on your tonsil, the doctor will prescribe antifungal medications to cure your thrush. I n addition he will recommend some home remedies to prevent the infection from spreading to other parts of the mouth. The home remedies may include:
- Rinsing your mouth with water frequently
- Gargling salty water frequently
4. Treatment for Tonsilloliths (Tonsil Stones)
Usually, no treatment is required for tonsil stones. If it is severe, the doctor may prescribe some medications to reduce its severity. However, you may carry out some home remedies which may help remove the deposits faster. These remedies include
- Eating crunchy foods
- Gargling salty water
5. Treatment for Herpes (Oral and Genital)
Herpes Simplex Virus type 1 and type 2 have no cure. However, the doctor may prescribe antiviral drugs to mitigate the situation until the condition runs its course. In addition, you can use topical anesthetics to relieve the pain during this period.
6. Treatment for Diphtheria
The doctor will prescribe antibiotics to cure the infection. However, there is a vaccination that can prevent this infection.
Treatment for Vincent’s Angina
The doctor will prescribe antibiotics to cure the infection is it is bacterial. In case it is viral, it will take its course and clear up.
7. Treatment for Leukoplakia
Quitting tobacco smoking and alcohol consumption usually clears the condition. However, if the condition is persistent or is diagnosed as precancerous, the doctor will opt for other options.
Probably, the doctor will remove the white patches or spots surgically using a scalpel or laser treatment. Alternatively, the doctor may subject the white spots to extremely cold probe to freeze and destroy them.
8. Treatment of Viral Pharyngitis
The doctor will prescribe antibiotics in case it is caused by bacteria. In case it is caused by viruses, it will clear up on it is own. However, you may use the home remedies described in the last section of this post to lessen the effects of the condition.
9. Tonsillectomy (Tonsil Surgery)
In case medication fails to cure your tonsils and the inflammation persists such that it causes difficulties in breathing, your doctor may recommend that they be removed. The procedure for the removal of tonsils is called tonsillectomy.
However, the doctor may not carry out this procedure just to treat the white spots on your tonsils. The aim will be to treat the persistent inflammation. But this procedure might also end up treating the white spots on your tonsils.
In case the doctor finds it necessary to remove your tonsils, you will make an appointment for the procedure. It is usually an outpatient procedure where you will be allowed to go home after the treatment. After the procedure, you may experience a sore throat. Furthermore, the doctor will prescribe a restricted diet for about two weeks to prevent possible infections after the procedure.
10. Other Treatments and Home Remedies
Some general remedies that can help with white spots on tonsils include:
General Home Remodifies
- Take a good rest. This way, you will avoid infecting others
- Gargle warm salty water for about 10 minutes three times a day
- Drink plenty of water and warm fluids which don’t contain caffeine
- Consume more dairy products such as ice creams to help reduce the pain.
- Keep away from pollutants such as tobacco smoke and vehicle exhaust
- Humidify your throat to relief dryness and keep it moist. Dry air tends to irritate the affected area
- Stop smoking or chewing tobacco. This may worsen the condition and even cause further complications
- Avoid foods such as spicy meals, chips, tomato sauces, which contain some acid. Such foods may aggravate the condition
General Treatment Approaches
- Antibiotics: Antibiotics are used to treat bacterial cause of white spots on tonsil
- Antifungals: Antifungals will be used to treat fungal causes of white spots on tonsil
- No treatment: If the white spots on tonsil are caused by viral infections, there is usually no medications that are prescribed. However, certain medications may be prescribed to mitigate the condition but not necessarily cure it. In addition, some home remedies may be recommended for the same purpose. Normally, white spots on tonsil caused by viral infections clear up on their own.