White spots on the back of the throat are a common condition. It occurs due to various causes. The causes include bacterial infection, fungal infection, viral infection, chemical exposure, lichen planus, and leukoplakia. The condition may accompany other symptoms depending upon the cause. Treatment usually depends upon the cause of white spots.
What Are White Spots On The Back Of The Throat?
Many people experience white patches on the back of the throat or tonsils. There are various causes for developing these spots. Fortunately, in most cases, they are not the cause for concern. Some of them require treatment, while others go away on their own. Streptococcus infections are the most common causes of white patches on the throat or tonsils.
Signs Of White Spots On Back Of Throat
The patient may experience various other symptoms, along with white spots on the back of the throat. The symptoms depend upon the cause of white spots;
- If the condition is due to a strep infection, the patient also experiences fever, headache, and rashes.
- If the condition is due to tonsillitis, the patient has trouble swallowing, throat pain, and bad breath.
- The patient generally has pain and irritation when swallowing the acidic food.
- The patient may also experience white spots on the back of the throat with no pain, white spots on the throat but not on tonsils, and white spots on the back of the throat but no fever.
Causes Of White Spots On Back Of Throat
Following are the various causes of white spots on the back of the throat;
1. Streptococcus infection
Streptococcus infection is one of the most common causes of white patches on the tonsils or throat. The infection is due to Streptococcus pyogenes bacteria.
Mononucleosis is a viral infection that results in white patches on the tonsils. It is a highly contagious infection. It is not serious but may affect the quality of life.
Tonsillitis is the condition in which the tonsils get inflamed due to bacterial or viral infection. It may result in complications such as quinsy, which involves pain on one side.
4. Tonsil Stones
Tonsil stones form on the tonsils that give the appearance of white patches. Once there is the accumulation of food, mucus, and dead cells, calcification occurs, leading to the formation of tonsil stones.
4. Oral Thrush
Oral thrush is a fungal infection that provides a cottony appearance at the back of the throat. It is usually due to candida infection.
5. Oral Herpes
Oral herpes is a viral infection due to the herpes virus. The infection spread through kissing or sharing personal items with the patient. It may cause white patches on the throat and tonsils.
Leukoplakia may also cause white patches on the throat. The milder form of leukoplakia is not of concern and goes on its own. However, severe leukoplakia carries the risk of oral cancer.
7. Lichen Planus
White spots are also a sign of lichen planus. Other symptoms include gum inflammation and difficulty in speaking and swallowing.
8. Chemical exposure
White patches may also be due to chemical exposure or chemical injury.
Can Allergies Cause White Spots On The Back Of The Throat?
Allergies may result in white patches on the back of the throat. The allergy may result in irritation, and prolonged irritation may lead to redness and irritation. Further, the allergic conditions may result in excess production of mucus that may result in tonsil stones.
Treatment For White Spots On Back Of Throat
There are various causes of white spots on the throat. The doctor prescribes the treatment to cure the cause and manages the white spots. The doctor prescribes antibiotics in case of bacterial infection. In a viral infection, the doctor advises to take complete rest and drink plenty of water. In the case of oral thrush, the doctor prescribes antifungal medications. While tonsil stones usually do not require treatment, the doctor may prescribe anti-allergic medications and antibiotics. Various antiviral medications help to manage the oral herpes infection. Corticosteroid therapy is effective in the case of lichen planus along with mouthwashes. In leukoplakia, the doctor may suggest the patient avoid smoking and drinking alcohol. In severe leukoplakia cases, the doctor may advise surgical removal to reduce the risk of oral cancer.
When To See A Doctor?
Book an appointment with the doctor if you experience the following symptoms;
- You experience pain in the throat.
- You have trouble swallowing and speaking.
- You have redness, fever, and headache, along with white patches.
- You have bad breath and a sore throat.
- You experience a stiff neck and tiredness.
Rohit Jain is an IPR Specialist and Medical Content Writing Expert. For over a decade, he has written several articles in the areas of female infertility, Erectile dysfunction, hemangioma, cervical cancer, monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance, mononucleosis, mitral valve disorder, shin splints, mild cognitive impairment, cellulitis, lymphoma, sepsis, cardiac rehabilitation and more.