What Causes White Spots on the Tonsils?

In years past, if the tonsils frequently became inflamed or infected they would be removed. While this is still a course of treatment in some cases, doctors now understand that the tonsils have a much larger impact on the digestive process than was originally anticipated. The tonsils also help to fight off infections, which is why they can become covered in white spots. These spots are usually pus that has developed as white blood cells kill off bacteria or viruses infecting the tissue. A bit of home care can usually ward off these symptoms, but it is important to check with your doctor if your symptoms linger or appear severe.

Possible Causes of White Spots on Tonsils

  1. Tonsillitis- Tonsillitis is an infection of the tonsils caused by an exposure to bacteria or a virus. As the tonsils begin to fight the infection they will produce white pus which will collect in white patches on the flesh. You may also experience headaches, fever or a stiff neck as you begin to develop tonsillitis.
  2. Tonsil Stones- Tonsil stones are caused by debris becoming caught in the crevices of the tonsils. This can include bacteria, mucus, food particles or dead cells which build up over time. These particles create a breeding ground for viruses and bacteria which can increase the risk of infection. These infections can cause the particles trapped in the tonsils to grow and harden, making them hard to fight off and causing the tonsils to become inflamed or uncomfortable.
  3. Oral Thrush- White patches on the tonsils may be a fungal infection caused by an excess amount of yeast. Yeast is frequently found throughout the body, but certain conditions can cause its population to boom to an unhealthy level. Those who are immune suppressed or those who partake in an excessively sugary diet are more likely to develop yeast infections in the mouth. In addition to the tonsils, white patches from a yeast infection can appear on the roof of the mouth, tongue and cheeks. These patches will not cause swelling, but they can alter the taste in your mouth.
  4. Sore Throat- A strep infection is one of the most common causes of severe sore throat. This bacterial infection will frequently show itself as white spots on the tonsils and throat. You will notice pain when swallowing, or a scratchy feeling in the throat. The lymph nodes in the neck and the tonsils will become swollen as they attempt to rid the body of this infection. High fevers are also common when battling strep throat.
  5. Mononucleosis- Commonly known as mono, this viral infection will combine common flu symptoms with fatigue, fever and headaches. Adolescents who develop this condition will frequently develop patches of puss in the throat, especially around the tonsils. Your lymph nodes will also become very swollen, and some patients may also develop a body rash.

Treatments and Preventions for White Spots on Tonsils

Home Remedies

Minor infections of the tonsils can usually be treated with home care.

Medical Treatments

Now you know all about white spots on tonsils.

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