White Spots on Tonsils: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment & Much More

Getting white spots on tonsils is not a common thing, so you might be worried about it if you get it. However, in some cases, you can treat corresponding causes and avoid surgery.

Ensure to read every cause, symptom and treatment option.

What are the White Spots on Tonsils?

With the help of the throat, you can get an idea about your overall health. If you have a sore throat, that might be the sign of you are not well. A moderate irritation in your throat can be due to an infection or another condition. Other symptoms of sore throat may include:

  • Fever
  • Difficulty in consuming something
  • White spots on your throat

The infection can cause white spots inside of your throat, but further diagnosis can be done by your doctor.

Causes of White Spots Inside of Your Throat

Different types of infections can cause white spots on your throat. Infection can be from viruses, bacteria, and fungi.

  • Oral Thrush

Oropharyngeal candidiasis is also known as oral thrush. It is a fungal infection that occurs in your mouth and throat. It can cause white spots, and thrush is common in babies and people who have a weak immune system. People who have uncontrolled diabetes are at high risk. More common symptoms may include:

  1. Sore throat
  2. Redness
  3. Pain while swallowing
  • Infectious Mononucleosis

The Epstein-Barr virus leads to infectious mononucleosis. This type of infection spreads via saliva, and people who face mono often suffer from white patches of pus near the tonsils. Other symptoms include:

  1. Headaches
  2. Flu-like symptoms
  3. Body rashes
  4. Fever
  5. Fatigue
  6. Sore throat
  7. Swollen lymph glands
  • Strep Throat

If you have a sore throat, then it could be a sign of strep throat. Some people, after getting this infectious bacterial infection, also have white spots on the tonsils. Other symptoms may include:

  1. Fever
  2. Headache
  3. Rash
  4. Swollen neck glands
  5. Pain while drinking or consuming something
  6. Abdominal pain
  7. Nausea and vomiting
  • Oral Herpes & Genital Herpes

Oral herpes (HSV-1) is a common infection that can spread via kissing or using utensils of the affected person. Genital herpes (HSV-2) is an infection that spreads via sexual contact.

Sore on your lips and in your genital area are the most common symptoms. Both can cause sores and white spots on your throat and tonsils. Some additional symptoms may include:

  1. Sore throat
  2. Fever
  3. Urinary symptoms (HSV-2)
  4. Flu-like symptoms
  • Tonsil Stones

Tonsiliths or tonsil stones are calcium deposits that most often form in the crack of the tonsils. They occur because of the development of food particles, bacteria, and mucus. Additional symptoms are:

  1. Sore throat
  2. Bad breath
  3. Earaches

Symptoms May Include

White spots can appear on the tonsils or around the tonsils. Apart from white spots on tonsils, your tonsils may feel difficulty while swallowing. Other symptoms that arise with white spots on the tonsil may include:

  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • A stuffy nose
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Body aches or pain
  • Bad breath
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Throat discomfort

Most often, you may feel difficulty while breathing. It can occur when your tonsils become swollen.
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Treatment Options to Get Rid of White Spots on Tonsils

Treatment of white spots on tonsils will depend on the cause:

  • For Strep Throat

Your doctor can recommend you over-the-counter medication, such as ibuprofen, to alleviate pain and swelling. Additionally, you need to take a rest and try gargling warm salt water to reduce pain and swelling.

  • For Infectious Mononucleosis

Doctors usually avoid prescribing medications for mono. They may suggest corticosteroids for serious inflammation and over-the-counter medication, such as ibuprofen. Take rest and get fluids for home care.

  • For Oral Thrush

To treat thrush, doctors prescribe antifungal medications. To prevent yeast from spreading into your mouth, you can gargle with warm saltwater.

  • For Severe Inflammation

If tonsils are inflamed, and you find difficulty in breathing, then your doctor may suggest removing them. The procedure is known as tonsillectomy. But it is only done if the first procedure is failed to alleviate inflammation.

  • For Tonsil Stones

Usually, your body will naturally remove stones, and they are not critical unless you feel discomfort. You can use some safety precautions at home like using salt water to clean your throat, eat crunchy foods or crackers.

Recommended Treatment Options at Home

The following are some treatment options that can be followed at home:

  • To reduce throat pain, drink a warm liquid
  • Get proper rest to prepare your body to fight against an infection
  • Wash your hands to prevent spreading viral and bacterial infections
  • Eat balanced-diet


Several causes are associated with white spots on tonsils. Earlier you seek help from a doctor, earlier you can get diagnosed. If you are suffering from the common cold, then a mild case of tonsillitis may not accompany by fever. Swollen tonsils with no fever can cause by tooth decay, allergies, and gum disease.

If white marks or discoloration get critical, then make sure to seek medical help before they get worse.

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