White spots in the throat

White spots in the throat are usually a symptom of strep throat.

White spots are not dangerous, but can cause discomfort, especially if they occur simultaneously with:

White spots on the pharyngeal tonsils indicate purulent tonsillitis.
In some cases, the whitish mouth coating is unpleasant because it is caused by bacteria that cause bad breath.


Causes of white spots in the throat

Candidiasis or thrush One of the most common reasons for white spots in the throat is oral thrush
This is an infection caused by yeast (fungus) in the oral cavity, especially at:

In severe cases, this infection can spread to the esophagus, in the throat this causes a white coating in such a case.
Candidiasis often affects people with a weakened immune system, for example people suffering from AIDS.

As a rule, thrush infection proceeds without fever.
Symptoms of oral thrush include:

Cold sores
The herpes viruses I and II affect the mucous membranes of the body.
This is why this disease can develop:

  • in the mouth (tongue, palate, cheeks and gums),
  • on the female and male genital organs.

If the immune system of the person concerned is weakened, there is an increased possibility of cold sores.
If the herpes occurs in the mouth, small white or reddish blisters form, which subsequently burst open and leave a painful crust in the throat.
People with herpes in the mouth, may also suffer from:

  1. Fever
  2. Indisposition
  3. discomfort when chewing and swallowing food,
  4. burning in the mouth,
  5. Difficulty breathing (rare).

Glandular fever
Glandular fever is a disease characterized by severe fatigue that can last for a few weeks to a month.
Other symptoms that occur include:

This disease is considered an original or precancerous status that can progress into a malignant tumor.
Known causes of leukoplakia are:

  • tobacco smoke or chewing tobacco,
  • Consumption of alcoholic beverages.

Leukoplakia is characterized by white spots that appear:

  • in the back of the throat,
  • in the area of the tongue,
  • on the inside of the cheeks.

Diphtheria is a bacterially transmitted disease that leads to severe inflammation of:

  • Nose
  • Throat
  • Trachea.

Symptoms of diphtheria may include:

Sore throat
These ailments are caused by diseases that cause infections and white spots on the pharyngeal tonsils.
You can also find accumulations of pus.
Pharyngitis caused by streptococci:

White spots on the pharyngeal tonsils

This is an infection that affects the pharynx, which is, the pharyngeal area that:

  • begins on the pharyngeal tonsils,
  • ends at the larynx (vocal cords).

Pharyngitis can be caused by:

  • Viruses
  • Bacteria
  • Fungi.

Most cases, however, are caused by viruses that also cause:

  • Fever
  • chills,
  • Sore throat
  • Swallowing.

In bacterial pharyngitis, the inflammation usually affects the throat and pharyngeal tonsils.

Almond stones
Almond stones or tonsillites are caused by accumulations of lime that sits in the furrows of the tonsils and forms into white spots.
If the stones are large, they can become infected and lead to discomfort when speaking and swallowing.

Tonsillitis is an inflammation of the tonsils. If the tonsillitis is caused by bacteria, white spots can form.
In addition, other symptoms may occur, such as:

  1. weakness,
  2. headache,
  3. high fever,
  4. In children, nausea, vomiting and rashes may occur in skin folds (for example, in the armpits).
  5. Discomfort when eating.
    A persistent bacterial infection can also lead to holes in the tonsils called tonsil grooves.
    In case of difficulty swallowing, liquid food should be consumed.

Symptoms that occur with the formation of white spots in the throat

  1. Sudden and serious throat pain.
  2. White palate and white tongue.
  3. Enlarged and reddened tonsils.
  4. Earache, if the infection also spreads to the ear and causes otitis.
  5. Headache.
  6. Weakness and fatigue.
  7. Difficulty swallowing, strep throat causes swelling, which makes it difficult for food to pass.
  8. Pharyngitis.
  9. Enlarged cervical lymph nodes, a normal reaction to infection.
  10. Fever, arises in case of infection.
  11. Joint pain, if the sick person also suffers from seasonal flu.
  12. Excessive sweating, if the patient also suffers from flu and high fever.
  13. Loss of appetite, because the swelling of the throat causes pain when eating.
  14. Dry or productive cough, often caused by irritation of the airways.
  15. Nausea if the patient suffers from a streptococcal infection (especially children).
  16. Difficulty breathing, because the swollen neck hinders the passage of the air flow.
  17. Itching or stinging in the throat, caused by the inflammation.

Are white spots contagious?

If the child suffers from tonsillitis or another infectious disease, microbes or viruses can be transmitted to other people.
You have to wait at least two days of antibiotic treatment before you can go back to school.

Complications of white spots in the throat

Untreated white spots in the throat can cause:

  • exacerbation of infection,
  • Spread to other parts of the body.

Inflamed tonsils can interfere with breathing.
Untreated white spots on the tonsils can make the patient susceptible to infection:

  • of the ears (otitis),
  • of the paranasal sinuses (sinusitis),
  • of the heart valves (infectious endocarditis).

In rare cases, kidney diseases such as glomerulonephritis can be caused.

Diagnosis of white spots in the throat

To determine the cause of the white spots in the throat, the doctor must:

  • know the medical history and risk factors,
  • examine the pharynx.

In case of doubt, he can take a throat swab.
This test consists of an examination of the secretions of the mouth.
With a sterile cotton swab, the posterior pharynx and the tonsils are dabbed.
The cotton swab is examined microscopically to identify the germs responsible.

If the smear is streptococcal negative, the cause may be:

  • another bacterium (for example, gonococcus),
  • glandular fever (Epstein-Bar virus),
  • another disease, which requires further investigation.

Treatment – treatment of white spots in the throat and medication

If the white spots are caused by candidiasis, the doctor may prescribe an effective treatment against fungi, for example with itraconazole (Sporanox ®). The drug can be used locally or taken orally.

In the case of herpes labialis, an effective anti-viral remedy helps to alleviate the symptoms.
However, it is important to keep the airways clear through moisture.

In the case of tonsil stones, the removal of the stones is required by natural methods or possibly by surgical intervention.

In the case of glandular fever, doctors prescribe a few weeks of bed rest before you can return to normal everyday activity.
One problem is spleen enlargement and the possibility of organ rupture when performing activities that can aggravate the condition.

In case of fever, the most commonly used drugs are:

  • Paracetamol (Paracetamol Ratiopharm),
  • non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen (Brufen).

Sore throat infections during pregnancy or lactation

Since some medications are of concern to pregnant women, strep throat should be treated with caution in pregnant women.

The doctor may recommend a throat swab to clarify whether the infection is caused by streptococci.
If the result confirms the presence of bacteria, antibiotics are the first means of treatment.
However, many people have viral pharyngitis, in which case antibiotics are ineffective.
The viral strep throat heals without antibiotics over the course of a week or two.

If tonsillitis is caused by a virus, it can be treated with simple home remedies.

What antibiotics should be taken for sore throat and tonsillitis? How many days?
If the inflammation is caused by streptococci, the doctor prescribes a cycle of antibiotics such as penicillin (for example, benzylpenicillin).

If the person has a penicillin allergy, the doctor may order another antibiotic, for example, azithromycin (Zitromax).

Amoxicillin (Augmentin, Zimox) comes from the same family as penicillin and is often prescribed in children because it is available as a chewable tablet.
The duration of the antibiotic cycle in tonsillitis is 7-10 days.

With recurrent (recurrent) tonsillitis, the final solution may be surgical removal of the palatine tonsils.

Antibiotics reduce the severity of symptoms and the risk of complications, but it takes the body a few days to remove the white spots.

Anti-inflammatories and painkillers
If the white spots persist (i.e. do not go back with the other drugs), the doctor may prescribe corticosteroids such as betametasone (Bentelan), but the side effects of cortisone must be taken into account.

Natural remedies for white spots in the throat

Since a throat infection can be contagious, one should observe bed rest and not go to school or work.

Drinking water helps maintain hydration, because with a high fever you can lose a lot of fluid through sweating.

Gargling with warm and salted water can relieve a sore throat, because salt has antibacterial properties.
Upon contact with bacteria, it removes fluid from these microorganisms through the cell membrane.
The result is a death of the bacteria.
You should dissolve a teaspoon of salt in a glass of lukewarm water and gargle with it twice a day:

  • in the morning
  • in the evening.

You can also gargle with:

  • Coca-Cola: Some doctors recommend gargling with Coca-Cola to remove the white spots from the tonsils.
  • Lemon juice: it is enough to add the juice of half a lemon to a glass of lukewarm water. Lemon has excellent properties for mouth disinfection.
  • Propolis: Add 10 drops of the propolis solution to a cup of lukewarm water. After gargling first, you can also drink the solution. Propolis is considered a natural antibiotic and is indicated against respiratory infections. There are also sprays for spraying directly into the throat.
  • Ginger tea: Boil water and add 3-4 slices of fresh ginger. Leave to infuse for 10 minutes. You can also add a slice of lemon and a teaspoon of honey.

Nutrition for white spots in the throat

As for nutrition, one should avoid hot and spicy foods, potato chips and sour foods such as tomato sauce, as they can irritate the throat.
Ice can relieve the pain, but it is not used for therapy. On the contrary, it contains sugar and milk, which can promote infections.

According to hygienists (a natural medicine), a light diet based on fast-digesting foods is important:

  • Raw vegetables: Especially green vegetables and cruciferous vegetables,
  • seasonal fruits,
  • nuts (almonds, pistachios, hazelnuts, walnuts, etc.) in small quantities,
  • Potatoes.

If the appetite is missing, it is better not to eat. In this way, the body does not use energy for digestion and focuses on the infection.

One should stop smoking because tobacco smoke aggravates the white spots and increases the risk of complications.

Is heat or cold better for white spots in the throat?
With infection, it is better to drink refreshing (not cold) drinks in the first few days. But when the infection is no longer in the acute phase, heat helps the body fight the bacteria and viruses.

How long does recovery take?

A viral infection usually heals in 5-6 days.
Whites caused by bacteria can persist for 3-4 days, while other symptoms can last for a week.

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