Causes and Treatments for White Spots in Throat

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By hannah
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Reviewed: dr. vanta
Article Sources Article Sources
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Medical Expert Medical Expert

Many people feel understandably alarmed when they notice white spots at the back of the throat. White spots often appear as streaks or blotches on the tonsils, and they may contain pus. They are usually accompanied by a sore throat, which may be severe.

White spots in the throat are usually caused by an infection and will often go away on their own without treatment. However, a severe infection may require treatment. A doctor can perform tests to find the cause of white spots in the throat and select the most appropriate treatment.

Viral Causes of White Spots in the Throat

White spots in the throat can be due to tonsillitis, inflammation of the tonsils, which is usually caused by a viral infection.1Tonsillitis.’ MedlinePlus, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 18 Dec. 2020, medlineplus.gov/tonsillitis.html. This viral infection is most common in children under the age of 5, with those over that age usually experiencing a bacterial infection.

Cold and flu viruses are the most common causes of viral tonsillitis. These spread when are tiny droplets released when an infected person sneezes or talks. Viral tonsillitis is often accompanied by cold symptoms such as nasal congestion or a cough. Tonsillitis caused by viruses usually starts suddenly and gets better on its own within a couple of weeks.2Tonsillitis: Overview. InformedHealth.org /[Internet/]., U.S. National Library of Medicine, 17 Jan. 2019, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK401249/.

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