White Spots in the Throat

Noticing white patches in the throat may throw you off guard. Although there is no need to worry, you must act on it if other symptoms along with white spots affect you. This article provides you with the causes and treatment options for dealing with the condition in question.
HealthHearty Staff
Last Updated: Feb 10, 2018
White spots in the throat may often be an unnerving and discomfiting condition to deal with. It is not only a difficult condition to diagnose, but it is a cause of embarrassment as well. Know that these white spots may act nidus for the bacteria due to which you would be emitting an unpleasant or foul breath while speaking. However, there are certain ways of distinguishing the various causes of white spots that appear in the throat.
Causes
Candidiasis
One of the most common reasons for the presence of white spots in the throat is candidiasis. It is a type of yeast or fugal infection that affects the various parts of the oral cavity. More often than not, it, mostly affects the palate, or the tongue. However, this fungal infection may spread to the throat, in which case, it will lead to white spots in the area. Spread of candidal infection into the throat is relatively rare as candidiasis itself is an opportunistic infection. Thus, the spread of this disease into the throat, predominantly occurs in cases of people, who have a weak immune system. There may be other symptoms accompanying the presence of white spots, like a burning sensation in the throat, difficulty in eating spicy food, pain, etc.
Herpes
Herpes is a viral infection that affects the mucus membranes of the body. Thus, this condition can occur in the mouth, or in the vagina. However, as an extension of oral herpes, there can be herpes in the throat as well. This, mostly occurs in people, who have had oral sex with a person suffering from oral herpes. If the person is immunocompromised, there is a higher chance of oral herpes spreading into the throat. The small blisters look white in color, which later burst and leave marks and painful scars in the throat. It is often seen that, in cases of people suffering from herpes in the throat, several systemic symptoms are observed as well. These include fever, malaise, difficulty eating and swallowing food, burning sensation; and in rare cases, there may even be difficulty in breathing.
Tonsilolith
Tonsilolith or tonsil stone is a condition where calcium deposits appearing on the surface of the tonsils, lead to white patches in the region. These stones may be small, or big in nature. In fact, certain times, they may be so big that they cause difficulty in conversing and swallowing. These white spots that occur due to calcium deposits, mostly are observed in the crypts of the tonsils. Indeed, these are the places deemed potent in order to lodge such calcareous deposits.
Tonsillitis
Tonsils are of the same color as your throat unless they are swollen, the condition being termed tonsillitis. It is when the tonsils appear inflamed that they may develop white spots. Besides, you may feel weak, accompanied with headache, fever, and enduring discomfort while swallowing food. Restricting to a liquid diet is no exception when it comes to the level of difficulty in swallowing.
Oral Thrush
Oral thrush is a condition that causes white patches in the mouth and on the tongue. It is a form of yeast infection in the mouth; however, in severe cases, or advanced stages, the infection may spread to the esophagus as well. Painful throat, serrated corners of the mouth, and weakening of the gustatory sensation are the accompanying symptoms.
Strep Throat
This condition causes a painful throat with white spots and inflamed tonsils. Pus formation may also be observed in severe conditions. Fever, headache, unexplainable fatigue, inflammation of the lymph nodes in the neck with frequent episodes of vomiting are indicants that mark the onset of strep throat.
Mononucleosis
This is a condition characterized by extreme fatigue, which may last for weeks together. Besides this one, fever, body ache, sore throat, loss of appetite, spleen enlargement, and occasional syncope are the accompanying symptoms experienced. Know that the symptoms progress gradually, the onset of the condition being, predominantly marked by feeling tired.
Leukoplakia
This condition is referred to as the primordial stage, which may advance into cancer. Leukoplakia is caused due to smoking, or chewing tobacco. It is marked by white patches that appear at the back of the throat. Besides, you may also find a white substance, lining the tongue and the cheek.
Treatment
  • If the white spots are because of candidiasis, then the use of antifungal drugs would be helpful. However, depending on the severity of the condition, the medication can be topically, or orally administered.
  • When it comes to herpes, the use of antiviral drugs greatly helps in mitigating the symptoms to a considerable extent as there is no complete cure for the condition. However, it is important to always remain hydrated, and ensure that the airway passage remains clear.
  • As far as tonsilolith is concerned, it is important to get rid of the stones either by natural methods, or if need be, with the help of surgical intervention.
  • If bacterial infection it is, a dose of antibiotics is prescribed. Besides, if tonsillitis keeps recurring, surgical intervention may be the ultimate solution.
  • Oral thrush may be treated with antifungal medication. However, ensure that you complete the course prescribed; if not adhered to, you may suffer a relapse.
  • Following a prescriptive antibiotic course treats strep throat.
  • In case of mononucleosis, doctors primarily prescribe complete bed rest for a few weeks before returning to usual activity. This is due to the fact that the spleen is enlarged, and there are probabilities of the organ rupturing if activities having the potential to aggravate the condition are undertaken. Besides, you may be prescribed ibuprofen to normalize your body temperature.
Disclaimer: The article published herein, is meant to accomplish pedagogical purposes only. The recommendations mentioned hereby may not be generically applicable. The information, by no means, intends to supplant the diagnosis and advice imparted by the medical practitioner.