Tonsils are responsible for preventing germs from reaching the throat and the lungs. However, they are not immune to bacteria. They, too, can get infected with microbes which may lead to severe illnesses.

An early warning sign of infection is white spots in the throat. These patches can cause irritation and discomfort and need medical attention as soon as possible.

This article details why these spots occur and how to treat them.

What are white spots in the throat?

The formation of white spots on the throat is a sign of a bacterial infection. It comes alongside other symptoms, including irritation, difficulty swallowing, nasal congestion, and discomfort in the throat.

Once you detect these warning signs, head to Aether Health – SilverLake ER in Pearland, Texas, to get immediate treatment and prevent the infection from worsening. Our doctors know how to get rid of white spots on tonsils. They are also ready to give you medication to reduce your symptoms.

Contact us today to know more about our services against white spots in the throat.

What causes white spots on the throat?

The white spots on your throat result from infections such as fungi, viruses, and bacteria.

You need to find the specific cause to determine the correct treatment for eliminating the white spots.

Strep throat

person with strep throat

If you experience pain in the throat with white spots all over its surface, a common cause can be strep throat.

It is an infection caused by a bacteria called streptococcus. Aside from white spots, strep throat’s symptoms are sore throat, headache, swollen tonsils, fever, and swollen lymph nodes.

This disease is common among children and adults in crowded locations.

Oral thrush

Oral thrush is a yeast infection associated with white patches spread on the sides of the mouth and tongue.

If you have this condition, you may likely feel a burning sensation on your tongue. It also comes with difficulty in swallowing, speaking, and tasting food.

Viral tonsillitis

viral tonsillitis

Usually, germs get trapped in your two tonsils’ surface, causing infection. You can develop white spots in your throat with additional symptoms such as sore throat, inflammation of the tonsils, fever, and a change in your voice.

Viral tonsillitis can last up to four days. If you have this condition, you can drink plenty of fluid and get enough rest to lessen the symptoms.

However, if it causes you extensive pain, you can go to Aether Health – SilverLake ER so we can give you antibiotics for immediate treatment.

Infectious mononucleosis

Mononucleosis is a disease caused by the Epstein-Barr virus. Also dubbed the kissing disease, the virus is transmitted from one person to another through kissing or sharing drinks or utensils.

You’ll have white patches in your mouth with symptoms of tiredness, swollen lymph nodes, fever, and muscle aches.

Tonsil stones

tonsil stones

Tonsil stones are small lumps that develop in your tonsils from food remnants and bacteria stuck in your mouth.

You may experience a cough, earache, and bad breath when you have this condition.


Leukoplakia is a more severe condition associated with a more dominant appearance of white lesions inside the mouth. Although the particular cause of the disease is unknown, leukoplakia links to chronic irritation from smoking.

Does covid cause white spots on the throat?

The link between COVID-19 and white spots in the throat is unknown, although they have common symptoms.

The viral disease is usually associated with fever, digestive discomfort, and generalized sore throat. There are no other symptoms of COVID-19 related to white spots in the throat.

On the other hand, white spots may result from tonsillitis which comes with specific symptoms such as swollen tonsils, enlarged lymph nodes, and a more serious sore throat.

If you have a sore throat and other symptoms associated with COVID-19, go to Aether Health – SilverLake ER in Pearland, Texas, immediately for diagnosis. Symptoms such as difficulty breathing, coughing, and flu are common signs of viral disease.

We have available COVID-19 testing 24/7 to confirm cases for severe emergencies. Our team of emergency doctors is ready to assist you with your condition, whatever the result is.

Can STD cause white spots on the throat?

Sexual Transmitted Diseases (STDs) may come from sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as chlamydia. Aside from transmission through sexual organs, it can also enter the body through oral sex with an infected partner.

Common symptoms of chlamydia are oral sores, white spots in the mouth, and sore throat.

How to treat white spots in the throat?

Treatment of white patches in the throat varies on the type of disease that associates with it.

The following are the details on how to treat white spots in the throat:

Treatment for Strep throat


A throat culture is a lab test that diagnoses strep throat. Once confirmed, your physician can prescribe you an antibiotic. You can also get over-the-counter medication such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen to ease the discomfort and reduce swelling.

If left untreated, this condition potentially puts you at risk of peritonsillar abscess and rheumatic fever. The bacteria spread to other body parts and infect organs such as the kidneys.

Treatment for oral thrush

Treatment for mild oral thrush is through an antifungal medication such as clotrimazole and nystatin. It can be in the form of a mouth gel that you need to swish and swallow. Additionally, oral drugs such as fluconazole and itraconazole are for severe cases.

Treatment for Viral tonsillitis

Viral tonsilitis often goes away after a couple of days and won’t require antibiotics for mild cases. You must manage symptoms such as drinking plenty of water, gargling with salt water, and taking pain relief.

Treatment for Infectious mononucleosis

oral steroid medication

Your physician can only recommend pain relief and medication to manage sore throat and fever.

For severe cases, your physician can give you oral steroid medication and antibiotics.

Treatment for Tonsil stones

Standard recommendations to fight tonsil stones and reduce white spots are gargling saltwater and good oral hygiene.

However, tonsil stones often redevelop in the mouth. If you see that your tonsil stones keep coming back, you may need surgery to eliminate them.

Treatment for Leukoplakia

Leukoplakia treatment includes minor surgery or laser surgery. You may also need to undergo a biopsy for severe conditions.

If left untreated, this disease may lead to oral cancer.

White spots in the throat can cause irritation and discomfort. Seek medical treatment immediately to address this health concern.

Risk factors of white spots on the throat

The formation of white spots in the throat depends on several factors.

These are the common risk factors for white spots in the throat:

  • Age. White spots caused by oral thrush may hit babies and old adults more.
  • Poor oral hygiene. Irregular brushing of teeth may cause bacteria build-up and result in tonsil stones.
  • Close contact. Bacteria is transferred through coughing, sneezing, kissing, and sharing personal belongings such as silverware and water bottles.

When to see a doctor about white spots on the throat

doctor on consultation on a patient with white spot on throat

While the appearance of white spots does not necessarily mean a serious health condition, it is better to consult a doctor if you develop severe symptoms.

Go to the nearest medical facility if you have alarming signs such as:

  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • High fever

Aether Health – SilverLake ER has laboratory and diagnostic facilities that can determine what sp[ecific condition you have. Our medical technologists can turn over the results in less than an hour so our physicians can immediately decide what’s causing the white patches on your throat.

How to prevent white spots on the throat

The reasons for white spots in the throat are mostly avoidable. Some conditions linked to white spot formation in your throat are bacteria and viruses commonly transmitted from one person to another.

Practice minimum health protocols such as regular hand washing and avoiding sharing of personal belongings:

  • Observe proper hand hygiene. Your hands are the leading transporters of bacteria. Wash your hands regularly before eating or touching your face and mouth.
  • Cover mouth when sneezing and coughing. Practice covering your mouth every time you cough and sneeze to prevent the transfer of viruses.
  • Avoid sharing utensils. Limit sharing personal things such as utensils, drinking cups, and bottles to avoid the transmission of viruses from one person to another.
  • Brush regularly. Maintain good oral hygiene by regularly brushing teeth, flossing, and mouth washing to eliminate food particles trapped between your teeth.
  • Practice safe sex. Use condoms to prevent herpes and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Seek treatment immediately

Once you see white spots in your mouth, don’t hesitate to seek medical treatment immediately.

If you develop unbearable symptoms such as severe discomfort and difficulty breathing caused by throat pain, go to the nearest emergency room facility for treatment.

Aether Health – SilverLake ER provides urgent medical services to ease throat pain and remove the white spots on your mouth.

Our doctors can prescribe you oral medications such as antibiotics if these patches begin to cover the surface of your throat. We’ll also conduct lab tests to confirm your condition immediately. Call us today to learn more about our services.