What Are the Causes of White Spots on the Tonsils?

Seeing white spots on tonsils can make you worried. But the good news is that most of the time, easy treatment is available for that white stuff on the tonsils, so surgical treatment is no more needed. Learn more about the causes of white spots on the back of the throat and ways to treat them.

Symptoms of swollen tonsils with white spots

You may see white or yellowish spots on the tonsils or the back of the throat and the surrounding areas. The discoloration of the throat can look like white bumps or lines on the tonsils and throat. Other than the white spots, you may feel irritation and itching on your tonsils and find it hard to swallow.

Here are some other symptoms that come with white spots on the tonsils, such as:

  • a sore throat
  • coughing
  • temperature
  • uncomfortable throat
  • sneezing
  • runny nose
  • headache
  • swollen lymph nodes
  • pain in body
  • bad breath
  • difficult breathing(in case of extremely swollen tonsils)

Causes of white spots on tonsils

White patches or pus on the tonsils at the back of the throat can occur because of a throat infection. There are many causes of these white-yellowish dots on the tonsils.

Strep throat

Strep throat is a contagious illness which most of the time victimizes infants and toddlers. Sometimes adults and teenagers also catch strep throat. The result is white bumps or lines on the tonsils. There are other related symptoms as well, including:

  • swollen throat
  • tiredness
  • fatigue
  • temperature
  • headaches
  • painful swallowing

The bacteria that causes strep throat transfers through the droplets of sneeze or cough of an infected person.

Oral thrush

Oral thrush is caused by the fungus Candida albicans and is a yeast infection. Individuals who have weak immune systems are more prone to yeast infections that occur in the mouth. Other people with an increased risk of getting these infections are the ones with uncontrolled diabetes and who have been on antibiotics. Physical symptoms include white spots on the tongue, the upper part of the mouth, and the inside of the cheeks.


Tonsillitis is the infection of the tonsils, which happens mostly due to S. pyogenes. Some other viruses or bacteria can also be a cause. In the fight against the infection, the tonsils can experience swelling and white patches. Other symptoms include:

  • sore throat
  • fever
  • Headache

Tonsil stones

Tonsil stones are yellow or white formations on the tonsils made out of calcium. The reason behind them is the accumulation of bacteria, mucus, and food debris. There are some other symptoms as well, such as:

  • pain in ears
  • bad breath
  • sore throat

Infectious mononucleosis

This infection is also referred to as the kissing disease because it spreads through saliva. Those having this infection will likely experience white spots or lines on the tonsils. Related symptoms:

  • flu-like symptoms
  • weakness
  • fever
  • rashes on body
  • headaches
  • swelling on the lymph nodes


The white line on the tonsils or in the throat can be treated easily with

  • prescription medication
  • drinking warm liquids
  • salt water gargles
  • getting plenty of rest

However, if the white spots are not getting better or are very painful, immediately schedule an appointment with Aqeeq Internal Medicine by calling 832-786-8195.



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