Specks of white on your tonsils can be a symptom of many illnesses, but if they are not sore or irritated, there is little cause for concern. If you smoke, white lesions in your throat could be a symptom of leukoplakia, which can turn into cancer. You should have these looked at immediately. As long as the white specks in your throat are not painful, it may be painful, there are things you can do on your own to try and remove them.
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Brush your tongue. One common cause of white specks on the back of your throat is tonsil crypts, which occur when debris collect on the tonsils. These crypts are usually not painful, but can cause bad breath. If you do have bad breath, brushing your tongue every time you brush your teeth can improve the condition.
Gargle with mouthwash. Combining regular use of mouthwash with brushing your tongue daily can prevent tonsil crypts from ever forming. Your white lesions can be a symptom of lichen planus, an autoimmune reaction, in which case a lidocaine-based mouthwash will numb your throat and make eating more comfortable if the lesions are painful.
Change your habits. Smoking or chewing tobacco can cause leukoplakia, which is usually benign but can potentially turn into cancer. Leukoplakia presents with white lesions in the throat, so if your lesions persist for more than ten days, see a doctor. If it is leukoplakia, quit smoking to reduce your risk of cancer. White spots are also a symptom of fungal infections caused by chewing on straw or leaves you find on the ground, another habit you should break. Further, chemical injuries can cause similar lesions and be sustained from chewing, rather than swallowing, medications like acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
Take antibiotics. White specks on the throat are a visible sign of strep throat and are accompanied by pain and discomfort eating or swallowing. If you have a persistent sore throat and notice white specks on your tonsils, see a doctor immediately. A simple course of antibiotics will clear up most cases of strep throat, but if you get it frequently, your doctor may recommend having your tonsils removed entirely.
Tips and warnings
- Always see a doctor if the white specks in your throat become painful or last more than ten days.
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