Throat warts, also known as anogenital warts, are caused by the human papillomavirus, or HPV virus. The HPV virus is contracted through sexual contact with someone who has the HPV virus, and can cause genital warts as well as anogenital warts. These anogenital warts can appear on other parts of the body besides the genitals, including the throat. Usually, throat warts are caused from having oral sex with someone who has the HPV virus.
How to Identify Throat Warts
Throat warts are whitish in appearance and look like small pieces of cauliflower in the back of the throat. Warts may also appear in the mouth, cheeks or on the lips. These warts may itch, cause pain or feel uncomfortable. Home remedies to ease the pain or itchiness of throat warts includes gargling with salt water, drinking hot or cold beverages and eating soft foods like pudding and soup. There is no cure for the HPV virus, so even if the warts are removed, you may experience another outbreak. In many cases, throat warts will go away on their own as the outbreak subsides, but if they are too uncomfortable or preventing your ability to eat or talk, you can choose to get them removed by a doctor.
Your dermatologist, general practitioner or ear, nose and throat doctor can remove throat warts using laser treatment. Laser treatment is most often used when the warts have become too painful to do normal activities or have been present for longer than two weeks. Your doctor will position a small laser inside your throat with the help of a mouth splint to keep your mouth open. You will need to remain very still during this procedure. The procedure should take 10 to and 15 minutes depending on the severity of the outbreak.
Liquid Nitrogen Treatment
If there are fewer than five warts in your mouth, your general practitioner, dermatologist or ear, nose and throat doctor can remove the warts using liquid nitrogen. The liquid nitrogen is placed on a long cotton swab that is carefully positioned against each wart in the back of your throat for several seconds. This will freeze the wart and cause it to disintegrate over the next few days. The process tends to be less expensive than laser treatment, which is better for a large and severe outbreak of throat warts.