White spots on back of throat can appear immediately on the back wall of the oropharynx or on the surface on tonsils. They are typical to pharyngitis, tonsillitis and fungal infection of the throat. We can distinguish between four types of white spots on back of throat, namely – liquid matter, membranes, plugs and thorns. The treatment of these symptoms fully depends on the type of the disease and its causes. You can best sort this out with the help of an otolaryngologist.
Throat is rather a general word, which refers to the central segment of pharynx (oropharynx) and the presenting tonsils, which, by the way, form a peculiar circle from 2 palatine, 1 guttural, 1 lingual and 2 tubal tonsils.
That is why, “white spots on throat” refers to the presence of mucous or mucous-purulent discharged substances on the back wall of the pharynx or on the surface of tonsils.
Oropharynx performs two important functions: the air enters into the throat and food enters into the alimentary canal though the oropharynx. Its structure is well suited for these functions, with an elaborate muscular system, the mucous membrane featuring plenty of vessels and of course, a well developed lymphadenoid tissue (tonsils). At the same time, such a structure contributes to rapid development of inflammation: proliferated vasculature causes speedy edema of the mucous membrane, while the proximity of immune organs provide for severe complication of the process (tissue immunity respond).
Classic causes for having white spots on back of throat
We can outline three basic diseases that are accompanied by white spots on throat:
- Pharyngitis (inflammation of throat);
- Tonsillitis (quinsy);
- Leptotrichosis (a disease, induced by the bacteria, which are normally present in the mouth, but can activate in favorable conditions).
All theses pathologies have various subtypes and varieties. Pharyngitis can be either acute or chronic. Quinsy is classified into specific and non-specific. The first type is caused by diphtheria bacillus, bacteria of tuberculosis, syphilis or other diseases, while the second type may be induced by a complex of banal micro organisms, such as streptococcus. We also distinguish between infectious types of tonsillitis.
A completely different clinical picture can develop at the setting of all the above mentioned factors. The complaints can be quite similar for various diseases (sore throat, particularly at swallowing), but the body temperature diagrams, general well-being and the way the mucous formations look feature significant differences. The size, amount and color of spots depend on their etiology, i.e. the agent of a certain disease.
Types of white spots on throat
We distinguish between four basic types of white patches. The first type involves liquid discharge, flowing down along the back wall of the throat.
This variant is characteristic to acute infectious pharyngitis. As a rule it goes in line with reddening of the mucous membrane. Body temperature ranges between 37-38 degrees. Normally, this disease responds well to non-specific treatment: drinking much warm liquid, gargle, applying various sprays and pastilles for pain.
The second type of white spots on throat – membranes.
These thick purulent formations accompany such pathologies as lacunar tonsillitis and diphtheria. Both of these diseases are rather aggressive and fraught with complications, but diphtheria is certainly much more dangerous. They can be identified only by an otolaryngologist, and in most cases after receiving the findings of inoculation (particles of the membrane). Acute pain in the throat on the background of high temperature should always constitute a reason for consulting a doctor and preventing such alerting diseases.
The third variety – plugs
These white spots on the back of throat and/or on the surface of tonsils, are characteristic to follicular pharyngitis, tonsillitis, as well as chronic processes. In the last case, the content of the plug features a caseous (purulent, curdy) consistency, consequently, bad breath is among common complaints in people suffering from this disease. The treatment largely depends on the etiology and location of infection. Follicular tonsillitis, as well as other subtypes of this disease, require exclusively antibiotic therapy. Such treatment can also involve anti-inflammatory and general strengthening medication. For the elimination of chronic diseases, it is required to establish its ultimate cause (for example, harmful working conditions) and correct them as far as feasible.
White spots on throat that appear in the form of thorns are typical to pharyngokeratosis or other fungal infections of the throat.
In most cases, fungus or trichobacteria (thread bacteria) proliferate in favorable environment. Immune deficiency is particularly the most preferred setting for these agents. Decrease in immunity can be associated with previous diseases, intake of certain drugs, smoking, stress, exhausting diet, hypovitaminosis, etc. Antibiotic therapy is itself another powerful background for further development of fungal infection. The fact is that antibiotics destroy all living microorganisms, including the agents of normal micro flora. As the nature does not “tolerate” vacancy, their place is rapidly occupied by fungal bacteria. That is why one should never take antibiotics without doctor’s supervision and identification of the type and duration of complementary probiotic therapy.
The treatment of leptotrichosis and candidiasis is rather complex and extensive. The effect of prescribed antifungal drugs must be complemented by immunostimulant therapy. In addition to this, it is required to eliminate factors that affect the immune system.
Thus, «white spots on throat» are not a diagnosis when taken independently, but they clearly point to the development of a certain type of infection. For accurate identification and timely treatment of the infection one should refrain from self-examination and self-treatment, consulting a specialist instead.