Spots On Tonsils

White spots on tonsils are easily recognizable by simple look into the mouth. They are usually associated with infectious processes in oral cavity that affect tonsils tissue. Spots contain necrotic mucosal cells, white blood cells and microorganisms.


Most common cause is classical streptococcal tonsillitis. In addition to white tonsils spots, fever, sore throat and even pain by swallowing emerge. Sometimes tonsillitis changes into chronic form. Whitish spots on tonsils together with a red rash are typical for so-called scarlet fever also caused by streptococci. Less often white coats on tonsils appear by viral infections, typically by infectious mononucleosis. We must not forget even some sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhea. Its cause, bacterium known as Neisseria gonorrhoeae (gonococcus) can be transmitted by oral sex and tonsil affection gives rise to white or yellowish spots.

Diagnostic approach

Diagnosis is often easy by completing basal medical history and by view of affected tonsils. The presence of a certain type of bacteria and its antibiotic sensitivity is determined by taking a swab and subsequent microbiological examination of the sample. Blood tests may show us elevated CRP and changes in blood count (like rise of white blood cells numbers). Some changes in the blood tests like liver enzymes elevation are typical for infectious mononucleosis.


Jiri Stefanek, MD  Author of texts: Jiri Stefanek, MD
 Sources: basic text sources