My left side throat is swollen and sore with red dots. What to do?

Q. I am having red dots on my left tonsil and it is swollen. Is it because of past smoking?

Answered by
Dr. Vinay. S. Bhat
and medically reviewed by Dr.Meera Premanand
This is a premium question & answer published on Feb 04, 2022 and last reviewed on: Aug 30, 2023

Hello doctor,

I recently stopped smoking cigarettes and weed. I have had tonsil stones, since then, I have been using saltwater to wash my mouth. I can feel something stuck in the back of my throat constantly when I swallow. When I check it in the mirror, it looks like the left side seems to have bulged. It is now a little sore, red, and is starting to show a few red spots. I have been to the doctor before, but they put me on some medication as they said I had the infection. I am allergic to Penicillin. Please help. Thank you.



Welcome to

Smoking for long-duration causes specific changes in our throat and our airway. Sometimes it can have a profound impact on our upper digestive system also. Most of these changes adapt our throat and food pipe to prevent injury from nicotine and other components in cigarettes. Once you quit smoking, those adapted tissues start remodeling, and that process may take a couple of months or more. During that process, you will have particular symptoms such as burning sensation in the throat, feeling of something stuck in the throat, reddish granulations over the throat, dry cough, blackish phlegm, etc. The granulations you see in the back of your throat are nothing but inflamed lymph tissues, and they may stay for a few months before everything settles down. So, you need not worry about any cancerous growth. I have checked the photos you have attached (attachments removed to protect the patient's identity) thoroughly and found them to be just granulations that are expected. You need to drink a lot of water and take many citrus fruits and juices that contain vitamin c. Please avoid salt water gargling. I hope this helps. Thank you.

Thank you doctor,

It is hard not to panic sometimes. The last time I tried to quit was when it all started happening, then I started again, and it faded. I shall begin drinking more fruit juices. Hopefully, it will start to budge within a couple of months. Can the neck be sore to touch around the skin area? Is that also a classic symptom? I have attached a photo of the site thats quite painful to touch. Please help.



Welcome back to

Withdrawal-related throat symptoms will resolve within a couple of months. They will also resolve on their own. As per the attached photos (attachment removed to protect the patient's identity), there seem to be inflamed lymph nodes in the neck which is expected with throat inflammation. Thank you.

Was this answer helpful?


Same symptoms doesn’t mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Related Questions:
Could allergic post-nasal drip be the cause of one tonsil being larger than the other?

There are certain criteria that need to be fulfilled for undergoing tonsillectomy ...   Read full

I get recurrent sore throat with swollen tonsils filled with pus. What could this be?

Now regarding the preventive aspect, firstly there is no reliable way of preventing it other than tonsillectomy ...   Read full

My son has a small hole on the wall of his mouth that releases stones. What can it be?

.. description, the hole seems to release tonsil stones. In that case, it must be a tonsillar crypt. The hole is in the anterior pillar. Usually, tonsillar crypts open into the oropharynx area behind the pillar and not through the pillar.   Read full

Also Read Answers From:

ideaComprehensive Medical Second Opinion.Submit your Case

Also Read

PCOS and Liver Problems
The hormonal imbalances in polycystic ovary syndrome could cause liver diseases. Read the article to know the relationship between these medical conditions.  Read more»
Inferior Alveolar Nerve Lateralization Technique
The inferior alveolar nerve lateralization technique is a surgical lateralization technique to reposition the nerve. Read the article to know more about this.  Read more»
COVID-19 and Ebola: Similarities and Differences
This article gives a comparison and broader overview of the outbreak of the two deadliest diseases that showed a greater incidence over the last two decades.  Read more»

Ask your health query to a doctor online?

Ask an ENT Otolaryngologist Now

* guaranteed answer within 4 hours.

Disclaimer: No content published on this website is intended to be a substitute for professional medical diagnosis, advice or treatment by a trained physician. Seek advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with questions you may have regarding your symptoms and medical condition for a complete medical diagnosis. Do not delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice because of something you have read on this website. Read our Editorial Process to know how we create content for health articles and queries.