Q. I have swollen tonsils with white spots. What is it?

Answered by
Dr. Baidya Nath Majhi
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Mar 25, 2016 and last reviewed on: Jul 13, 2019

Hello doctor,

I am 20 years old. I have symptoms of swollen tonsils with white spots and bumps on my throat. I went to the urgent care almost two weeks ago, and after running streptococcus and mononucleosis test, they told me that it was more likely viral tonsillitis. I am not experiencing much pain other than occasional discomfort. I do not get sick often. So, I am unfamiliar with how long viruses usually take to leave the body. I am a bit worried since it has been here for quite some time now although symptoms slowly improve and then seem to digress. Currently, I am taking Advil. Could this be something other than tonsillitis?



Welcome to

After reading your symptoms and looking at your photo (attachment removed to protect patient identity), it is suggesting of chronic pharyngitis with chronic tonsillitis.

The whitish spots over your tonsils are the food particles that clogged within the tonsillar crypts. These can be easily removed by applying pressure with your finger against the tonsils.

These are not major health issues, but in long period they may converted to tonsillolith (tonsil stone) or may give tonsillar infection.

For pharyngitis, no need to take tablet Advil (Ibuprofen). Do some lifestyle modifications as mentioned below.

Probable diagnosis:

Chronic tonsillopharyngitis.

Treatment plan:

1. Warm saline water gargles two to three times a day.
2. Orally plenty of water intake.
3. Wash your mouth after each time you have some food.
4. Manual removal of clogged food particles by applying pressure over tonsil with finger.
5. Use some antiseptic mouth wash before bed.

Preventive measures:

1. Avoid cold food and drinks.
2. Avoid spicy fried foods.

Regarding follow up:

Revert back after 15 days to an ENT otolaryngologist online.--->

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