Q. Chronic smoking resulted in nodular areas in the arch and tonsils. Kindly help.

Answered by
Dr. Shyam Kalyan. N
and medically reviewed by Dr. Vinodhini. J
This is a premium question & answer published on Dec 12, 2020

Hello doctor,

I am 45 years old and quit smoking recently. I noticed two areas in my mouth that appear odd. Should I concerned about my tonsil and arch as it looks nodular? I do not have any trouble talking, swallowing, breathing, etc. No swelling or hoarseness.



Welcome to

Please send clear pictures of the nodular areas on the arch as well as the tonsil. For how many years did you smoke, and how many cigarettes did you smoke every day? I shall have a look into your mouth and tell you if there is anything to be worried about.

Thank you doctor,

I attached the pictures. I smoked about four per day for ten years, but now I quit. No symptoms like trouble swallowing or pain or voice changes or lumps, etc. I feel fine, but I want to make sure it is nothing.



Welcome back to

First of all, nothing serious with the throat, tonsils, and arches. It is not cancer.

But I do find a lot of smokers changes inside. The congestion/redness and the nodular nature of the back wall (posterior pharyngeal wall). Now that you have stopped smoking, it is a good thing, and do not resume it at any cost.

For the smoker's changes that have occurred, you do not have to take any special treatment, but you will have to take some precautions. Avoid smoke dust cold weather. Do not eat spicy, oily, and bitter foods. Avoid citrus fruits for a while. Drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol. Take steam inhalation twice daily.

Do revert back to me if you have any more questions.

Thank you doctor,

Will the changes in the posterior wall revert back to normal after time? Or do I have to avoid spicy, bitter, oily, and alcohol forever?



Welcome back to

You do not have to avoid them forever. Better to avoid smoking and dust exposure forever. Regarding oily and spicy foods, the reduced intake will be helpful.

Regarding alcohol, take in moderate amounts. Please do not take it very late in the night. After drinking, do not lie down immediately. Lie down after a couple of hours so that it does not stimulate the acid reflux.

If the changes are not going off, but you do not have any symptoms, you can ignore them and get a review with us every few months with a clear picture.

If you show symptoms like foreign body feeling, itching, lump sensation, painful swallowing, etc., we can suggest some antacid and anti-allergic medicines.

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