White spots on tonsils?

What are white spots on the tonsils a symptom of?

It can be an indicator of strep throat. IANAD, though, so my recommendation is that you get to one as soon as you can, especially if there’s any pain and/or swelling in your tonsils.

Best of luck!

They don’t like us giving medical advice on these boards but white spots may indicate tonsillitis or possibly strep throat. Get the to a doctor if this persists or worsens.

IANAD, but it may not be a symptom of anything. The first time I spotted them in my mouth I ran to the doctor and he told me that tonsels have pockets that collect saliva and food particles that eventually harden into white globs. You can actually pick them out of the gaps with a couple of sterile sticks (using the other end of cotton swabs that only have cotton on one end, for example). They are not harmful, though, so I usually don’t bother. I found that when I dug them out I was causing pain and tears to my tonsils trying to remove them. If they are fairly large and are different sizes, it may be this.

I have the same problem as Hilow.

If you don’t have pain and your tonsils aren’t swolen or red, and your ears don’t feel weird, then you probably have nothing but garbage trap tonsils.

But if you have the slightest hint of pain, and have access to a doctor, get on out to see what it may be. It could be anything from allergies to strep.

You guys sure that you’re looking at tonsils? There’s nothing wrong with the descriptions I’ve read, but before Med School and anatomy, I didn’t know exactly where to look for tonsils in the mouth. And you have to try pretty hard to see your own tonsils well (mouth wide open, mirror, flashlight). Do me a favor, if you’re not sure, look here and here to make sure you’re correctly identifying the tonsils.

The “white globs” are also known as Tonsilloliths.

Well, if HiLow is anything like me, his/her tonsils are pretty big and protrude out far enough to see them quite easily. I can check mine out any time in my bathroom mirror because it’s large, close, and well lit.

I checked with the pictures, they are one and the same. Would you like to see pics of mine? :wink:

Those things are about as gross as they come. I get them all the time. When I was a teenager, I popped one out with my finger and made my younger sister smell it. She threw up shortly thereafter. A friend of mine also had them, and referred to them as “Lung Cookies”. I know they don’t come from the lungs, but I found the term so funny that that’s what I’ve referred to them as ever since.

I read another article that said you can get a laser procedure to seal the creases in you tonsils and never have to worry about them again.

My doctor described the surface of tonsils as being rather like that of a strawberry, with pits that can accumulate debris. His suggestion was to gargle with warm salt water once or twice a week, and said that the salt crystals would act as a mild abrasive to help keep the pits clean. Drying out the mouth/throat with salt also helps promote healing.