ZocdocAnswersI have white spots on tonsils and no other symptoms, what could it be?

Question

I have white spots on tonsils and no other symptoms, what could it be?

I have always had large tonsils and I had strep last year. Last night I looked in the mirror and I saw a few white spots. I picked one of and it wasn't pus it was like food and I recently just got brace and have been spitting up mucus alot since braces what could this be is it tonsil stones or is my strep agian I have no other symptoms

Answer

There are a few possible explanations for what you are describing, but some of them seem more likely than others. It is thus important to speak with your doctor in order to discover what is going on. First, the fact that you don't mention any symptoms seems to indicate that you are not feeling ill currently. That is both great news and gives us a clue that it is less likely to indicate an acute bacterial tonsillitis. While some people can harbor strep and other bacteria in their tonsils, known as a "carrier" state, this is not something that can usually be determined by looking with the naked eye in the asymptomatic patient. There are other things that are common in patients who are feeling well but don't have any symptoms other than things that seem to be stuck in the tonsils. Tonsilliths, or tonsil stones, are created by food and impacted debris which can get into tonsillar crypts, or holes, and then become white. These can later go on to cause bad breath, harbor bacteria, and even cause infections according to some. Most people prefer to rinse these out regularly, and some people have their tonsils removed as a permanent fix. Please speak with your doctor about your question, as there are many possibilities.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.