Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Why do I sometimes have little globules of white stuff in the back of my throat?"
Sometimes I will feel like I have something caught in the back of my throat, and when I open wide and look in a mirror with a flashlight, I can see little white globs that seem to be stuck in the back of my throat. Sometimes I can get a glob to come free using a q-tip or my finger (although it's hard to do it without gagging). The little gobs are white or off white and hard to the touch, not soft like mucus. They smell pretty nasty, and are very small, about the size of a grain of rice, but more round. I've asked a few friends and they have no idea what I'm talking about. Is this a sign of something I should be worried about? Is there anything I can do to make them go away? Is this an issue for a doctor or a dentist? This doesn't happen a lot, but started noticing it in the last 6 months and have dislodged a few of them each month. Yuck! I am a 38-year-old woman without any medical problems and not on any medication besides birth control.
It is quite likely that you are having issues with your tonsils. To confirm this, of course, you will need to see an ear-nose-and throat doctor (otolaryngologist), but your primary care doctor would also be able to provide you with some guidance after examining these globules. Before we say for certain that it is your tonsils, however, there are some questions and answers that would make us more sure in our initial impression of what is happening. Do you have bad breath, or feel that you have this often? Have you had multiple sore throats in the past? If the answer is yes to either, then you are possibly having food particles collect in the crypts (small pits) of your tonsils (provided that you still have your tonsils. If you don't have them, we'll need to come up with another idea). Some people have large pits in their tonsils (the sides of the back of your throat), and food gets stuck in them. They stink, can be hard, and can be removed with a q tip or your finger. Your story is pretty normal for that sort of problem. There are other possibilities as well, but you should see a physician to see what is happening, as you could alternatively be having issues with post nasal drip, or even another condition altogether different. Nothing (not even the internet!) replaces a personal visit to your doctor.
Need more info?See a doctor today
Zocdoc Answers 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 (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.