While the glands of the throat typically produce one to two quarts of mucous daily, which filters the air and traps foreign matter you inhale, abnormal substance like pus in the throat is a symptom of a wide variety of throat problems ranging from strep throat to bacterial infections. However, one of the most common causes of pus or excess mucous in the throat is the presence of tonsil balls.
These stone-like balls are usually whitish in color and can be both irritating and painful. They tend to form in the back of the throat, on the base of the tongue, or most commonly in the pockets on the tonsils themselves. While they are essentially harmless, tonsil balls can cause a myriad of symptoms ranging from sore throat and pus in the throat to difficulty swallowing and coughing. The stones are caused by an accumulation of calcareous matter and sulfur-based bacteria or debris that can become lodged in the tonsils.
Pus in the throat and the presence of these stones can often be treated with basic home remedies, such as expressing them with a Q-tip, brushing them away gently with a toothbrush, or washing them out of the mouth with pulsating jets of water. In more difficult cases, doctors can use a surgical procedure to rid a person of the stones.
Occasionally, more severe infections can occur in the tonsils, like tonsillitis, and the tonsils must be removed in a relatively routine procedure. If you suffer from pus in the throat or other symptoms affecting the tonsils, such as chronic bad breath, stomachaches, excess phlegm, and the feeling of a lump in the throat, see your general physician for a further diagnosis and treatment.