White bumps in throat are a common occurrence in millions of Americans on a daily basis. The causes of these bumps can range from a mild sore throat to a yeast infection of the mouth to strep throat. However, despite the myriad of possible reasons an individual develops visible white spots on their tongue or the back of their throat, the most common cause is the presence of tonsil stones.
These tonsil rocks are small, white-colored accumulations of a calcareous matter that lodge in the pockets of the tonsils or on the sides of the mouth. Although they are not physically harmful to someone who has them, they can cause a variety of problems, including sore throat, earaches, headaches, excess phlegm, coughing, foul-smelling breath, and difficulty swallowing.
White bumps in throat are usually visible to the naked eye once a person starts to notice the symptoms. Even though are they harmless, many people with tonsil balls find them to be a nuisance, often feeling as though there is an object protruding into their throat or mouth. In addition to causing irritation, the rocks can be painful and removing them is recommended.
There are a variety of ways in which white bumps in throat can be removed in the comfort of your home. Lightly scraping or brushing them away with a toothbrush, popping them gently with a Q-tip, or washing them out of the tonsil pockets with pulsating jets of water are all home remedies that have been successful at removing tonsil lumps from the throat or mouth.
However, although these rocks can usually be removed on your own, sometimes the accumulations build up in hard-to-reach areas or places it’s risky to pop them or wash them away in. In these cases, a physician can remove the stones for you. Occasionally, the tonsils become enlarged and cause fevers, aches, and difficulty breathing or swallowing, which means the tonsils themselves need to be removed completely in what is known as a “tonsillectomy.”
In this relatively routine procedure, a physician numbs the throat and mouth with a local anesthetic and removes the tonsils and any tonsil balls to allow the patient to continue daily functions without the irritation or pain of white bumps in throat.