What Does It Mean If You Have White Spots on Your Tonsils and Swollen Glands?

White spots on the tonsils in conjunction with swollen glands in the neck are signs of tonsillitis, according to MedlinePlus. Tonsillitis can have viral and bacterial causes. The streptococcus bacterium is a common culprit, states PDRHealth.

Tonsillitis can strike at any age, but children are especially prone to it, says Healthline. In addition to the swollen glands and tonsils with white or yellowish spots on them, a patient may experience fever and chills, headache, a severe sore throat and difficulty swallowing, says MedlinePlus. He may also have difficulty breathing, eating and drinking, says Healthline.com

If a virus is the cause of tonsillitis, home treatments can ease the pain and help the body recover. Doctors treat bacterial causes with antibiotics, notes MedlinePlus. Home treatments include gargling with salt water, drinking cold liquids, sucking on frozen treats and throat lozenges, and taking an over-the-counter pain reliever. Normal recovery time is seven to 10 days.

In severe or recurrent cases of tonsillitis, the doctor may recommend a tonsillectomy, the surgical removal of the tonsils, states Healthline. Doctors used to perform this procedure regularly, but as of 2014, it is reserved for patients with recurrent tonsillitis that does not respond to other treatments or that causes serious complications.