What Do White Patches on the Tonsils Mean?


Quick Answer

White patches on the tonsils are generally a sign of strep throat, according to HealthGrades. White patches are indicative of infection, which usually accompanies a sore throat and can cause pain when swallowing. Strep throat is caused by Streptococcus bacteria and is highly contagious.

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Additionally, infectious mononucleosis, which is a common viral infection, can cause white patches in the throat, according to HealthGrades. A precancerous condition known as leukoplakia can also cause white patches in the mouth, although the patches are generally found in the lining of the cheek or on the tongue. Any white patches in the mouth or throat should be evaluated by a medical professional as soon as possible.

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