Canker Sore on Tonsils: Causes, White Sore, Red, Ulcers, Treatment, Get Rid, Pictures

Canker sores are characterized by a yellow or whitish dot on the cheek, the tongue, or any other part of the mouth including the tonsils and their underlying tissues. The canker is often surrounded by reddish, inflamed-looking flesh. It is also referred to as aphthous ulcer or aphthous stomatitis. It is more common in women than in men. Susceptibility to canker sore can be inherited.

What Causes a Canker Sore

Most canker sores are oval or round in shape, white at the centre with red border.
There are three types of canker sores and this may include:

  • Minor sores– it measures about 3 – 10 mm, oval shaped with red border. This is the more common type. The lesions may heal in 10 to 14 days. The healing process will takes place without leaving any scar.
  • Major sores– They are bigger and deeper than the other two types. A major sore is usually round with defined red border. If it is larger, it forms an irregular shape with irregular edges. It is extremely painful. Major sores grow more than 10 mm and take six weeks to months before they heal and may even leave scars.
  • Herpetiform sores– These are large groups of sores, from clusters of 10 to about 100. They may also merge into one large sore and have irregular edges. They appear smaller, about 2 – 3 mm. These sores may be the smallest, but they appear in hundreds simultaneously. You can expect them to heal without scarring.

If you get a canker sore on your tonsils, every time you swallow, you’ll know that it is one of the most painful canker sores you can get.

Some of the main causes of canker sores often include:

  • A small injury as a result of an accidental bite, bump, burn, rough brushing of teeth, or dental work–any small abrasion to the inside of the cheeks, lips, or tongue may not heal properly and may cause a canker.
  • Lack of important nutrients that promote proper growth of tissues, such as iron, zinc, vitamin B12, and folic acid.
  • Allergies or sensitivities to toothpaste or food (coffee, chocolate, shellfish, strawberries, cheese, eggs, nuts, highly acidic foods like pineapple, lemon, and tomatoes, and ingredients like sodium lauryl.
  • Acidic foods, like citrus fruits can trigger the appearance or make it worse.
  • Smoking
  • Gastrointestinal tract diseases, like Cohn’s disease or Celiac disease
  • Auto-immune disorders, like Behcet’s disease or systemic lupus erythematous IQ
  • Other immune system weaknesses, like the common cold, flue, or HIV/AIDS
  • Oral cancer
  • Poor oral hygiene.
  • An allergic response to bacteria in the mouth.
  • Hormonal changes may trigger a canker sore on a woman’s tonsil tissue during the days prior to menstruation.

As compared to cold sores, canker sores are not associated with herpes virus infections. If you experience cankers chronically, keep a record of everything you eat and drink to help determine what might be the cause. There are also more serious medical triggers for canker sores so if you get them chronically, consult your doctor.

Canker Sore on Tonsils Causes

Canker sores usually occur in the mouth, cheeks and tongue. But sometimes, they can occur on the tonsils too. These usually occur as whitish or yellowish dots that may be surrounded by inflamed, reddish flesh. Canker sore on tonsil usually can cause great pain, whenever you try to swallow. However, they are not dangerous or contagious. They often heal on their own, usually within a week.
Food allergy
A canker sore may develop if you have food allergies; foods involved frequently are strawberries, tomatoes, acidic fruits or vegetables, and sometimes, even shellfish. If you have a food allergy, keep track of what you eat to identify what foods can irritate you, so you can avoid them and prevent canker sores. You can also have a food allergy test to help uncover what particular foods can cause these sores.
Sensitivity to Medication
This can also cause canker sore on tonsil or anywhere in your mouth. Again, it is advisable to keep track of your reactions to medications, especially antibiotics which are the most frequent causes of allergic reactions. But before you discontinue your medications, consult your doctor first.
Reaction to Toothpaste
This kind of condition may be linked to certain toothpastes, if you are allergic to them. The reaction may be caused by an ingredient in your toothpaste, so it is important to read the list of ingredients in product before purchasing. The specific ingredient may vary from person to person. Some mouthwashes can also trigger canker sores.
Poor Oral Hygiene
If you do not brush your teeth regularly, you may be prone to canker sores. Poor oral hygiene can lead to a build-up of bacteria and viruses in your mouth and tonsils. To avoid this, brush your teeth regularly and in the proper way, as advised by your dentist.
Minor Injuries
Minor injuries that may occur on the tonsils or mouth, such as a bite, a bump, or a minor burn from hot foods. Rough brushing with your toothbrush or dental appliances can also cause canker sores when the injured area doesn’t heal properly.
Other Causes may include:

  • A lack of nutrients like vitamin B12 and folate, or minerals such as iron and zinc can cause poor oral health.
  • Anxiety and stress can also increase your risk for oral sores.
  • Hormonal changes can trigger canker sore on tonsil tissue, especially before menstruation.

Medication. Sometimes, corticosteroids are used to treat inflammation and intense pain due to canker sores. However, this treatment cannot be used for prolonged periods because it can have negative effects. Antibiotics may also be recommended if there is bacterial infection, but caution must be needed, because it can cause canker sore

Canker Sore on Tonsil and Ear Pain

It may be interesting to note that ears, nose and throat have a connection between them which links all the three to one another. Infection or an allergy affecting any one of these three structures results in discomfort in all the three.
The middle ear and the throat are connected by a narrow tube known as Eustachian tube. Sore throat almost always blocks this tube, which is a result of swelling of the tube, and this in turn results in increased pressure in the ear causing ear pain.
However in some cases patients also experience one-sided sore throat and ear pain. This happens when the infection affects only one side of the throat. In such cases the pain only affects on one side leaving the other side pain free.

Cause of Canker Sore and Ear Pain Simultaneously

Canker sore on tonsil is a condition which is caused when pharynx, larynx and tonsils of the throat become inflamed. A common sore throat usually lasts for more than three days. Sore throat is commonly caused by microbial infections, which can be treated by taking over-the-counter medications.
In some cases of tonsil infection, mucus is stuffed in sinus cavities and this can result in ear pain. Being interlinked with one another, all of these organs go through the process of exchanging the fluids among themselves. This interrelation of the organs and exchange of fluids certainly puts them at the risk of exchange of infections too.
This means infection in any one of the organ also infects the remaining two organs. This exchange of infection between the organs results in canker sore on tonsil and ear pain.
A canker sore on tonsil and ear pain is usually as a result of an infection resulting from an inflammation caused in the inner ear, outer ear or middle ear. This inflammation not only results in stretching the eardrum, but also forces it to swell which may also affect the hearing ability. However, in some cases patients may also experience chronic pain for prolonged period due to allergies due to immune system.
Exposure to smoke, consuming excessive alcohol, consuming very hot or cold foods, allergies, swollen glands, microbial infections, pollution, hay fever, sinus infections, tonsillitis, ear infections, cough, cold and flu, uvula infection, tooth infection and overuse of vocal cords are also the conditions that may cause canker sores on tonsil and ear pain.

Symptoms of Canker Sore on tonsil and Ear Pain

These may include, feeling difficulty while swallowing, swollen glands and lymph nodes, fever, pus and rash on the tonsils, stiffness in the back and neck, prolonged mouth ulcers, blood tinged saliva, blood tinged phlegm are few of the symptoms of sore throat and ear pain.
Treatment for canker sore on tonsil and Ear Pain

  • Changing the tooth brush can also be helpful in getting rid of the condition and reduces the chances of transmitting the infection back into the throat through the tooth brush.
  • Saline Nasal Spray for Sore Throat and Ear Pain: Saline nasal spray can also be used in case of dry throat and nose as saline nasal spray helps in keeping the mucus membrane in moist condition.
  • Pain Killers for Sore Throat and Ear Pain: Temporary use of painkillers such as ibuprofen or paracetamol can also help in relieving the condition.
  • Antibiotics for Sore Throat and Ear Pain: Taking antibiotics for sore throat can also be helpful, especially in strep throat.

The home remedies that may help in handling this conditions are easily available in your kitchen. This may involve the following;

  • Heat for canker sore and Ear Pain: Application of a heated piece of cloth on the affected ear can help in relieving the ear pain for some period of time. Care should be taken not to heat the cloth excessively to avoid any burn injuries.
  • Steaming for canker sore and Ear Pain: Vapour bath or taking steam can help in reducing the severity of the condition. Steam taken for sore throat along with both the ears usually helps to recover quickly.
  • Hydration: Adequate amount of warm fluid intake such as warm turmeric milk and hot soup not only helps in keeping the throat hydrated, but also eases the process of swallowing and talking. It is also better to avoid alcohol, smoking and eating very hot or cold food during the healing period.
  • Lozenges and Popsicles for canker sore on tonsil and Ear Pain: these two usually are also helpful in keeping the throat in a moist condition.
  • Salt Water Gargling: Gargling with salt water repeatedly many times in a day could also be effective in speeding the healing of the canker sore hence reduce ear pan.
  • Use of herbal medicine: this may include preparing tea from the mixture of basil leaves, turmeric, ginger, salt and cinnamon and consuming this warm preparation by adding one tea spoon of honey to it is also an effective remedy. Consuming this preparation also helps in lessening fever. Apart from this, ginger extracts when consumed with honey can also be helpful.

White Sore on Tonsils

If the tonsils frequently became inflamed or infected in the past years, they would be removed. Of course this is still one of the tonsils treatment in some cases. However, doctors now understand that the tonsils have a much larger impact on the digestive process than was originally anticipated.
The tonsils also help to fight off infections, which is why they can become covered in white sores. These spots like sores are usually pus that has developed as white blood cells kill off bacteria or viruses infecting the tissue. A bit of home care can usually ward off these symptoms, but it is important to check with your doctor if your symptoms linger or appear severe.

Possible Causes of White Sores on Tonsils

Tonsillitis- This is an infection of the tonsils caused by an exposure to bacteria or a virus. As the tonsils begin to fight the infection they will produce white pus which will collect in white patches on the flesh. You may also experience headaches, fever or a stiff neck as you begin to develop tonsillitis.
Oral Thrush- White patches on the canker sore on tonsils may be a fungal infection caused by an excess amount of yeast. Yeast is frequently found throughout the body, but certain conditions can cause its population to boom to an unhealthy level.
Those who are immune suppressed or those who partake in an excessively sugary diet are more likely to develop yeast infections in the mouth. These patches will not cause swelling, but they can alter the taste in your mouth.
Sore Throat- A strep infection is one of the most common causes of severe sore throat. This bacterial infection will frequently show itself as white canker sore on tonsils and throat. You will notice pain when swallowing, or a scratchy feeling in the throat. The lymph nodes in the neck and the tonsils will become swollen as they attempt to rid the body of this infection. High fevers are also common when battling strep throat.
Mononucleosis- usually it is commonly known as mono. This viral infection will combine common flu symptoms with fatigue, fever and headaches. Adolescents who develop this condition will frequently develop patches of puss in the throat, especially around the tonsils. Your lymph nodes will also become very swollen, and some patients may also develop a body rash.

How to Get Rid of Canker Sores on Tonsils, Treatment

Before trying medical treatment, try to determine if your sore is indeed a canker sore and not a fever blister, or the symptom of some other conditions on the tonsils. Management for canker sores on the tonsil includes:

  • Avoid spicy foods. Instead, try eating yogurt which contains lactobacillus acidophilus or good bacteria that help reduce burning sensation.
  • Baking Soda Mouth Rinse.This can help reduce pain and promote healing. Mix 1 tsp. of baking soda with warm water and gargle. Avoid swallowing the mixture. Do this at least once a day or as needed.
  • Zinc Lozenges.These are effective for canker sores because of their antibiotic properties, which can help kill germs in your tonsil area.
  • Hydrogen Peroxide/Milk of Magnesia.Mix 1 tsp. hydrogen peroxide with 1 tsp. water. Dip a cotton swab in the mixture. Apply directly on the affected tonsil. Or with a new cotton swab, dip into some milk of magnesia. Dab on tonsil. Repeat 3-4 times a day.
  • Mouthwash/Gargle.Try to find mouthwashes that contain antibacterial substances which can help heal a canker sore on tonsil. Make sure the mouthwash you choose doesn’t contain the ingredient that will aggravate your condition. You can also try gargling with salt and water, which is also an effective home remedy for canker sores. Do this at least twice a day.
  • Cold Drink. Drinking cold beverages or sucking on ice cube helps numb the pain, but these won’t heal the sores.
  • Vitamin B12.Take at least 100 mg of vitamin B12 and eat vitamin B-rich foods such as fish, shellfish, and dairy.
  • This is an over-the-counter health supplement extracted by honey bees from trees and other plant sources. It has been used for ages in the treatment of canker sores. This is an herbal antiseptic that helps clean sores and kill bacteria.
  • These are products that contain good or friendly bacteria, which may be found in natural foods like dairy products such as yogurt. You can also find them in health supplements. They help fight bad bacteria and balance the flora in your mouth and digestive tract.
  • This chemical compound has many uses. The powder form can be used as a deodorant to fight body odour. It is also used to purify water. You can try applying a small dab of alum on your sore. This can be quite painful, and may even induce vomiting; however, its high level of acidity and antiseptic property are very effective in healing canker sores more rapidly.

Treatments and preventions for canker sore on tonsils

Home Remedies
Minor infections of the tonsils can usually be treated with home care. These may include the following:

  • When your tonsils feel scratchy or inflamed, gargling can often lessen the discomfort. Mix a glass of warm salty water, taking care not to create a mixture that is hot enough to scald your mouth. Take a mouthful of the beverage, lean your head back, open your mouth and make a “g” sound with the back of your throat, allowing the water to swish around the tonsils. Spit out the liquid and take a new mouthful for each repetition to avoid spreading the pus throughout the mouth.
  • Sipping warm, caffeine free fluidsthroughout the day can also help bathe the throat to help clear out an infection. Teas with honey, chicken broth or warm water are frequently recommended. If the throat is swollen, ice pops, cold beverages or a cold compress on the neck can provide relief. Avoid foods like ice cream as dairy products can encourage mucus production.
  • Create a comfortable atmospherefor your recovery. Avoid irritants such as cigarette smoke or perfumes that can cause the throat to become scratchy. Run a humidifier to keep the air comfortable and try to get plenty of rest so your body can focus as much of its energy as possible on fighting the infection.

Medical Treatments
Antibiotics– If your symptoms are causing a great deal of discomfort or you are experiencing a fever, you should see a doctor to determine if antibiotics are necessary to help clear the infection. Antibiotics cannot help rid the body of a virus or fungal infections. Your doctor will take a sample of the pus on your tonsils with a cotton swab and run lab tests to determine what type of medication is appropriate.
Tonsillectomy– If your tonsils frequently become inflamed or they swell to the point where they are causing you difficulty breathing, your doctor may advise you to have them removed. Those who have an infection that will not respond to treatment may also be candidates for a tonsillectomy. This is typically a one day surgery that will take one to two weeks to recover from. During this time the throat will be sore and you may have a restricted diet to avoid irritating the surgical area, but no extreme side effects are expected.
More references

  1. Canker sore on tonsil:
  2. Causes of cankers on the tonsil: