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Throat ulcers represent lesions formed in the throat that cause discomfort and pain. The pain is particularly intense when the patient is talking, eating, or swallowing. Throat ulcers can develop from many causes. Generally, they are the symptom of some underlying condition. Most commonly throat ulcers result from infection caused by fungi or bacteria, oral thrush, herpes zoster, herpes simplex virus that causes cold sores or fever blisters, and acid reflux disease. Throat ulcers can also occur due to excessive use of antibiotics, certain inherited diseases, an injury to the throat and eating disorders such as bulimia. Throat ulcers can last from only a week to couple of months and may reappear after the treatment.

Symptoms of Throat Ulcers

The most common symptom of throat ulcers is difficulty with swallowing, which can range from minor discomfort to inability to swallow food at all. Intense pain in the throat is experienced when food passes through it. Due to this, throat ulcers often result in weight loss. Inflammation of the throat ulcers can cause severe pain and cause problems with breathing. Throat ulcers appear as white spots near the tonsils or in the back of the throat. These white spots represent the location of the ulcers. If left untreated, throat ulcers may start to secrete pus due to deterioration of the throat tissue. Because of this, back of the throat appears grayish in color. Pus secretion from the ulcers can cause a foul taste the mouth which is another symptom of the condition.

Treatment for Throat UlcersAs soon as the symptoms appear, affected person must seek medical attention. The aim of the treatment is to relieve the pain and swelling, which is commonly done with anti-inflammatory medications. The treatment may vary depending on the initial cause of throat ulcers. For instance, if the ulcers result from bacterial infection, a doctor will prescribe antibiotics. Generally, the symptoms can be eased with warm saline water throat gargles. It is advised to drink plenty of clear fluids and consume thicker fluids like soups and shakes instead of solid food to make swallowing easier. Spicy foods and those containing salts and chemicals should be limited since such foods make symptoms worse. Bad breath can be managed with frequent and thorough cleaning of the teeth and tongue. Throat ulcers can be prevented but some measures may help. A person should eat balanced diet with plenty of vitamins and minerals that will boost the immune system in order to avoid infections. It is also recommended to avoid smoking and alcohol drinking.

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