Ulcers can be very painful and annoying for the sufferer, and there may be many causes. Most people associate ulcers with the tongue and mouth but they can form in the throat, too. In most cases, they are a symptom of an underlying condition that usually requires medical assessment and treatment.
Causes Of Throat Ulcers
There are many different causes for throat ulcers, and these can range from simple Oral Thrush, the same virus that cause cold sores (herpes simplex), and include the different forms of syphilis.
In a few rare cases, the chicken pox virus may have attacked the throat along with other viral causes. Occasionally untreated tonsillitis that may result in the breakdown of the tonsil tissue may cause ulcers as the inflammation attacks.
Symptoms Of Throat Ulcers
A typical symptoms of throat ulcers is difficulty swallowing. This can be a minor discomfort or make it impossible to swallow at all. When you look in the mirror, open your mouth and try to flatten your tongue to the bottom of the mouth so you have more visibility of the throat area. Throat ulcers usually appear as white spots on the tonsil area, in the later stages of deterioration the tissue can secrete pus and look grey as the cells of the throat die.
In the occurrence of pus-secreting throat ulcers, it is also likely that you will experience a nasty taste in your mouth that may seem bitter or offensive. You may also be more conscious of Your Breath as this may omit a sour aroma that can smell like infection.
Treatments For Throat Ulcers
In most cases, it is recommended that medical attention is sought to combat throat ulcers, as they indicate that an infection has begun to affect the tissues, which is difficult to treat without medication.
In the early stages of a sore throat it may help to ease the symptoms by using salt water throat gargles (do not swallow the solution) and by taking an anti-inflammatory drugs, such as a ibuprofen or paracetamol.
Try to rest and drink plenty of clear fluids; if swallowing is difficult, it may help to try thicker fluids, such as milkshakes or soups, that are easier to swallow.
You may want to take more care with your diet as spicy foods, those containing salts or chemicals may aggravate the pain and make it worse. It may also be helpful to clean your teeth and tongue more thoroughly or more often as you are more likely to suffer from bad breath.
Preventing Throat Ulcers
If you can avoid throat infections (which is quite difficult), then your chances of getting throat ulcers are reduced. Keeping healthy by watching your diet, including your Alcohol and salt content, making sure you get enough of the important vitamins and minerals and by Not smoking can significantly reduce the chances of throat ulcers.
Throat ulcers can be very painful and cause problems with swallowing, sometimes making it impossible. They are usually caused by simple viral infections, but can be a symptoms of other more serious conditions that will need medical attention quite urgently.
You can read more tips and advice on ensuring your throat stays free of infection in our article Keeping Your Throat Healthy on this site.
For the last 4 years since diagnosis of AF and the usual blood thinners etc presc. I have had nasty tasting blood stained mouthfuls of saliva every night whilst trying to sleep, Have to spit out and drink water at least 4-5 times every night.
I have been tested to the limit by every dept at local hospital and every time but one say" but we dont know where it is coming from" The latest PH test gave the answer "you do not swallow very well but you are not getting this from the stomach" All along I have said "is it my throat?" but no dice. I am in despair of Doctors bynow.I am 82 but have been always active and involved in many activities and even now am the lead in a local charity supporting my local surgery.You cannot imagine how desperate I am to stop this before I lose my marbles.I have been reading about Dr Sanjay Gupta and wonder if it is worth a trip York from Somerset.Any thoughts gratefully received.Anne
Anne - 19-Mar-19 @ 12:47 PM
I'm having throat ulcer again and again I went to ent but they said it's normal I'm having problem with swalloing and pain in my left ear. Can you give me some advice to get rid of it please.
shabu - 28-May-18 @ 11:15 AM
I have throat ulcer doctor said it is because of viral infection i have sore throat too but no difficulty in swallowing but still i afraid of something else problem i have in my throat
Shiny - 22-May-18 @ 7:12 AM
Hey, I was having Typhoid, and during it's treatment, I was diagnosed with Throat Ulcer too. My doctor has told me that the medications used for Typhoid will also help with Ulcer. I want to know if can I drink luke warm water since I also have Typhoid? What else can I eat?
Mr.Problem Child - 19-Apr-18 @ 4:37 AM
Ulcer in throat not to eat any food plz give me tablet name or liquid.
Meeta Patel - 14-Apr-18 @ 7:19 PM
Hey @AbbaGF, I saw a Doctor yesterday but at the time I didn't feel the pull in the neck indicating a possible throat ulcer. He could see that my tonsils were raw from a sore throat though.
Callihistorian - 9-Mar-18 @ 3:59 PM
@Callihistorian - poor you - I feel for you :(. If it doesn't clear up go to your docs. But I had an ulcer after a sore throat. If you think about it, the throat is being irritated anyway, so this can lead to ulcers.
AbbaGF - 9-Mar-18 @ 3:53 PM
Is it possible to get a throat ulcer straight after having a sore throat from flu? I've been suffering 2 weeks now, the first week was from the flu and now it feels as though there's something else and as I usually have tongue ulcers due to my epilepsy tablets it leads me to think I may have a throat one now. There's a horrendous pain in a specific part of my neck as well.
Callihistorian - 9-Mar-18 @ 3:20 PM
I have been suffering from throats ulcer ,I always her throats ulcer in winter n whenever I get I get admitted n last December I was admitted for throat ulcer but now again I am getting it , it's not even one month of relief I am getting again I am tired of this throat ulcer , plz suggest me how I can prevent n what I should use
Ater - 16-Jan-18 @ 4:09 AM
My sister is 75 and has at least 6 ulcers in her. She is getting skinny because she can't swallow. This has been going on over a year. She will not seek medical help. Her daughter is a nurse and tells her not to worry just change her diet. I disagree but I can do nothing. I feel there is something else wrong with her. It's hard watching her wasting away and getting more ulcers and refusing to see a doctor.
Gwen - 29-Dec-17 @ 5:07 AM
Fellow sufferers, to echo a few points made above - two things that have helped reduce (but not completely eradicate) breakouts for me: 1/ using non-SLS toothpaste (if not a cause then SLS at the very least antagonises symptoms); 2/ acid reflux mitigants, in my case Pantoprazole 20mg daily (you can have acid reflux without actually knowing it - acid can come up into your throat whilst you're sleeping). More broadly, I've resigned myself to the view that when people are run-down or have a mild cold/flu they present in certain ways - for me my 'tell' is ulcers, the only solution is minimising the chances of getting ill (e.g. eating and sleeping well). Open to being proven there's a cure :)
Jak - 10-Jun-17 @ 3:51 PM
It is good to hear that other people have throat ulcers.I have had bouts of throat ulcers since I was young.They always are a result from eating too much chocolate or too much stress.It can be really annoying and I often feel as though I am getting a cold because of the sore throat and then it turns out to be throat ulcers.
Apart from avoiding chocolate (my one vice), I guess I will just have to live with them, but I have always wondered whether it would lead to throat cancer.No one I know has ever had them.They have had the more common mouth ulcers.
Anothersorethroat - 11-May-17 @ 4:56 AM
I have throatulcers for almost months.I went to a throat specialist and he prescribedme antibiotics whichI have to take 8 at once for 3 days and thereafter I take 4for 3 days.They only helped a bit and the pain was lessened. This ulcers cause white patches on my palate.Now I feel much betterafter talking to a friend who has the same problem.He said he is treating that with tablets called Bio-Cimetidine 400.They are very good now as l speak I can swallow.It very painfuleven if I drink Liquids.Hopefully they will help since is now a week using them.They are cheap no stress,I bought them for R20.00
Macsar - 9-Apr-17 @ 1:44 PM
Please take 3-4 teaspoon of cocunut oil and gargle for atleast 8 mins.You should do that 5 to 6 times a day and next day it would be gone,
Also check if Sodium laurly Sulphate is present in your toothpaste if yes please avoid it
if you have burning sensation in your throat and below, it could be acid reflux,pl take tablets for same before eating anything in the morning,
pl avoid coffee/chocolate/ anything which has choco flavour/spicy food-STRICT NO.fried items NO, tomatoes NO, citrus like lemon orange/peanuts-NO
Please maintain a healthy diet for atleast one month, if you are doing exercise do not over do it, also breath thru nostroil while doing exercise or yoga.
After food take one teaspoon of HONEY, honey not more that 4 teaspoon in a day
Hope this would help one and all,
Rahul - 16-Feb-17 @ 5:29 PM
annamb - Your Question:
Bty - I too have suffered from terrible mouth ulcers throughout my life, sometimes they were so severe I barely ate for days and talking was a struggle. Mine have almost disappeared since changing my toothpaste to the Oral B pro-expert. There must be something in it that helps fight whatever was causing the ulcers and I don't know what, I just know it works and I won't use any other now! I've visited this site today as unfortunately I've got throat ulcers now (my toothpaste doesn't reach that far), but my mouth ulcers have gone after years of suffering.
Thanks for yoru advice, I'm sure it will help other suffers. We are also glad your own mouth ulcers have abated.
ThroatProblems - 9-Feb-17 @ 11:11 AM
bty - I too have suffered from terrible mouth ulcers throughout my life, sometimes they were so severe I barely ate for days and talking was a struggle. Mine have almost disappeared since changing my toothpaste to the Oral B pro-expert. There must be something in it that helps fight whatever was causing the ulcers and I don't know what, I just know it works and I won't use any other now! I've visited this site today as unfortunately I've got throat ulcers now (my toothpaste doesn't reach that far), but my mouth ulcers have gone after years of suffering.
annamb - 8-Feb-17 @ 12:45 PM
Eat one clove of raw garlic on empty stomach i usualy drink on glass of water on it because of burning it will help 3 times a day dont drink coffe and dont eat anything that will irritate ulcers use antibacterial mouthwash drink lots of fluid and eat a lots of garlic i tried my self it helps like mirracle
Inciic - 23-Jan-17 @ 12:03 AM
I have throat infection from last two days
I am getting problem in swallowing,eating food
vicky - 25-Dec-16 @ 2:00 PM
I have been having mouth ulcers since my childhood. Now I am almost 27yrs old. I still get them. But they have reduced. Whenever I visited an ENT doctor, they prescribe me Candid mouth paint. But this hardly help. So, I gave up. This time I got about 5 Mouth ulcers in my tongue near the throat. It becomes very difficult in swallowing. I swear this is the hardest of all my experience. Please suggest. and help me so that I can get complete cure.
bty - 11-Dec-16 @ 1:05 PM
Actually, before having throat ulcers ( that are very painful and can't swallowing any thing ) I smoked 10 cigarette in 3 day but 3-4cigarette cont. in chain
Then, because of change in weather I had cold and get first loose motion, second weakness, headache, join pain. During this session I have "split green gram khichdi" (in hindi ???? ?? ??? ?? ????? ) and banana for two days. But as I get well soon from fever headache and join pain , I have throat ulcer very much but not in my mouth . Please help me I can't wallow any thing even my saliva.
krishnaveer - 23-Oct-16 @ 3:04 PM
golu - Your Question:
A 2 yr child has swelling at the neck behind ear.it is very painful to her.it is called galsoda in hindi pls tell me some remedy that would be helpful for her. I will be vry thankful to u.:-)
I'm afraid we cannot give medical advice, you would have to visit your GP/doctor who will be able to treat this.
ThroatProblems - 6-Sep-16 @ 9:56 AM
A 2 yr child has swelling at the neck behind ear ...it is very painful to her...it is called galsoda in hindi pls tell me some remedy that would be helpful for her... I will be vry thankful to u....:-)
golu - 5-Sep-16 @ 7:00 AM
A 2 yr old child has swallow below her ear at the back of it, it is very painful nd as per me it is called galsoda in hindi ... Pls tell me some remedy for it...
golu - 5-Sep-16 @ 6:53 AM
I have been hurting for weeks and have tasted blood in my mouth in the mornings when I wake up but never thought nothing about it that I was just imaging things. I have the sour taste in the back of my mouth which is awful!!. This pain goes all the way down my throat my esphogas and is killing me I take ibprophin and I doesn't help at all. I have a small few bumps or ulers on the side by my back tooth.But I have white puss on my thonlas and red bumps all over the back of my throat it feels and looks like it goes all down my neck. Does anyone know what or sounds like this is??? it hurts to eat and drink and just when I don't eat or drink it is just painful ive not been eating trying to not hurt ive eat grits and I was able to but cant find anything else. Does anyone have ANY ides of what this is or sounds like????
PAINFUL - 29-Jul-16 @ 1:29 PM
wrenner - Your Question:
Am expirienciwng difficulty in swallowing,pain in lower pharynx n the whole neck.What could be the cause.
Unfortunately, we cannot give medical advice, if your symptoms persist you would need to seek advice from your GP.
ThroatProblems - 26-Apr-16 @ 11:26 AM
Am expirienciwng difficulty in swallowing,pain in lower pharynx n the whole neck.What could be the cause.
wrenner - 25-Apr-16 @ 5:08 PM
I started out with a heavy fever and headaches, then a minor pain in the throat. I thought I just had a normal virus and my doctor pretty much told me I had a mini ulcer, but wrote down that I had a sore throat and nasal congestion... The ibuprofen isn't doing anything and I just looked in the mirror to see if I could see the ulcer... And now I have multiple. It's the worst pain, and I'm hungry and sooo very thirsty :( not only that, but it's finals week and I have my period. Why isn't there a cure!? If someone has a good remedy, please comment!
Nikki - 18-Apr-16 @ 8:34 AM
I've had a throat ulcer for6 weeks now I saw nurse practitioner twice as there were no doctors available I've been on penicillin for 5 days now and it's no better at all. I'm getting pain in my ear now after having used spray for it 2weeks ago should I be worried .
Bebble - 16-Apr-16 @ 11:02 PM
I was diagnosed with a throat ulcer almost3 weeks ago iI HV been taking the prilosac thy prescribed me and I still can not swallow foods. I have been eating oatmeal and yogurt nothing else because Iccan'tswallow, it gets stuck in my throat and really scares me sometimes I can't breath when food is stuck there.. Any advice??? I HOPE SO IM STARVING!!!!
beth - 3-Mar-16 @ 4:56 PM
celia - Your Question:
What food is good for someone with ulcer and what is good? Is milk bad, garlic, tomato, potatoes, beans, peanuts and herbs sad and why?
Creamy foods help such as yoghurt, milkshakes, soft cheeses and ice cream, will soothe rather than aggravate the throat and if possible keep them cool. If you have to eat solid food, it is advised to chop it up small and/or blend vegetables and eat luke warm rather than piping hot. Foods that irritate are the likes of crackers, toast, peanuts, citrus fruits, tomatoes (any food that is acidic).