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Canker Sore on Tonsil? Here's How to Deal

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It feels like a sore throat, but you're not sick: What could it be? If you grab a mirror and peer into the back of your throat, you might find that what feels like a sore throat or swollen tonsils is actually a canker sore. Canker sores can affect any part of the mouth, including the gums, teeth, and yes, your tonsils. The good news is that it likely won't merit a trip to the doctor, but the bad news is that canker sore on tonsil pain can really disrupt your daily activities. Learn how to deal and how to avoid canker sores in the future so you can continue to eat, drink, and enjoy life without the pain.

What Causes Canker Sores?

Canker sores are the result of several things that may be occurring in your mouth, like stress and any area that may be experiencing discomfort through the development of an oral lesion. While it's true that they're the most prevalent on gum tissue and the inside of your cheek (accidentally biting yourself, eating super sour foods that cause small mouth cuts or injury to the mouth are all common beginnings for a canker sore), canker sore on tonsil pain is probably caused by something you ate or drank. Food allergies, foods that are highly acidic and a vitamin B deficiency can cause canker sores to form in your mouth and on your tonsils, as your tonsils come in contact with the irritants when you swallow.

Sore Throat or Canker Sore on Tonsil?

Canker sores on your tonsil can feel very similar to a sore throat. Your tonsil may feel swollen, and you may just attribute the pain to a run-of-the-mill cold, a virus, tonsillitis or strep. The best way to tell is to look in your mouth and examine your tonsils. Generalized swelling or white spots on both tonsils is the sign of an illness, but one large white round or oval sore with red edges on just one tonsil may be a canker sore.

How to Deal

There are plenty of ways to ease the discomfort of a canker sore on your tonsil, and you probably have the ingredients for a remedy right in your own home. One of the most common remedies is a salt water rinse, which helps to cleanse the canker sore and leave you pain-free for a while. The Mayo Clinic also suggests a baking soda rinse, mixing one teaspoon of baking soda with a half cup of warm water to help with the pain. Gargle and spit it out in the sink, making sure the rinse comes in contact with the canker sore. You can also try some of these remedies:

  • Take an over-the-counter medication to relieve swelling and reduce pain, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
  • Eat cold, warm and soft foods that are easy to swallow and that soothe the pain in your throat. Ice cream, warm tea and soup can all be helpful.
  • Avoid eating foods that are acidic or spicy, which can make your canker sores worse.
  • Avoid any known irritants and pay attention to the foods that often cause cankers, like sour candies and acidic fruits.

Canker sores on your tonsils are definitely unwelcome, but the good news is that they don't last forever. What may feel like a sore throat (and potentially require medical attention) can easily be cared for at home to speed healing and get rid of canker sores so you can go back to enjoying the foods and drinks you love.