Red Spots On Back Of Throat And Roof Of Mouth

Why Do I Have Red Spots On Back Of Throat And Roof Of Mouth?

What Do Red Spots On Back Of Throat And Roof Of Mouth Indicate?

Presence of red spots on the back of the throat and roof of mouth could be as a result of an infection or some other medical condition.

What Causes Red Spots On Back Of Throat And Roof Of Mouth?

Some of the possible causes of red spots on the back of the throat and roof of the mouth are given in the table below along with the description of each condition and their signs and symptoms:

Sr. No. Cause Description
1. Strep Throat Strep throat means is a term used for streptococcal (bacterial) infection of the throat and tonsils.

This Infection Spreads Through

  • Close contact with an infected person
  • When a person comes in contact with the discharges of an infected person
  • Via droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes

Signs And Symptoms Include

  • High-grade fever of 101 degrees Fahrenheit or more
  • Red spots on roof of the mouth
  • Red, swollen and enlarged tonsils resulting in throat pain and difficulty in swallowing
  • Constitutional symptoms such as loss of appetite, nausea, and vomiting and weight loss
  •  Abdominal Pain
2. Canker Sores These are also called aphthous ulcers or aphthous stomatitis.

Canker sores are small painful ulcers which can occur anywhere in the oral cavity, throat or roof of the mouth.

Canker Sores May Form As A Result Of The Following

  • Trauma to the inner lining of the oral cavity such as dental procedures, braces, tooth brushing
  • Food sensitivity or allergies
  • Hormonal changes
  • Excessive mental or emotional stress
  • Diet deficient in iron or vitamin B and folic acid
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Auto-immune diseases
  • Immune-compromised patients such as HIV/AIDS
  • Certain medications such as NSAIDs, aspirin,  beta-blockers, antibiotics, chemotherapy drugs,

Signs And Symptoms Include

  • Presence of painful ulcers which appear as white spots or red spots
  • Lesions are tender and extremely sensitive to touch
  • Some people may experience bleeding from the ulcers
  • Loss of appetite due to inability to eat
  • Difficulty in speaking or swallowing
3. Oral Herpes Oral herpes infection occurs due to infection from herpes simplex virus (HSV), most common strains being HSV-1 and HSV-2.

Herpes infection is contagious and can spread by touching skin, saliva or mucous membranes of an infected person.

The amount of time between coming in contact with an infected person and the development of signs and symptoms can be 2-10 days.

Signs And Symptoms Include

  • Painful tenderness, tingling, and burning sensation before the sores develop.
  • Formation of blisters which break down rapidly and leave shallow grey, white ulcers with surrounding red margins.
  • Oral herpes sores can appear on the lips, gums, tongue, and inner cheek, the roof of mouth or back of the throat.
  • The affected area becomes red and swollen and may also bleed
  • There may be loss of appetite due to difficulty in eating and drinking
4. Hand Foot And Mouth Disease (HFMD) It is a contagious, viral infection seen commonly among young children between 5-10 years of age due to coxsackievirus A16.

This illness can be spread from person to person by coming in contact with an infected patient’s:

  • Saliva
  • Nasal secretions or respiratory droplets when the patient coughs or sneezes
  • Feces
  • Blister fluid

There is no treatment for hand foot and mouth disease.

Signs And Symptoms Include

  • Fever
  • Soreness of throat and throat pain
  • Red painful blister-like lesions which appear as red spots commonly on the tongue, inside of cheeks, gums and occasionally on the roof of the mouth
  • Loss of appetite and weakness
  • The rash may be seen on hands, feet, and chest following the appearance of oral lesions
5. Oral Cancer It is cancer of the mouth, or lining of the mouth, lips, cheek, and roof of the mouth or upper throat.

Risk Factors For Developing Oral Cancer Are

Signs And Symptoms Include

  • Oral cancer lesions begin as white patches which later develop into red spots
  • The lesions later form nonhealing crusting ulcers
  • Bleeding from lesions
  • Lesions may cause a burning sensation and are frequently painless
  • Loosening of teeth and earache

Diagnosis Of Red Bumps On Back Of Throat

Since this problem can be due to a variety of causes, it is a wise option to visit a doctor for the same instead of resorting to self-diagnosis.
If an infection is suspected, your doctor may advise you to undergo a set of tests to confirm the diagnosis and treat accordingly.

  1. Canker Sores – Can be diagnosed clinically without any tests
  2. Strep Throat – A rapid strep test or a throat swab culture help to confirm the diagnosis
  3. Oral Herpes – This is also generally a clinical diagnosis. Tests like viral culture and Tzanck smear staining may be done to confirm HSV infection
  4. Hand Foot And Mouth Disease – Diagnosis can be confirmed by isolation of virus from oral lesions and viral culture
  5. Oral Cancer – Visible or palpable lesions of the oral cavity. CT or MRI scan and tissue biopsy give a definitive diagnosis along with the staging of cancer

[ReadRoof of Mouth Sore Causes]


  • In most cases, these red spots resolve by themselves. Yet, treatment for red spots on the back of the throat and roof of the mouth will depend entirely on the underlying cause.
  • Antibiotics or anti-viral medications and Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may be prescribed depending upon the type of infection. NSAIDs help to control inflammation and reduce swelling.
  • Paracetamol is frequently advised for symptomatic relief from fever, body ache, malaise, and headache.


Red spots on the back of the throat and roof of the mouth are generally mild and resolve on their own without any specific treatment.
However, you need to consult a doctor if the red spots do not resolve even after treatment or if you notice complications such as:

  1. Formation of ulcer at the site of red spots
  2. Discharge of blood or pus from the red spots
  3. Fever along with red spots not responding to medications
  4. Swollen lymph nodes
  5. Severe pain in spite of being on medications
  6. Loss of sensation of the mouth or cheek – As in herpes infection complication
  7. Dehydration due to inability to eat or drink sufficiently
  8. Viral meningitis characterized by high-grade fever, unusual drowsiness, and neck stiffness is a frequent complication of viral infections

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