Throat Ulcer: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention, & More

Mayank Pandey
Written by Mayank Pandey on August 11, 2022

A throat ulcer is a break in the mucous membrane that lines the throat. Throat ulcers are usually caused by infection, but can also be caused by trauma or other medical conditions. Throat ulcers are most common in adults but can also occur in children. Symptoms of a throat ulcer include pain, difficulty swallowing, and changes in voice. Treatment for a throat ulcer depends on the underlying cause.


Throat ulcers can be caused by a number of things, including bacteria, viruses, and fungi. However, the most common cause of throat ulcers is infection with the herpes simplex virus (HSV).

HSV is a very common virus that infects people of all ages. It is most commonly spread through contact with saliva or skin-to-skin contact. HSV can also be spread through sexual contact, particularly during oral sex.

Once HSV enters the body, it travels to the nerves where it lies dormant until something triggers it to become active again. When HSV becomes active, it causes inflammation and swelling in the throat, which can lead to the formation of ulcers.


A throat ulcer is a sore or lesion that develops on the throat. Throat ulcers can be caused by a number of things, including infection, irritation, and injury.

Symptoms of a throat ulcer can include pain or discomfort when swallowing, difficulty swallowing, a feeling of fullness in the throat, hoarseness, or bad breath. A doctor can confirm the presence of a throat ulcer with a physical examination or by looking at the throat with a microscope. Throat ulcers are usually treated with antibiotics.


There are a few tests to help diagnose throat ulcers. Your doctor may start with a physical exam. They will look at your throat for any redness, swelling, or sores. They may also use a lighted instrument called a laryngoscope to get a closer look. If your doctor suspects you have an ulcer, they may order one or more of the following tests:

-A barium swallow or upper GI series. You drink a chalky liquid that coats your esophagus and stomach. X-rays are then taken to look for any abnormalities.

-An endoscopy. A small, flexible tube with a light is inserted through your mouth and down your throat. This allows your doctor to directly examine the area and take tissue samples if needed.

-Biopsy. Your doctor uses a long needle to take a tissue sample from the back of your throat. The sample is then examined under a microscope.


There are a few different options for treating throat ulcers. One is to take oral antibiotics, which can help to kill the bacteria that may be causing the infection. Another option is to use a topical antibiotic, which is applied directly to the ulcer. This can help to speed up the healing process. Finally, you may also need to take pain relief medication if the ulcer is causing pain.


Throat ulcers can be prevented by taking certain precautions. One precaution is to avoid foods that can irritate the throat, such as spicy or acidic foods. Another is to quit smoking and avoid exposure to secondhand smoke. It’s also important to practice good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing regularly and avoiding mouthwashes that contain alcohol. If you have a history of throat ulcers, you may need to take medication to prevent them from recurring.

Risk Factors

There are many possible risk factors for throat ulcers, including:

-Smoking: Smoking is a major risk factor for developing throat ulcers. This is because smoking damages the lining of the throat, making it more susceptible to irritation and injury.

-Excessive alcohol consumption: Like smoking, heavy alcohol use can also damage the lining of the throat and make ulcer formation more likely.

-Poor dental hygiene: Poor oral hygiene can lead to a build-up of bacteria in the mouth, which can then infect the throat and cause ulcers.

-Certain medical conditions: Some medical conditions, such as Crohn’s disease or lupus, can increase the risk of developing throat ulcers.


A throat ulcer is a sore that forms in the lining of the throat. Throat ulcers can be caused by a variety of things, including viral infections, bacterial infections, and irritation from allergies or other conditions. Throat ulcers are often painful and can make them difficult to swallow.

Throat ulcers can also lead to other complications, such as an increased risk of infection. In some cases, throat ulcers can even cause difficulty breathing. If you have a throat ulcer, it’s important to see your doctor so that they can determine the best course of treatment.


If you have been diagnosed with a throat ulcer, there are a few things you can do to help ease your symptoms and speed up the healing process. First, avoid eating foods that are acidic or spicy, as these can aggravate the ulcer. Instead, focus on soft, bland foods that will not irritate the ulcer. You should also drink plenty of fluids to keep your throat hydrated and help flush out any irritants. Finally, gargle with warm salt water several times a day to reduce swelling and pain. With proper care, most throat ulcers will heal within a week or two.

Mayank Pandey
Written by Mayank Pandey on August 11, 2022

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