Q:

Why does my palate hurt?

A:

Sore throat, or pharyngitis, is a possible cause of pain in the soft palate, according to Drugs.com. It is an inflammation of the pharynx that also affects the tonsils and the back third of the tongue.

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Infection due to bacteria or a virus typically causes sore throat, states Drugs.com. People with the flu, cold sores or mononucleosis often suffer a sore throat and other accompanying symptoms. Besides sore throat, symptoms of viral pharyngitis and bacterial pharyngitis, such as strep throat, include painful swallowing and red throat.

Individuals with strep throat are likely to experience worse symptoms, says Drugs.com. Other symptoms of viral pharyngitis include runny nose, dry cough and hoarseness, whereas symptoms of bacterial pharyngitis include fever, headache and body ache. A sore throat that persists for two weeks or more may result from acid reflux.

Healthy individuals usually recover from simple viral pharyngitis quickly without long-term effects, notes Drugs.com. However, those with untreated strep throat may suffer severe complications, such as kidney disorder and rheumatic fever. Strep infections can also affect other parts of the body and cause the formation of pockets of pus, or abscesses, in the tonsils and the throat’s soft tissue. To prevent complications, it’s important to call a doctor when a person experiences painful swallowing, difficulty in breathing through the mouth and fever above 101 degrees Fahrenheit.

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