A sore throat is a common ailment in which there is swelling or irritation in the back of your throat, between your tonsils and voice box. There are many possible causes. Some of the most common causes include a viral infection, such as a cold or the flu, or a bacterial infection, such as strep throat. Smoking and allergies can also lead to a sore throat. Follow the links below to find WebMD's comprehensive coverage about how sore throat develops, how to treat it, and much more.