What are tonsil stones?

tonsil stones

Tonsil stones, otherwise known as tonsilloliths in the medical community, are similar to kidney stones but are formed near the tonsils in the throat. It essentially consists of a lump of calcified material near the back of the throat. To understand tonsil stones, we must first understand the tonsils ( read more on http://tonsilstonesadvisor.com/)

The tonsils are lymphatic tissue glad-like structure in the back of the throat. Their main purpose is trap or catch bacteria or viruses that enter the body through the mouth or nose. Unfortunately, they do not always perform this function well and are prone to becoming infected. Common infections include tonsillitis and strep throat. This is why many people have their tonsils removed as children, and in some instances, as adults.

Part of the reason the tonsils are so prone to infections is because they contain so many nooks and folds. When particles become stuck in these pockets it usually results in an infection. Tonsil stones are formed when these particles calcify or harden. People who are prone to tonsillitis are at a higher risk for forming tonsil stones. It is rare that tonsilloliths reach large sizes, but it has happened.

The main symptoms of tonsil stones are bad breath, sore throat, difficulty swallowing, ear pain, tonsil swelling, and white debris. Occasionally tonsil stones can be seen at the back of the throat, but typically they are covered by the folds of skin tissue.

Though many tonsil stones require no treatment at all and will be taken care of naturally, some do require intervention. Two at home treatments include removing the stone with a swab and gargling warm salt water. This can dislodge them or ease the pain that they cause. For more serious tonsil stones a doctor can prescribe antibiotics. However, this will not prevent formation of tonsilloliths in the future and there are certain doctors who are uncomfortable prescribing antibiotics unless absolutely necessary. For larger stones, surgical removal may be the best option. The only way to truly prevent future tonsil stones from forming is to surgically remove the tonsils.


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