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The Whole Truth About Tonsil Stones

Updated on April 15, 2010

Tonsil Stones Pictures

tonsilstone on tonsil
tonsilstone on tonsil
Irregular shaped tonsil stone
Irregular shaped tonsil stone

Tonsil Stones (Tonsilloliths): Are They A Danger Or The Cause Of Bad Breath?

The tonsils that we have are really the first thing we have to defend ourselves from illnesses. How they operate in this aspect is by acting like a net, ensnaring bacteria as they pass through the area of the throat. In some instances, mucus and dead cells will become trapped in the nooks of your tonsils where they collect and harden into small tonsils stones that will look either white or yellow.

Also known as tonsilloliths, they will occur because of the calcification of postnasal drip, bacteria, and chunks of food that will accumulate around the area of the crypts of your tonsils. In much more serious instances some people will even have them form at the mouths roof, the major downside to this condition would have to be the embarrassment that can be caused by one or more tonsils exiting your mouth from coughing.

For a while, most people just chalked these yellowish stones up to just being pieces of food that were stuck at the back of your throat. These tonsil stones can be overlooked very easily since they can be very small; there are many people who did not know they had them until an x-ray and or a CT scan. There have been cases however, of very large stones in these crevices where they needed to be removed even though this does not happen a lot.

So how would a person know if he or she had tonsil stones?

The symptoms that can occur are not fun and can be very embarrassing to someone. Mostly, a person will feel as if something is always stuck in the back of your throat alongside of a tightening feeling in your throat.

Generally, people experience an aftertaste that is quite metallic that does not leave, and having very bad breath.

Medical studies have been done, showing that 75% of individuals who are afflicted by bad breath or even halitosis will also have tonsilloliths. If you have tried taking one of these stones and breaking it in half you have most definitely noticed that very bad smell it contains.

The horrible smell is caused from postnasal drip, bacteria, and a sulphur compound of methyl mercapten and hydrogen sulfide.

Tonsilloliths will tend to form in a person's tonsil crypts so, that means only people who still possess their tonsils can be affected from this condition.

Many fantastic treatments work well and can be found on the market for dealing with tonsil stones nevertheless, there is no urgent need to run to your doctor and ask for a tonsillectomy.

Preventing Tonsil Stones

1. Good oral hygiene practices are a must.

This does not only help with preventing tonsil stones but it can also help you fight off gingivitis and some other diseases of the mouth. Be sure to brush your teeth two times a day at minimum and make sure to floss. If you can fit it in it is best if you can brush, use mouthwash and floss after every single meal.

2. Use toothpaste that is oxygenating.

Oxygenating toothpaste is extremely useful in the prevention stones because it attacks any bacteria that you may have in your mouth. Be sure that you are brushing your gums, tongue, and roof of your mouth so you remove any bacteria that may be lurking in these places.

3. Water should be your only drink.

Drinks that contain a lot of sugar can often leave a film within your tonsils that can be a main cause of tonsilloliths. Water effectively works in preventing tonsil stones because it can wash away any debris and food that may be left over that has found its way there. This provides an easy, cost effective and extremely valuable solution.

4. Eating just before you go to sleep is not a good idea.

Roughly thirty minutes prior to going to bed you should stop eating and be sure that you brush completely after your last snack or meal. By doing these things you will stop food particles from gathering in your mouth as you are sleeping and causing tonsil stones.

5. Your tongue should be scraped.

Throughout the day, your tongue can become covered with dead white blood cells, particles of food and bacteria. The use of a tongue scraper can do a lot for preventing these yellow stones as it removes from your tongue all three of the potential causes.

6. Gargle.

Use a mouthwash to garble so that any food particles that are trapped near the tonsils get removed. Gargling with an oxygenated mouthwash goes one step further and kills the bacteria that may be present. This provides a one-two approach to preventing tonsil stones.

While tonsil stones will not kill you and may not disrupt your life terribly, they are a condition that anyone would hate to have. From the embarrassment of bad breath to the feeling of having your throat close on you, they can affect your social and personal life negatively. Preventing them is easy, inexpensive and painless and it can save you a lot of embarrassment and discomfort.

Tonsil Stone Removal


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