Your tonsils are designed of crevices, pits, and tunnels that are commonly referred to as tonsil crypts. Varying bits of dead cells, saliva, bits of food, and saliva may become trapped in these pockets and begin to build up.
Over the course of time, as they build up, they may become infected with bacteria and fungi. These will feed off of the bits that are trapped in the tonsils and cause a distinctive odor.
The “stones” are bits of hard white on tonsils that have formed within the crevices, pits, and tunnels in the tonsils and begun to harden. Many people don’t even realize that they have tonsil stones.
They are so deep in the crevices, pits, and tunnels that they don’t see or feel them. However, they will still have the distinctive bad breath that goes along with tonsil stones – which is why I think they’re one of the worst infection you can get.
But to make determining this easier, here are 7 common symptoms of tonsil stone infections:
1. Bad Breath
2. Trouble Swallowing
3. Pain In The Ears
4. A sore Throat
5. A chronic Cough
6. Visible White Or Yellow Debris On The Tonsils
7. Swollen Tonsils
Sometimes tonsil stones may grow larger and cause the tonsils themselves to swell. People can have anywhere from one to many tonsil stones. There are many causes of tonsil stones. These include the following:
- Poor dental hygiene
- Chronic sinus issues
- Large or swollen tonsils
- Chronic tonsillitis or inflamed tonsils
Most people want to remove the tonsil stones and there are a few ways to go about this. You can try gargling with a glass of warm salt water and see if you can dislodge the tonsil stones in this fashion.
A good old-fashioned cough can sometimes dislodge a tonsil stone or several tonsil stones. Be prepared to spit them out and rinse the mouth with some warm salt water and try again if you don’t get them all out with this method.
If the tonsil stone is large and you can readily see it you may be able to dislodge it with a cotton swab. Avoid using a toothbrush or sharp object to avoid damaging the tonsil itself.
Only attempt manual removal if you’re able to easily see the tonsil stone and you can tell that it’s going to be easy, otherwise you’re going to want a doctor or your dentist to do it for you.
Surgery – Needed?
In severe cases, you may require a tonsillectomy and have the tonsils removed surgically. This is a quick day procedure and the patient is usually feeling better in a few short days with only a minor sore throat. Some doctors are also using a laser technique to remove tonsil stones in minor cases.
If there is a lot of bacteria due to infection the doctor may also prescribe some antibiotics to treat the infection prior to and after surgery. Surgical removal of the tonsils and treating the infections is typically all that is required for cases where the tonsils are continually infected and subject to infection.
Rarely an abscess will form and require further treatment by the doctors. Typically, the doctor will start with an antibiotic and go from there for treatment.
Now that you know of the different symptoms you can get because of tonsil stones, I hope that the infection causes you less problems!
If you want to learn how to treat gingivitis then check out my post about it!