What Are Tonsilloliths?
Often referred to as tonsil stones or tonsiliths , they are basically clusters of calcified material collected in tonsils. They are more common in cryptic tonsils, or tonsils with larger crevices. They are composed mostly of calcium. While generally not harmful, tonsil stones are often a nuisance. Many people describe a feeling of having something stuck in their throat. These can cause chronic halitosis or bad breath. Before discussing how to get rid of tonsilloliths, let’s examine their cause.
The cause is not known, but it appears that they are more common in adults than kids. Removing them is an obsession for some, and a profitable business for others. A search of the term, “tonsil stones removal,” will probably lead readers to numerous vendors of products purporting to have the most effective tonsil stones removal and cure.
How to Get Rid of
Before spending money on cures, try some less expensive and less invasive treatments. It may be the case that no treatment is needed. In cases where bad breath or discomfort become enough to affect the quality of life, other treatments may be justified. There a several standard treatments currently available in the United States. A brief overview includes irrigation, curettage, laser, and tonsillectomy surgery.
A simple method removing tonsilloliths is to use an oral irrigator. Most electric irrigators are not recommended for tonsil stone removal. They are generally too powerful and are likely to cause damage the tonsils. This, in turn, can result in infection. Gargling with warm, salty water can help alleviate tonsil stones. Vigorous gargling daily can keep the tonsil crypts clear of tonsil stones. Dr. Murry Grossman has developed an irrigator specifically designed for treating chronic tonsil stone. It can be reviewed here:
Larger tonsil stones may require removal by curettage. Large lesions may require local excision. It should be noted that these treatments may not alleviate the bad breath often associated with tonsilloliths
To decrease the surface area of the tonsils with a laser is also a tonsil stones treatment option. This procedure is called laser cryptolysis. This technique “flattens,” the edges of the crevices which can collect the debris. This can prevent material from collecting and forming.
Tonsillectomy may be necessary if problems persist, despite less invasive measures.
Below are several pictures of typical tonsil stones. While each person is unique, these photos represent fairly common presentation. For those considering tonsillectomy surgery, pictures of post tonsillectomy throat, and even tonsils can be found on the tonsillectomy pictures page.
More information about tonsillectomy recovery
If you have a success story about tonsil stones treatment, please post it under comments and questions section below. We want your your input! Thanks, -Greg My short bio
Dr. Murray Grossman has invented an amazing little machine to assist in the removal of tonsil stones. He calls it the Hydro Pulse