What Are Tonsil Stones?
Tonsilloliths, often referred to as tonsil stones, are clusters of calcified material often collected in palatine tonsils. Tonsilloliths are more common in cryptic tonsils, or tonsils with larger crevices. They are composed mostly of calcium, but may contain other minerals like phosphorus and magnesium, ammonia or carbonate. While generally not harmful, tonsil stones are often a nuisance. Many people with tonsil stones describe a feeling of having something stuck in their throat. These tonsilloliths, or tonsil stones, can cause chronic halitosis or bad breath. Before discussing how to get rid of tonsil stones, let’s examine their cause. Dr. Murray Grossan has invented an amazing little machine to assist in the removal of tonsil stones. He calls it the Hydro Pulse
The cause of Tonsilloliths is not known, but they are more common in adult than children. Removing tonsil stones is an obsession for many, and a lucrative 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 Tonsil Stones
Before spending money on tonsil stonesremoval, consider trying less expensive and less invasive methods of tonsil stone removal and prevention. It should be noted that no treatment at all may be needed. In cases where bad breath or discomfort become pronounced enough to affect quality of life, these 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.
Tonsil Stones Removal and Treatment
How to get rid of tonsil stones:
A simple method removing tonsil stones 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.
Larger tonsil stones may require removal by curettage. Large lesions may require local excision. It should be noted that these treatments may not allieviate the bad breath often associated with tonsil stones
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 Tonsilloliths.
Tonsillectomy may be necessary if problems due to Tonsilloliths persist, despite less invasive measures.
Below are several pictures of typical Tonsilloliths. While each person is unique, these photos represent fairly common Tonsillolith presentation. For those considering tonsillectomy surgery, pictures of post tonsillectomy throat, and even tonsils can be found on the tonsillectomy pictures page.
Since tonsillitis is also a common affliction among tonsilliloth sufferers, pictures of throats affected by tonsillitis are also displayed on the tonsillitis page.
More information about tonsillectomy recovery
One Person’s Story, From a reader:
Tonsil stones were the obvious cause of my bad breath, as I learned while undergoing treatment of chronic tonsillitis., my doctor told me that I had tonsil stones or Tonsilloliths I had no idea what that was. Were tonsil stones like kidney stones? Were they like gall stones? I learned that they were neither. The disgusting occupants of my enlarged tonsils, that made it hard to swallow and gave me horrible breath were tonsil stones.
Tonsil stones or tonsilloliths are concentrations of white excrescences that develop in the tonsil’s many recesses. The anatomic composition of some people’s tonsils; their size as well as the presence of large crypts, can make people more susceptible to tonsil stones.
The excrescences are made of bacteria, mucous and dead cells that have hardened. This happens most often with folks who, like me, have chronic tonsillitis, and cryptic tonsils. By cryptic I mean tonsils that have pockets or crevices in which particles can accumulate. These are normal but some people’s tonsils are more cryptic than others’. This leaves them more susceptible to tonsil stones.
Removing tonsil stones or tonsilloliths is tricky. They don’t always present with obvious symptoms, but during my treatment of tonsillitis the doctor did see a white spot on one of my tonsils. I didn’t have the horrible bad breath many people with tonsil stones have. The stench is actually caused by an accumulation of sulfur compounds and most people who have stones or tonsilloliths have this high level of sulfur in their breath.
The tonsillitis that I suffered from brought sore throats, which is another symptom of tonsil stones, as is difficulty in swallowing. I always associated my difficulty in swallowing with the tonsillitis flare ups.
Tonsilloliths may also manifest symptoms in the form of referred pain in the ear. This means that the ear feels the pain of the tonsil stone, even though it’s nowhere near it. This is because the tonsils and the ears share the same nerve pathways. Another symptom of tonsil stones is swelling. The swollen tonsils can interfere with breathing.
Maybe I did have symptoms of tonsil stones? At any rate, my doctor decided that the tonsils, which had bedeviled me for years, had to go. For me, tonsillectomy was the best treatment. Check with your ear nose and throat specialist before removing tonsil stones.
There is an amazing amount of information floating around the internet about tonsil stones removal and treatment. If you dig into them, you’ll learn that most sites are trying to sell products to mask the symptoms of tonsil stones but profess to be treatments or cures.
Treatments for tonsil stones are actually rather limited. I’ve seen countless videos about removing them. Some recommend downright dangerous methods. Be careful about what you put down your throat. That applies to the elixirs being hawked on the internet as well. Read the ingredients carefully and don’t waste money on a product that is probably no better for your throat, maybe much worse, than a simple solution of warm saltwater. Gargling with warm water and baking soda is an inexpensive, safe home remedy for all manner of throat irritations and bad breath. Most internet marketers won’t tell you this. How much money could they make selling a box of Arm and Hammer baking soda?
Short of tonsillectomy surgery, it’s doubtful that these over the counter treatments will be successful in long term treatment of tonsil stones.
If you have a success story about tonsil stones treatment or cure, please post it under comments and questions section below. We want your your input! Thanks, -Greg Tooke My short bio