Having pain while swallowing food or water? Coughing intermittently and suffering from bad breath? Get in touch with your doctor for you are probably having from Tonsil Stones. Read on to know all about the causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of Tonsil Stones.
What are Tonsil Stones?
Picture 1 – Tonsil Stones Picture
Source – todayifoundout
Tonsil Stones are small calcium matter deposits formed in the back of the mouth. In medical terms, these are referred to as Tonsilloliths. The condition is quite common and affects around 8,000 people every year in the US alone. It occurs more in adults than children.
Tonsil Stones are also known as “Calculus of the Tonsils” which means “Hard Lumps of the Tonsils”.
What do Tonsil Stones look like?
Tonsil Stones are generally white or whitish-yellow in appearance. These are irregular in shape. In young people, they can appear as cream-colored lumps. Children and teenagers often cough out cream-colored matters which are actually Tonsil Stones. These can be as small as a large sand grain and as big as a pea.
Where are Tonsil Stones Located?
Picture 2 – Tonsil Stones Image
Source – ca-medicalnews
Tonsil Stones are usually found in the clefts, also known as “Tonsillar Crypts” of the throat. You can usually find Tonsil Stones in back of throat.
What are Tonsil Stones made of?
Tonsil Stones are actually chalky deposits made up of Calcium Carbonate. This makes them white in appearance.
Tonsil Stones Symptoms
Some of the major symptoms of Tonsil Stones are :
Picture 3 – Tonsil Stones
Source – zimbio
In Tonsil Stones milky white or yellowish white lumps are the most common things you can see. These are visible at the back of the throat when the patient opens the mouth.
If you have Tonsil Stones neck pain is one of the most common symptoms that you will come across. Even in the absence of pain, sufferers experience a discomforting sensation in the throat. This is due to an irritation caused by the rubbing of the stones with the throat.
Patients with Tonsil Stones have great trouble in swallowing foods and liquids. The presence of the lumps makes swallowing very painful in sufferers.
Tonsil Stones on throat almost always give rise to swelling. The inflammation is mainly visible in the back of the throat.
An irritation of the throat due to Tonsil Stones causes people to cough sporadically.
Tonsil Stones cause sore throat in most sufferers. In patients with Tonsil Stones sore throat is very common. Soreness in the throat mainly arises due to intermittent coughing by the sufferers.
Constant coughing due to Tonsil Stones and sore throat can cause fatigue in most sufferers. For patients of Tonsil Stones fatigue is not abnormal.
Halitosis (Bad Breath)
In people with Tonsil Stones bad breath is a common condition. There is always a foul breath emanating from the mouth of such people. This occurs due to the growth of anaerobic bacteria. These bacteria produce sulphur compounds which are the cause of the bad breath.
Tonsil Stone sufferers also experience an unpleasant metallic taste in their mouth.
Pain in the Ear
If you are having Tonsil Stones ear pain can be a cause for your discomfort. In Tonsil Stones earache is another notable symptom.
What causes Tonsil Stones?
Tonsil Stones can arise due to a number of factors. Know about some of the main Tonsil Stones causes.
Tonsil Stones have been found to result from Tonsillitis or an inflammation of the tonsils. In such cases of Tonsil Stones bacterial infection is seen to give rise to a swelling in the throat. Repeated cases of Tonsillitis can lead to the development of Tonsil Stones.
Smoking without using a filter can be very harmful for the tonsils and lead to Tonsil stone formation. Tonsil Stones from smoking are very common in the US. As aforesaid, Tonsillitis is one of the prime causes of Tonsil Stones and smoking often results in Tonsillitis.
If bacteria get trapped in the tonsil clefts and become calcified, Tonsil Stones can be formed. You will rarely find huge Tonsil Stones. Large Tonsil Stones are very rare. Small, white tonsil stones are more common.
Tonsil Stone Diagnosis
A naked eye observation is usually enough for diagnosis of Tonsil Stones. The condition is usually detected when the person undergoes an X-Ray, CT (Computed Tomography) or any similar medical examination to diagnose some other disease.
Tonsil Stone Prevention
Tonsil Stone formation can be prevented by following a good dental hygiene. Brush your teeth and clean your tongue regularly. Nasal irrigation is very useful in avoiding an outbreak of this disorder. Gargling with salt water on a regular basis helps to loosen calcium deposits from the tonsil cavity. Decreasing smoking and alcohol will reduce acid formation in the mouth and lower chances of Tonsil Stone formation. Patients with recurrent cases of Tonsil stones can prevent formation of stones again with the help of a Tonsillectomy operation.
Tonsil Stones Treatment and Removal
In many cases there is no requirement of any cure for Tonsil Stones. The stones clear away without any effort. But if the stones are too large or the patient suffers much pain and discomfort, it becomes necessary to cure Tonsil Stone.
How to Treat Tonsil Stones with Medications?
For an oral treatment of Tonsil Stones medication generally involves antibiotics. In patients with Tonsil Stones antibiotics can bring about fast relief. However, they cannot treat the underlying cause of the calculus formation in the throat. Antibiotic treatment for 3-4 weeks can also give rise to certain discomforting side effects in the sufferer.
How to Remove Tonsil Stones that have Become Infected?
Picture 4 – Removal of Tonsil Stones
Source – tobeinformed
If the stone has become infected or grown too large, the doctor has to carry out Tonsil Stones operation. This is done only when oral medicines and other remedies are found as ineffective.
How to Get Rid of Tonsil Stones that Keep Recurring?
If Tonsil Stones keep coming back, Tonsil Stone removal may require removing the tonsils. Complete removal of the tonsils is done with the help of Tonsillectomy. This operation removes the tonsil tissues which eliminates chances of tonsil stone formation in the throat. An individual is completely cured of Tonsil Stones post Tonsillectomy. Tonsil Stones removal becomes permanent after this operation.
How to cure Tonsil Stones at Home?
There are several home remedies for Tonsil Stones home treatment :
A cotton swab is used by many patients to remove Tonsil Stones from the crevasses of the throat. This helps in naturally removing Tonsil Stones.
Put salt-water solution into your mouth and use a clean tooth pick to dislodge the stones. With a little bit of effort, the stones will come away. Take care that you do not swallow the. Rather, spit them out. This is known as a very effective home remedy for Tonsil Stones.
You can also carry out a Tonsil Stones extraction with the help of your fingers. Pull the stones and they will come off. The process helps in a fast Tonsil Stones cure. If this causes pain, you should better try out a professional medical treatment.
Pictures of Tonsil Stones
Want to know how Tonsil Stones look like? Here are some Tonsil Stone pictures to satisfy your curiosity. Check out these Tonsil Stones photos. These Tonsil Stones images will help you know about the appearance of this condition.
Picture 5 – Tonsil Stone
Source – tonsilstonespictures
Picture 6 – Tonsil Stones Photo
Source – zimbio
Tonsil Stones are not a harmful condition, even though it may give rise to discomforting and painful symptoms. If home remedies do not help in treating the condition, it is advisable that you seek proper medical cure. A fast and effective treatment by expert medical professionals would get you cured in no time and you will enjoy life in the best of health.
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Written by anirudh
on January 12th, 2011. The article was last updated on September 3rd, 2011