We are all familiar with gallstones and kidney stones but did you know that tonsil stones also exist? Yep. Tonsil stones are for real – and these might actually be the cause of chronic, really bad breath!
Medically termed as ‘tonsilloliths’, tonsil stones are hard formations located on or inside your tonsils.
Just like gallstones and kidney stones, people who have tonsil stones rarely know they have this condition unless the problem has actually persisted for some time or they have been thoroughly checked by a doctor.
But while gallstones and kidney stones are often diagnosed using imaging techniques like x-rays and ultrasound, diagnosis for tonsil stones will have to rely on visual check-up as well as knowing the symptoms presented by the patient.
In most cases, tonsil stones are so small that they remain undetected. They can be as small as a grain of rice but could come in large sizes that could be as big as a grape!
Thankfully, tonsil stones are mostly harmless and won’t cause major health complications; however, they do have the unpleasant side effect of causing really bad breath. Sometimes, if the stones are big enough, they could cause the tonsils to swell.
What Causes Tonsil Stones?
Although they look smooth enough, the tonsils actually have lots of nooks and crevices where food debris, saliva, and mucus could accumulate. Fungi and bacteria love this build-up of degree; thus, growth of these microorganisms is promoted in the area, leading to a foul smell.
The main reason for tonsil stones is poor dental hygiene but the problem could also be caused by chronic sinus issues and chronic tonsillitis.
How to Get Rid of Tonsil Stones?
If you can spot these tonsil stones, you could take them out using cotton buds/swabs but if painful or the stones are too difficult to remove, it’s best to consult a dentist or EENT doctor to have these removed.
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