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A 24-year-old female asked:

I get reoccurring tonsil stones only on the left. approx every 3 weeks. it causes throat pain and discomfort until it's dislodged with a cotton bud. should i be removing them? how can i prevent it.

2 doctor answers2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Yvette Kratzberg
Pediatrics 25 years experience
Tonsil stones: Your tonsils are made up of crevices, tunnels, & pits. Different types of debris, such as dead cells, mucus, saliva, and food, can get trapped in these pockets and build up. Bacteria and fungi feed on this buildup and cause a distinct odor. Over time, the debris hardens into a tonsil stone. Prevention includes drinking lots of water, gargling with salt water, good oral hygeine, no smoking.
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 26 years experience
tonsilloliths,: It's ok to remove the tonsil stones with a qtip. Gargle regularly with warm salt water. If really bothersome consult with an ENT doctor about procedures like tonsillectomy or cryptolysis. T
Last updated Jun 8, 2020

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