Doctor insights on:
Constant Tonsil Stones
Could constant tonsil stones cause a general sick feeling (achy, headache, flu like symptoms) and chronic cough?
I'm 16 and constantly getting large tonsil stones. Every time I remove them my crypts seem to get larger. What should I do beside removing tonsils?
Not much: If you have a bad taste in the mouth and a bad odor to your breath, tonsillectomy will cure the problem. I do not think you can do anything to make the crypts of the tonsils smaller. This problem is certainly an indication for tonsillectomy. Consult an ENT surgeon for an opinion. ...Read more
Had tonsils removed this year in may, b/c constantly getting sick. Had tonsil stones and pharyngitis. Still I am getting sick. What is the problem?
Simple: You got the trap/filter (tonsil) removed.......but the other factors which are responsible for recurrent respiratory infection remained intact.....need to modify them. ...Read more
Severely swollen tonsils and lymph nodes In neck, tonsil stones, constant cough, pain, red bumps in back of throat; been going on for 6-7 months?
Tonsillitis: If this is going on for 7 months, you have chronic tonsillitis. Your glands in the neck are trying to fight the infection. Please see ENT, likely you may benefit from tonsillectomy. You may also have a Post nasal discharge and allergies which may be adding to the throat irritation and cough. Please get it evaluated. ...Read more
Can singulair help my post nasal drip & tonsil stones? I take Claritin and and still have constant drainage.
Can tonsil stones cause a dirt-type taste in the back of your throat more so when swallowing for 1+ years constantly? (just about every day)
I get hoarse voice and need to clear my voice constantly. This has been bothering me for years (also mucus in the throat, tonsil stones. Treatment?
Depends on cause: Chronic vocal cord irritation can be caused from mucus dripping down from above (allergies, sinus issues: treated with nasal steroid, avoidance of allergens), from stomach acid coming up from below (reflux: treated with antacid i.e. ranitidine), or from the vocal cord itself which may have a nodule or polyp (Only an otolaryngologist can investigate and treat this cause with a minor procedure). ...Read more
No: They're masses of keratin -- there's a propagated error on the internet giving a different composition. Get a penlight and a mirror and half-unbend a paper clip. You'll get good at it. Water pick is even better. If it's truly a nuisance, a otolaryngologist can laser-resurface your tonsils. ...Read more
Eating: Tonsil stones (i.e. Tonsilliths) are collections of food and debris which get trapped in the tonsils. This material gets infected usually becomes foul smelling. Some tonsils have more nooks and crannies in which to collect this debris, which makes the stones larger and/or more numerous. If removed, tonsilliths usually will recur. If severe, tonsillectomy will cure the problem. Best wishes. ...Read more
Take them out: If you don't have a water pick, get a penlight and a mirror and half-unbend a paper clip. You'll get good at it. Injury / infection risk is minor. If it's truly a nuisance, a otolaryngologist can laser-resurface your tonsils. ...Read more
Various ways: I have known patients who were bothered by their "tonsil stones" who used a tooth-pick to clean out the tonsil stones; others reported that they used a "water pik" with great success. Try also daily gargling with salt water (saline) containing manuka honey - "nature's antibiotic". ...Read more
None really: It is not a medical problem, more of a physical one. Medications, herbs, mouthwashes generally don't help. If the tonsils have the deep crypts which trap food debris, tonsil stones will form. They can be removed cleaned out, but usually recur. If tonsil stones are a severe and chronic problem, tonsillectomy will cure the issues. See your local ent. Best wishes. ...Read more
ICKY STUFF: Tonsil "stones" are comprised of dead mucosal cells from the lining of the oral cavity, from microscopic food particles, and from bacteria - usually in the form of "biofilm". Based on dna sequencing studies, we found more than 100 separate species of bacteria in tonsil stones in a group of 50 children. ...Read more
Nothing: They are uncomfortable and smell bad, which can be a significant social liability. The best way to get rid of them is with a water pick, assisted by a mirror and a penlight. If you try something like a half-unbent paper clip, be careful not to hurt yourself. ...Read more
Try a Water Pik.: An oral irrigator or dental water jet device such as a Water Pik can be used to rinse out stones without traumatizing the tonsil tissues. Use it in its gentlest setting to prevent gagging. In difficult cases, see an ENT doctor. Avoid using objects such as Q-tips or your finger to manually express stones from the tonsil, as this can cause more serious pain and predispose to infection. ...Read more
Cryptic tonsils: As some people get older, their tonsils lose their smooth surface and become pitted or cryptic. The purpose of the tonsils is to sample debris (food as well as cellular debris) to help determine if is dangerous or not to the body. It then compacts the debris and gets rid of it. This happens in every person with tonsils. However, if the tonsils are cryptic, the debris is larger and noticeable. ...Read more
Often you do not need anything for tonsil stones
an easy and simple way I recommend is to use an oral irrigator. Only the irrigators that connect directly to sink tap via a threaded attachment to be used for this purpose. Most electric irrigatoer are too powerful and can cause discomfort or rupture of the tonsils
large stones need to be removed by doctor by curettage. Very large need excision. ...Read more
Gargle: Initially you can try gargling with warm salt water and/or mouth wash. If that doesn't help then try taking a long moist swab and manually remove them (like a long q-tip). If you still can't remove them then a doctor can do it for you. ...Read more
Look in the mirror: Tonsilloliths or so called stones in the tonsils are usually collections of food particles in the crypts (grooves) on the surface of the tonsil. You can see them in the mirror as small white round collections. They may represent bacterial colonies, food particles or small retention cysts. They often produce a foul odor to the breath and may be a minor indication for tonsil removal. ...Read more
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