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Doctor insights on: Tonsil Stones

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Dr. Oscar Novick
290 Doctors shared insights

Tonsil Stones (Overview)

Tonsil stones are white or yellow globs of foul-smelling mucus and bacteria that collect in the tonsils near the back of the throat. Tonsil stones are not dangerous, but do cause bad breath.


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How are tonsil stones removed?

How are tonsil stones removed?

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

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Dr. Oscar Novick
290 Doctors shared insights

Tonsil Stones (Overview)

Tonsil stones are white or yellow globs of foul-smelling mucus and bacteria that collect in the tonsils near the back of the throat. Tonsil stones are not dangerous, but do cause bad breath.


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Are tonsil stones a symptom of hiv?

Are tonsil stones a symptom of hiv?

No: They are simply debris that gets trapped in tonsil crypts. ...Read more

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What are the obvious symptoms of having tonsil stones?

What are the obvious symptoms of having tonsil stones?

Bad breath and crud: The major symptoms of tonsil stones are bad breath and crud that comes out of your tonsils. These stones can be very uncomfortable to patients. The only sure cure is to take your tonsils out. ...Read more

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If you have tonsil stones, can you still speak?

Tonsil Stones: Tonsil stones, calculi (tonsilloliths) are clusters of small calcified debris, made up of dead cells, food material, bacteria and mucus that become trapped in the nook and crannies of the tonsils. They do not affect the vocal cords, so you should be able to speak normally with tonsilloliths. ...Read more

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What can cause tonsil stones?

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

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I have been having white smelly stone looking things coming out from my tonsils. Could this mean I have tonsil stones?

Yes: These can usually be extruded with the blunt end of a tooth brush or with a tongue depresor. A water pik may be useful. ...Read more

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Does azithromycin treat tonsil stones?

Easy to manage: A mirror, a water pick, a penlight, and steady hands are all you need to manage tonsil stones. If you try to use a half-unbent paper clip instead, don't hurt yourself. An ENT physician can laser the tonsils and help prevent stones. They are actually masses of keratin and can be uncomfortable and smelly, but they pose zero danger. An antibiotic isn't indicated. ...Read more

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Should I get a tonsillectomy to treat tonsilloliths (tonsil stones)?

Probably not: This problem usually doesn't bother people enough to go through a painful procedure. Occassional oral antibiotics can get the problem to settle down. If severe, I have been known to remove the tonsils, but likely do less than one tonsillectomy per year for this indication. ...Read more

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I had been treated for strep throat 4wks ago but still have pain and headaches and have coughed up bloody mucus and noticed tonsil stones. HELP?

I had been treated for strep throat 4wks ago but still have pain and headaches and have coughed up bloody mucus and noticed tonsil stones. HELP?

Strep: You may have a sinus problem that is causing bloody mucus, headaches and formation of tonsillar stones. Consult your doctor or an ear nose and throat specialist for help ...Read more

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What is the best treatment for tonsil stones?

Water pick: One of these, plus a mirror, a penlight, and good coordination is your best option. ...Read more

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What herbs cure tonsil stones?

What herbs cure tonsil stones?

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

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What is the most effective way to get rid of tonsil stones other than getting my tonsils removed?

What is the most effective way to get rid of tonsil stones other than getting my tonsils removed?

Rid of Tonsil Stones: I do not recommend physically dislodging tonsil stones.
Warm salt water gargles or hydrogen peroxide gargles can be beneficial in removing tonsil stones.

Tonsillectomy remains the most effective way to prevent tonsilloliths and definitively treat patients with chronic bad breath (halitosis), chronic tonsillitis, persistent tonsillar swelling and chronic sore throat as a result of tonsil stones. ...Read more

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My daughter gets tonsil stones and pulls them out on own. Is this safe and what medical complications can happen with tonsils stone & pull them out?

OK: This is generally safe if careful not to injure the tonsils. These are highly vascular organs and can bleed or become infected if punctured in a non-sterile manner. Otherwise nothing wrong with this. ...Read more

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Are tonsil stones dangerous? Is there any health risk associated with tonsil stones?

Are tonsil stones dangerous? Is there any health risk associated with tonsil stones?

Not really: They commonly cause bad breath, and can reflect chronic tonsillitis. Removal of the tonsils will solve the problem, but isn't warranted unless the problems are severe. They can be removed manually, but they almost always recur. ...Read more

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Do I need to get my tonsils removed to prevent tonsil stones from forming?

Do I need to get my tonsils removed to prevent tonsil stones from forming?

Technically....: Yes. However, that seems quite severe- your question implies either you have had tonsil stones that have been somehow removed, or you are concerned about having them form without initially having them. Discuss it thoroughly with your pcp or surgeon, to weigh the benefits vs the risks. ...Read more

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What are tonsil stones?

Tonsilliths: They are bacterial colonies that form in tonsillar crypts. A common bacteria is actinomyces. It can give you a foreign body sensation in throat and halitosis. ...Read more

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Are tonsil stones serious?

Are tonsil stones serious?

Tonsil stones: The tonsils have multiple holes that can can get filled with bacteria, mucus and food debris. Overtime the debris can harden and form the so called tonsil stones. They are not serious but they can cause throat discomfort and bad breath. ...Read more

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Why do I get tonsil stones?

Tonsil stones: Tonsils have superficial cavities which fill up with epithelial debris, secretions and possibly small bits of food ...Read more

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Are tonsil stones dangerous?

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

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