Those disgusting-looking white masses that some people get in their tonsils resembled teeth growing in the back of your throat. But what exactly are they?
Tonsil stones are more formally known as tonsilloliths. They often occur in people who frequently get tonsillitis. But you might also get them if you have above-average sized tonsils with a lot of nooks and crannies. You might even have one right now. Tonsil stones form in those nooks and crannies, called tonsillar. Crypts these little caves can sometimes be so deep that food or mucus may get lodged and stuck inside. Over time, those bits of debris calcified and hardened into pale yellow growths. They’ve been described as having the odour of sulphur and bad breath which is because bacteria love to feed on the accumulated debris. They can be microscopic to a few centimetres in diameter but are usually no bigger than a pencil eraser. Although some doctors have reported patients with tonsil stones more than an inch wide.
If you can’t always see a tonsil stone how do you know if you have one? Side effects of these gross globs include sore throat, ear pain and the feeling of something in your throat that you’re unable to swallow. Bad breath is of course another major side effect.
How Common Are Tonsil Stones?
It’s hard to be sure but one french study in the journal de radiology gave 515 people CT scans and found that 6 percent of them showed evidence of calcified matter in their nasal pharyngeal cavities.
Meanwhile Canadian dentist Dr. Laleh Rahmani says one of the questions he gets asked most frequently is “what are these things growing on my tonsils?”
so he suspects that a lot of people in Canada suffer from tonsil stones. Dr. Rahmani also thinks that they’re becoming more common with time. But why? It has to do with tonsil removal. As fewer people get their tonsils removed it becomes more likely that tonsil stones will move in.
How can you prevent getting tonsil stones?
Generally, it’s recommended to practice good oral hygiene and make sure you’re cleaning the back of your tongue when you brush your teeth.
What Do You Do If You Get Tonsil Stones?
They usually take care of themselves and fall out of your tonsils. But if they’re stubborn you can remove them yourself with a cotton swab. Another remedy is to gargle with a non-alcohol-based mouthwash and use a Water Pik to blast the stones out.
And if none of those work and you find yourself plagued by tonsil
stones you may want to consider having your tonsils removed altogether.
But do your research and consider your options before jumping to the surgery conclusion as tonsil removal can result in complications and excess bleeding. Not to mention that many doctors nowadays are hesitant to perform the surgery as the purpose of tonsils has become better understood. Your tonsils make white blood cells and antibodies that fight off infections. which means that they’re one of the first lines of defence in the immune system. and that’s super important especially for children. That’s not to say that getting your tonsils removed will make your immune system less efficient. It just means that you’ll need a really good reason to get them taken out. And constant tonsil stones seem like a pretty good reason.
How Herpes Is Diagnosed?
Herpes can usually be diagnosed based on how the skin or mucous membrane lesions look and can be confirmed with tests looking for viral DNA, like a polymerase chain reaction, an antibody response to the virus, or by growing the virus with viral culture. Although infections typically resolve without treatment within a couple of weeks, there are antiviral drugs like acyclovir, famciclovir, and valacyclovir that can be used topically or systemically to reduce pain and speed up healing. For recurring episodes, these treatments usually work best if taken when the prodrome starts; in other words, before the blisters develop, and high-dose intravenous antivirals may be given in more severe, or life-threatening situations.
How to Cure Tonsil Stones
There are a few studies out there that describe different techniques to
get rid of tonsil stones without removing the tonsils.
The first one We’ll talk about is a laser technique that is used to vaporize the top of the tonsils and effectively flatten out those pits, so you just have a smooth tonsil afterwards in terms of laser tone there are two papers we want to talk about.
The first is a Brazilian paper from 2006 where they looked at 38 patients and measured how bad their breath was before the operation than after limited laser ablation to the tonsil crypt. The bad breath machine or halometer found that using this technique reduced your bad breath by approximately 30 percent.
The second paper is a much larger paper of 500 cases in new york now unfortunately the authors weren’t particularly clear about their outcomes, but it seems that 20 people needed a second laser operation or complete removal of the tonsils, but overall there was a high patient satisfaction rate for a procedure that didn’t require a general anesthetic now using a slightly different method radiofrequency ablation has also been used on the tonsils to try and remove tonsil stones or cure them.
It seems to depend on your definition of what a successful outcome is radiofrequency ablation has about a 75 to 90 percent chance of improving your symptoms they didn’t use a heliometer, or that bad breath machine to work out how bad your breath was instead they use a much more gross technique which is called the Finkelstein technique. This is when you use a gloved finger press on the tonsil and then sniff your finger afterwards. It does seem that radiofrequency ablation does work for this but if it does why not use something like silver nitrate sticks or something even milder to try and ablate these fishes and avoid these tonsil stones from re-growing again.
We guess we won’t know until someone does a study about it. The last option is to remove the tonsils in their entirety if you’ve got no tonsils you can’t have tonsil stones. We looked at the literature for this, and there is a systematic review on the subject, and it seems if you compare a tonsillectomy or complete removal of tonsils to all the partial removal of the tonsils such as laser or razor frequency ablation initially of course there are worse problems in terms of complications and risks with complete removal of the tonsil but if you look at these patients one year later only three percent of them had ongoing problems with their throat whereas if you compare that to those patients who had a partial tonsil operation such as laser or radiofrequency ablation you find that they have an almost 30 chance of having ongoing problems with their tonsils.