Tonsil Stones: Causes, Symptoms, Removal

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They usually form where tissue becomes trapped in tiny pockets between teeth or the roof of the mouth and sometimes the chin, according to WebMD. People experiencing tonsil stones often complain their throat is dry and producing less saliva and sometimes voice changes can occur as well. This article provides a backgrounder on tonsil stones, symptoms, and removal methods.

All about Tonsil Stones

Tonsil stones are usually caused by accumulation of food, saliva, tobacco and other debris in the tonsils. When these substances dry out, they form crystals that can become large and cause pain and infection. The stones may also block the flow of saliva and pus, leading to chronic infections.

The symptoms of tonsil stones vary from person to person, but generally include a sore throat, difficulty breathing and coughing. In some cases, the stones may also cause fever or swelling in the neck area.

If you think you have tonsil stones, it is important to visit your doctor for an examination. The doctor can remove the stones using a procedure called endoscopy. Other treatments such as antibiotics or surgery may be recommended in more severe cases.

Causes of Tonsil Stones

Mouthwash is the most common cause of tonsil stones. Hard and calcified pieces of food can collect along the back of the throat, near the tonsils. The food can be anything from dried up breakfast cereal to bits of chewed-up gum. The chunks of food can sneak into the throat by way of the nose or mouth and get stuck in between the tonsils.
The pH balance in your mouth can also contribute to tonsil stones. When stomach acid hits the hard food, it starts to break it down into smaller pieces. This process creates an acid called hydrofluoric acid, which is highly corrosive. Over time, this acid can eat away at your tonsil stones, which can then become visible on a physical exam.
To avoid getting tonsil stones, make sure you avoid eating fast foods and junk foods that are high in sugar and carbohydrates. Force yourself to chew each bite well and drink plenty of water to keep your stomach pH level balanced. If you do develop tonsil stones, see a doctor who will be able to remove them using an electric stone or a manual suction device.

Symptoms of a Stone

If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, it may be time to see your doctor:

-Swollen tonsils
-Sniffles
-Fever
-Coughing nonstop
-Red throat and mouth

Most likely, if you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you have a stone in your tonsil. A tonsil stone is simply a piece of material that has become embedded in your tonsil. This material can be anything from a particle of food to a small piece of bacteria.

The most common cause of a tonsil stone is swallowing something that has been lodged in your throat. Occasionally, stones can form when bacteria collects and hardens in the narrow spaces between the tonsils and gum tissue.

If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, it may be time to see your doctor:

-Swollen tonsils
-Sniffles
-Fever
-Coughing nonstop
-Red throat and mouth

Removal Methods

If you have tonsil stones, it is important to know the different removal methods. There are a few ways to remove tonsil stones: by surgery, with a medication, or with a laser. Surgery is the most common way to remove tonsil stones.

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