What to know

What Are Tonsil Stones?

Sometimes you wake up feeling that there’s something stuck in the back of your throat, it could be a case of tonsil stones.

You may have seen those disgusting videos (that some find satisfying to watch) on YouTube, where people reach thongs or other devices deep into their throats and pull out white or yellow goo. Yeah, well those are tonsil stones.

Also known as tonsolloliths, tonsil stones are made up of accumulation of bacteria, dead cells and other waste that forms in the tonsillar crypts, small openings in the tonsils.

A sign that you might have could be slight pain when swallowing, or even bad breath. Sometimes even a stench. However, they are relatively harmless, unless they develop an infection or grow freakishly large. However, in most cases they don’t form any symptoms at all and people live without ever knowing they have them.

Although everyone is prone to them, tonsil stones usually form inside the throats of people who have poor oral hygiene, or suffer from chronic infection of the throat or tonsils.

While many cases don’t need treatment, there are several ways to remove or ease the discomfort caused by tonsolloliths.

Some people prefer to remove them at home, using swabs or picks, while others have them surgically removed. The surgery is slightly invasive and requires only local anesthesia.

If you think that you have tonsil stones and wish to have them removed, the safest and most guaranteed method is to visit your ENT doctor. Don’t ever try to do minor surgery at home by yourself.

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