Thursday, July 10, 2008

How do I get rid of them?

Removing a tonsil stone has become somewhat of an art if you follow some of the medical message boards. So here is a list of techniques that I have come across:

  • Cue tips
  • Eraser end of a pencil
  • Pens
  • Unfolded Bobby Pin...(ouch)
  • Gargling with salt water
  • Gargling with Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Water Picks
  • Mouth wash
  • Hacking (like clearing your throat) them out
  • Tooth Picks
Of these, the only successful one I used was gargling with Hydrogen Peroxide.  I used cue tips, but this just caused me to gag.  Gargling had the best effect and is the only method that I would recommend.

Removing a tonsil stone can be frustrating, but its usually not ever impossible.  However and unfortunately, getting them to never come back isn't so easy.   As long as your tonsils have these cavities or crypts, tonsil stones have the potential of reoccurring.

For the six months that I had tonsil stones, I didn't really know what they were.  I thought they were coming from food so I tried to adjust my diet hoping that would cause them to go away.  It wasn't until I was having more than one per day that I really researched and found out that there little to no correlation between diet and tonsil stones, although many of the things I read claimed that there was.  Basically, my tonsils were doing their job, but instead of flushing out the bacteria they were killing, it was getting trapped in "crypts" and forming these pea/corn  to sesame seed size clumps.  Disgusting to say the least.  Once I found this out, and that no matter how much I brushed my teeth, my tonsils could still cause halitosis, I knew I just wanted my tonsils out, which is the only guaranteed fix.  

So I went to an ENT and I told him what I was experiencing.  He looked at my tonsils, and I told him to notice the two divots where I had just recently popped out two stones.  And that was it.  He diagnosed me with "Chronic Tonsillitis" and I was scheduled for surgery within two weeks.

What are Tonsil Stones?

A tonsillolith (also called tonsil stone or calculus of the tonsil) is a piece (or more commonly, a cluster) of calcareous matter which forms in the rear of the mouth, in the crevasses (called tonsillar crypts) of the palatine tonsils (which are what most people commonly refer to as simply tonsils).

Basically, they are small white clumps or chunks that feel like a foreign object in your throat.  They feel like a piece of food back there.   When they are removed they may leave a hole or a dimple where they were formerly lodged.

Tonsil stones, it is theorized, are the result of a combination of any of the following:[1]

-dead white blood cells

-oral bacteria

-overactive salivary glands

Protruding tonsilloliths have the feel of a foreign object, lodged between the outside of wisdom teeth and the temporomandibular joint region of the fleshed jaw. They may be an especially uncomfortable nuisance, but are not often harmful.

They also are known as a cause of bad breath (halitosis).


More on Tonsil Stones...