There are a lot of people who have never heard of tonsil stones. One of the main reasons why that is so, is because most people think of the kidney stones when they are asked about the stones in the body. However, tonsils are another place where stones can form. In some cases, these stones are quite painful.
First of all, people need to know what stones exactly are. Tonsils are gland-like structures in the back of the throat. There is one stone on each side. Not a lot of people know that tonsils are actually made of tissue that contains lymphocytes. Lymphocytes are the cells which protect the body from various infections. A lot of medical experts believe that tonsils actually help the immune system by trapping bacteria and viruses which enter the system through the throat. However, most medical experts believe that the tonsils are not doing a proper job. Certain studies confirm that people who had their tonsils taken out are less likely to suffer from various infections.
What causes tonsil stones?
There are a lot of nooks and crannies in the tonsils and they are the places where a lot of bacteria, dead mucous and cells can get trapped. In such a case, debris becomes concentrated and when it gets harder tonsil stones are formed.
Symptoms of tonsil stones
A person with small stones will most likely not notice any symptoms. Larger stones are easily discovered with an X-ray or a CT scan.
Bad breath is one of the most common symptoms of tonsil stones. Bad breath is the most common thing that goes along with a tonsil infection.
Sore throat is another symptom which occurs often. White debris is another sign of tonsil stones. In some cases, the stones are visible inside the mouth. However, in most cases, they are hidden from view.
A person who cannot swallow easily has a chance of suffering from tonsil stones. Apart from these, a person may experience ear pain and tonsil swelling as well.
Treatment of tonsil stones
The treatment will depend on the size of the stones and the potential medical harm they might cause. In many cases, there is no treatment required. Some people prefer to remove the stones themselves using picks or swabs. A person may relieve the discomfort that these stones produce by gargling salt water. The doctor may prescribe a patient with certain antibiotics in order to treat the stones.
Surgery is also an option.