Tonsil Stones or Tonsilloliths are hard yellowish deposits that build up inside the Tonsils.
Tonsils are the paired round red balls at the back of the throat, on each side, whose primary responsibility is to act as the body's first line of defense and trap Bacteria, Viruses etc., that come through the oral cavity and initiate an immune response against them after recognizing them.
To improve the tonsil's efficiency in order to trap more Foreign agents the Tonsils increase their surface area by building Crypts and Furrows that lead deep into the gland. Food particles and other debris sometimes accumulate in these pits. This then gets secondarily infected because it contains organic material.
This inspissated debris lying inside the tonsil is a Tonsil Stone.
- The appearance of yellowish particles inside the throat
- Foul Smell
- Pain - sometimes - in the presence of an infection
First of all, it must be understood that Tonsil stones are harmless and rarely cause any serious problem.
- Maintain Good Oro-Dental Hygiene - the bacteria that attack the teeth are the same ones that can cause infection in the tonsilloliths leading to the bad smell. So taking good care of your teeth and gums is important
- Vigorous Gargling - Gargling with warm saline can dislodge the stones
- Manual Removal- Though not generally recommended, in the presence of a persistent stone that is causing a foul smell as well as its unsightly appearance, one may use a bud or a soft tip to dislodge the stone from the tonsil. Be careful not to injure yourself though and if you fail do not make repeated attempts in order not to damage your Throat.
- Tonsil Reshaping - Sometimes, under local anesthesia, the Tonsil Surface can be reshaped using a Coblation wand.
- Tonsil removal - Though not usually recommended, the only sure way of getting rid of recurrent or persistent Tonsilloliths may be by way of a Tonsillectomy Surgery when the Tonsils are removed under General Anaesthesia.