Tonsil stones are white or yellowish clumps of bacteria that become lodged in the back of the mouth. Few people – even doctors – realize what they actually are, so if you have them or are not sure what they might be, you’re not alone. Health reports estimate around 6 percent of the U.S. population suffers from these bacteria buildups, a culprit of long-lasting bad breath, throat soreness and daily annoyance.
There are home remedies as well as dentist removal services available, put before you try to dislodge the tonsil stones, it’s helpful to know the following things:
What are the causes?
Also termed tonsilloliths, tonsil stones are typically caused by an accumulation of sulfur-producing bacteria and food debris, which can include mucus from post-nasal drip. The debris putrefies in the back of the throat, getting trapped in the tonsil crypts (small pockets that appear on the surface of the tonsils).
What are the symptoms?
The most common symptoms of tonsilloliths are bad breath and a sore throat. Since the lumps are made up of odor-filled bacteria, they tend to produce incessant halitosis. While smaller tonsil stones may not trigger obvious symptoms, larger ones may provoke tonsil swelling, difficulty swallowing and a “foreign body” sensation in the back of the throat. Be on the lookout for metallic taste, throat closing and coughing fits. They can irritate the throat and prompt pain that accompanies swallowing. (more…)