This all sounds quite familiar. I had problems with Tonsil stones when I was younger. The last time I coughed up a piece was a couple of years ago, but I can still feel stuff at the back of my throat quite often and often when I swallow hard I can taste the stuff. I've suffered from sore throats for the last couple of years, and I've had a mild one for about a month now. DOes this sound like the same kind of thing that you guys have got?
I start to worry when I've got a sore throat as I'm a bit paranoid and keep thinking I've got something worse. However I've been to the doctor and he said it was just a virus, he did a throat swab which came out normal.
After finding this board it seems like the debris at the back of my throat (even though I can't see it) could be causing my frequent prolonged sore throats. Any advice much appreciated.
This is very enlightening. I have been having this problem for 15 years now. I've had the same reactions from doctors (having no clue) as well. The only time I got a reaction out of them was when I got tonsillitis really bad and not only did I have the little rocks in my tonsils, but they were also covered in puss. I would love to get them taken out. I'm usually on antibiotics three times a year for them and the last time, I had to double the doses to get them to get better. Plus, now I am pregnant and the disgusting taste in my mouth make morning sickness the worst. I keep trying to dig them out as soon as possible. I'm going to try the waterpik thing - it's a good idea. I usually use a dental tool.
I would love to hear from anyone else who is over 30 and has had the tonsilectomy.
Has anyone ever gotten one of them stuck in your nose or sinuses. I had a monster sized tonsil stone the other day that disappeared overnight (I never swallow them, they always end up in my mouth). Now everything tastes funny and smells funny to me and I can tell my breath really smells. I can tell something's not right. I think it's lost somewhere in my sinuses. Is this possible??? what can I do??
I'm a 19-year-old college student, and I first noticed these things about a year ago, but they only surfaced occasionally. I didn't have a problem from about March until two weeks ago, but they came back with a vengeance once I moved into my dorm, which leads me to think that they're allergy-related.
Unfortunately, I'm pretty far away from home, and Dubuque is not a bastion of medical care. Are there any OTC methods that I can utilize to reduce this problem (preferably methods that don't involve a hundred-dollar WaterPik)?
I am going for my first ENT visit on Sept. 30th b/c my tonsils are driving me crazy, too. I have the crypts as well with the nasty, white tonsil stones that I have to dig out because they stink and irritate me. However, my main question for everyone is...
Have you had problems with coughing? I experience these terrible "coughing attacks". If I eat anything dry (i.e, a cookie, cracker, hard, crusty bread) and it touches either of my tonsils, I start coughing uncontrollably to the point that I vomit. These attacks are so violent that I pop the blood vessels in my eyes! I won't even go out to eat, and if I do, I order soft food out of fear of having one of these coughing spells!
I have been to my regular doctor who said it was possibly asthma (?) and put me on all kinds of asthma meds (that didn't help), then I went to a pulmonologist who did find scar tissue in my lungs (from all the coughing?)and said it could be a mix of asthma and acid reflux, so now I'm on meds for that and it's not helping. So, finally, I have taken it upon myself to make an appt. with an ENT to get my tonsils checked out. I had strep a bunch in college, but haven't had it since. I am 28 now. I am just curious if anyone else has experienced this crazy coughing. HELP-am I a total freak?
I have just read all six pages... (whew and ew) ... and I am a fellow tonsilith sufferer as well. I've never had a problem with them before. I knew that occasionally, a ball (skittle sized at largest) of what I always thought was decayed food, would come up out of my throat. I would either spit or swallow and that was it. Unlike some of you, I didn't get really freaked out about them, I just thought they were normal, and still do.
I don't have major allergies (I'm allergic to cats, bees, and medication). I don't think I have post-nasal drip, because I breathe pretty easily. I do have moderately bad breath, but I think thats because I consume massive amounts of sugar daily and chew sugary gums. My teeth are pretty good considering. I had a lot of cavities as a kid and am now sporting 6 fillings. I did suffer from strep throat a lot when I was little, but my doctor never suggested I have my tonsils out (I think she thought the practice was archaic). Now I never get strep, and have no throat/ear/nose problems, except for the occasional stuffy nose or itchy inner ear.
So, because I'm pretty *normal* in all those respects, and don't have any problems now, I don't think the tonsoliths are a sign of infection. I tend to agree with whoever said they were caused by regular mouth bacteria gasses, dead skin cells, & calcified saliva congealing or collecting in the cavities of the mouth, the main one being your tonsils since food/brushes/your tongue have access to everywhere else.
I also somewhat agree with the food theory, because it seems to me that whenever I eat foods that break up easily (e.g. cereal), I get more of them. I think that food like that either promotes the more rapid growth of bacteria, (maybe by having little particles that hang around your mouth longer) or that the food actually gets stuck in your tonsils and breeds more bacteria.
I think that everyone gets these tonsoliths, and I bet if you asked some people they would know what you're talking about (unless they're in denial). I also think that in most cases they're normal, but if they're exceptionally large or causing you pain, you should go ahead and get your tonsils removed. You can ask your doctor, but I dont think that tonsils perform any special functions that are absolutely necessary to your body.
I don't know if it's necessary to clean them out either. Mine seem to fall out on their own. Sometimes I can feel them in my throat, but they never cause me actual discomfort. As for bad breath... I do think that if they pop out in your mouth they can give you bad breath. I always brush my tongue well whenever that happens. But I don't think removing them is detrimnental either, so long as you don't hurt yourself in the process.
I'm with you. If I eat hard crust bread, crackers, etc. -- even soft bread sometimes -- it is almost without fail that I'll feel a piece of it get lodged behind a tonsil, and sure enough I'll have a tonsil stone two or three days later. My friend and I were having lunch the other day and that happened as I was eating some sweetbread with olive oil, and I had a coughing fit that went on for ten minutes. I had to excuse myself to go to the bathroom I was coughing so much and kept gagging trying to dislodge this piece of food. Anyway, for me at least, I think it's related to small food particles getting lodged and then putrifying.
I've had these for quite a while, but never paid them much mind. There's almost always something in the air I'm allergic to.. pollen in spring, mold in winter. This stuff is very similar to what I had to wash out of the holes left while my gums healed after having my wisdom teeth removed. I always figured it was a combination of food, mucus, etc. Anyway, they haven't been much of a pain for me.
I DID want to post, however, because I figured you'd all get a laugh out of this. When I was really little, I used to cough these up, and, because of the "cauliflower" look, I thought I was coughing out bits of my brain.
Y'all aren't going to believe this!!!
I went to the ENT today to have everything checked out-the coughing, the tonsil stones, etc. Well, it turns out that my tonsils are on the large side and cryptic, but fine. She said that I could continue to irrigate and remove the stones myself, but if that became too bothersome, then it was up to me to have my tonsils out. Luckily, she is a great ENT and said that this was my decision since I don't TECHNICALLY have any infections anymore.
HOWEVER, my coughing attacks are due to my larynx. It is double the size that it should be because I have severe acid reflux! I have been on Nexium once a day, but she is doubling my meds now and completely changing my diet. This is totally insane. I thought the whole time that my tonsils were causing me to cough every time I ate. So, if any of you are experiencing this, I think I may start a new message board about it to see if others may have suggestions about foods and lifestyle changes,etc.
I'll still be visiting here, though, to see how everyone's doing with their tonsils and to see about any new "tonsil stone removing" techniques!=)
Thanks for your input and good luck to all of you having your tonsils removed-I'll be praying for your speedy recoveries!!!
Originally posted by Astf: So, because I'm pretty *normal* in all those respects, and don't have any problems now, I don't think the tonsoliths are a sign of infection.
If your tonsils are normal and you don't have any infections then your tonsils shouldn't be enlarged. When you look to the right or left of the back of your throat you should see pretty much smooth mucus membrane. If that is the case then where do your stones form? If you have no indentations or places for food particles to attach, how do they sit for weeks?
Since tonsil stones have been imaged INSIDE of and removed surgically from enlarged tonsils how could food manage to get in a sealed tonsil in the first place? While I agree particles can lodge in your throat for a short time, it is very unlikely that such food could lodge for weeks or months.
The evidence is very clear that tonsil stones come from inside a tonsil and move ******ds. They don't form on the outside and just sit there.
I too have these cryptic stones, but just within the past two weeks I have noticed "stuff" in my tonsils. Last year I moved to Indiana from California to go to school, and I got sick all the time with sore throats and sinus infections during the fall and winter. Then I was fine. I am now going to school in Hawaii and I am not getting sinus problems but I am getting an awful case of "stones." I am going to an ENT this week, and if by chance they suggest I get my tonsils out (probably not), how long could I expect for recovery. I am 22 and a singer and need to know how much time it takes to recover before I could be in "full voice," be cause I have several engagments coming up in the spring. If anyone has any experiences, or can help with insite, let me know.
Originally posted by orion: Firstly, that ENT is an idiot. To approve surgery before all other avenues are exhausted is just irresponsible. These stones are caused by infections in and around the tonsil area including ears, nose and throat. The stones are the remants of the fight between your body and the infection. Removing the tonsils won't fix the infection unless it's only in the tonsil itself. It will just displace the infection to someplace you can't see it. You can't get a cure by poking at your tonsils or using mouth wash. The problem is simply being focused inside the tonsil because that's what tonsils are for, but the source may well be outside it.
Many people have mentioned infections or mono that started the stones showing up and that is most likely the case. Most of these are long standing infections that were never dealt with properly, and have become chronic, and aren't going to go away without a fight.
Before you go having surgery or poking your tonsils full of holes it's time to get serious about the fight. Stop irritating your tonsils by touching and poking them. Depending on how serious the infection is (and it's serious if you have had it for years), you may well need several courses of different antibiotics, including septra, zithromax, possibly cephalexin. The key is to get rid of the infection. Septra can be taken for months fairly safely as can doxycycline. You need to keep hitting these infections til they are cured. A simple 7 day, there you have it, won't work because the infections have become deeply entrenched.
Everyone is so afraid of taking antibiotics these days but sometimes you have to deal with an infection properly. Antibiotics are safe for most people and the won't cause "superbugs" if taken correctly (until all the infection is gone the first time).
[This message has been edited by orion (edited 09-21-2003).]
Thanks for your input. However, I have tried different meds in the last few months to get rid of these tonsil stones................it didn't work. Antibiotics, prescribed mouth rinses, you name it.
I have had these tonsil stones since April 2003. I NEVER had them before. The odd thing is that I got them while taking a Prescribed Allergy product that you squirt into your nose. I truly believe that is what caused them to form. I went to two doctors, one literally scared me to death saying the pain is unbearable for someone 26 years old. The other doctor did not even care. He said that my insurance company thinks it would be cosmetic surgery, therefore they would not pay. It was a 3 minute office visit. He said I have to live with them. Well, sorry DOC, but I would pay out of pocket and finance it. I cannot live with these stones. I give so many of you credit for dealing with them for years. I cannot see my stones, unless I probe in my tonsil crypts. My tonsils are small. I am pregnant right now and it makes my nausea WORSE! I even throw up only from the taste that they leave in my mouth. Luckily, I am done with morning sickness, as I can try to pop them out with a Q-Tip. I am getting better at it. It hurts sometimes. I am miserable b/c of them. I ate dinner with a friend last night who had hers removed when she was 26 and she said it was painful, but it was only real bad because she could not eat the way she used to. She only needed the pain meds for a few days. Then she just dealt with the pain for two weeks. After my pregnancy, I am going to have them removed no matter what the cost. I am afraid of pain, and scared of sedation and bleeding to death, but I will ask the new doctor if anyone died in his care while removing tonsils and if he performed the surgery on other adults! I am doubtful that these things will ever go away. My stomach drops when I see how many hide inside such tiny crypts. Just when I think I cleaned my tonsils, they come right back. I do not suffer from bad breath, luckily!
[This message has been edited by cao047 (edited 10-05-2003).]
Guess what? I'm getting my tonsils out!!! Yes these babies are coming out!!!! It was so easy getting my doctor to agree do the sugery. I simply said i want them out and he said ok. He started the paper work for the sugery and a month later here we go. On 10-23 they are coming out. As I type this they are all swollen and I can fill those stones caught in my throat. I will have to hack them up or I won't sleep tonight. I also have ear pain. Is this common with u guys? I really found this healthboard helpful to me.I thought I was crazy or I had some kind of cancer,until I found out what the little balls where called. Anyway i will still continue to vist the site and see whats new.I will be back post surgery to let u know how it goes.