Occasionally I will have these.. chunks that get stuck in my throat, and after some work i can cough them up. They are usually white and smell awful! Like.. rotten? So I was wondering what it was? I initially thought it was food that just got stuck but the chunks are kinda .. mushy feeling? I'm not sure.. anyways I was also wondering how to reduce this. I chew my food very thoroughly so I'm not quite sure..
They are called tonsiloliths, or tonsil stones. They are bacteria and rotting matter that collect in the "crypts" (small pockets) in your tonsils. They are not harmful, but do cause bad breath and sometimes sore throat. Some people use cotton swabs (q-tips) or other instruments to manually extract them, sime people simply gargle a lot - but I don't think there is any real "cure" for them except a tonsillectomy.
I concur with what Jillolina states. My ENT says the only cure was a tonsillectomy. However some people can manage it with gargling with listerine for 3-5 times a day. Tonsilt stones also lead to increased chances for infections of the throat... i.e. tonsillitus, bronchitus, strep.
If gargling doesn't work for you, get it checked out by an ENT near you and see what is recommended.
I am still a bit confused on these "tonsil stones." Mine get lodged in my throat and I can feel in where they dislodged from afterwards. Do your tonsils go that far down your throat. When I look in the back of my throat, I don't see any pockets or places this could form. I rarely get sore throats, but have started getting these mushy stones for over a year. It is also increasing in size.
On a side note, lately I have been eating lots of Edamame. At first I thought it was that lodged in my throat that had gone bad...gross...but glad to know I am not the only one with occasionally putrid breath.
any remedies to prevent the formation of tonsil liths or to get rid of them once they start irritating the throat as if a lump of food cannot be swallen?
does their occurence frequency and size as well as bad breath have any relation with the type of food in the diet or the dental hygiene??
thanks a lot.
I recently noticed these tonsil stones myself. I went to an ENT doctor after having reoccuring strep and throat infections my whole life. I didn't think much of them until I started reading more about them and attempted to remove one myself. I DO NOT recommend it. I worked for about an hour on one stone doing some coughing/gargling/coughing/qtip routine. I got a large chunk out and WOW it smelt out of this world horrible. I mean HORRIBLE. I've smelt some really awful things in my life and this was insanely bad. I didn't take anyone seriously when they said how horrible the smell was--but now I understand. And it has made me regret probbing-- I'm left with an irritated/red throat and am much more aware of the presence of whats left in my throat (and much more grossed out by the bacteria build up). Now I hope I did not risk infection (even though I dipped the qtip in alcohol before beginning). Best advice--gargle with warm salt water frequently and resist the urge to poke around. (I'm getting my tonsils out soon, so you'll probably be hearing me complain/ask questions soon!) Good luck my fellow tonsil stone sufferers.
Tonsil stones are common in enlarged or engorged tonsil sufferers.. cure?
Treatment the main stream recommendation is gargling with listerine and salt water many times a day. Some strongly recommend personal water pik bombardment. I tried the gargling, but had to have the tonsillectomy anyway.
Link to food consumptions and dental hygiene?
Well brushing your teeth and flossing have no impact on tonsil stones.. for your general dental health they are a must. Food consumption.. well all people of all ethnicities and all around the world get tonsil stones. Diet should not be a factor.
Tonsil stones are the result of food getting trapped in tonsil pockets and then becoming coated in layer after layer of rancid mucus until they eventually get large enough to fall out or hack off.
So my advice.. if the gargling doesn't work, a tonsillectomy is the final recourse.