I didn't know exactly which board this belongs on, but for the last 2 weeks, I have coughed up a small white chunk twice and I have no idea what it is. Once in a while I get a feeling like something is in my throat. I'm completely clueless as to what it is or what it could be a symptom of, any ideas? Thanks all.
You probably have a condition called cryptic tonsils. What that means is, your tonsils have deep groves and pits in them that debris get stuck in. It forms into like a soft, usually foul smelling, white plaque ball. This debris will dislodge and come out sometimes when you cough. If you have alot of trouble because of this condition, such as alot of sore throats or throat infections,they'll sometimes take your tonsils out. If it doesn't bother you, then just leave it alone. Eventually, as you get older, it starts to go away. You don't need your tonsils as much and they start to shrink.
Opps forgot to say what the white things are actually called tonsiliths
[This message has been edited by Carreen (edited 12-22-2001).]
Or it could possibly by from your lungs...do you smoke? Sometimes if I get a mild case of bronchitis, a loose cough, I will cough up like rubber white balls. How gross! If I get a true infection, I cough of what seems to bee little green pieces of cardboard. Then I know its time for antibiotics.
I too periodically get them - not very nice smelling!
In my research I have found that they are often caused by post nasal drip (they are actually muscous that has been trapped by the tonsils and that has subsequently rotted).
My own experience has bourn this out - production is much greater during allergy season.
If you examine your tonsils in a mirror you may actually be able to see white dot(s). The tonsiliths are hard and as they get larger I can actually feel them. Probably not what a doctor would recommend, but I can actually scoop them out (improves breath).
I've always had these things in the back of my throat, too, and i proceeded to find out what they were. Most people have them, or they just dont know it yet. This is something that i read off of tonsilstones.com, hope it helps, cause it helped me!: They are irregularly shaped, whitish/yellow, foul-smelling globs of mucous and bacteria that get caught in the tonsils. They form in the "tonsil crypts" which are simply small pockets or divots that appear in everyones tonsils. The scientific term for them is "tonsilloliths"...but they are more commonly called "tonsil stones". Many people have reported that their dentists have told them this is food debris, but this is NOT TRUE. Tonsil Stones don't do any physical harm, and sporadically coughing them up doesn't mean that there is anything wrong with you. However they can be annoying.(who wants to cough one up when they are kissing someone!), and sometimes they are an indication that you have bad breath. If you have ever broken open one of those white tonsilloliths, then you know that they smell absolutely terrible! What you are smelling is actually a combination of volatile sulfur compounds(Methyl Mercaptan and Hydrogen Sulfide), post nasal drip, and bacteria (no wonder it smells so bad!)
I have read and found that gargling with a strong mouth wash, such as Listerine, has helped to prevent them. When i have a cold, a stuffy nose or a post nasal drip, i tend to get them more often. So, during this time you should probably gargle more often. Otherwise, they are just a harmless bunch of little smelly annoyances that everyone has to get used to. hope this helped, bye!
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