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    Old 11-11-2003, 08:19 AM   #1
    Timber
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    Tonsil Stones

    Let's start a new discussion about tonsil stones.

    Tonsil stones are those white stinky "nuggets" that grow in the pockets (crypts) in your tonsils that get coughed up sometimes. They have a cheesy consistency and the medical term for tonsil stones is tonsilloliths.

    Many people can pick them out of their tonsils with a flashlight mirror and a Q-tip, paper clip or other object. Some people use Water Pics, or hydrogen peroxide to remove them.

    Some people have so many tonsil stones that they've had their tonsils removed, but there is a debate about whether this is a good idea or not. Many doctors and dentists don't even seem to know what tonsil stones are.

    Please share your experiences with tonsil stones!

    Thanks!

     
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    Old 11-11-2003, 11:23 AM   #2
    LoriGymnast
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    Thumbs down Tonsil Stones

    [SIZE=5]Tonsil Stones are soooo annoying. I'm 41 years old now and I first noticed I had them when I was 26. My left tonsil is by far the worst one, there is a big hole in that left tonsil. I believe they are constantly up there and over time some of the stones work their way out. But there is always more stuck up inside there. I've gotten somewhat use to it, I don't like it, but I don't want my tonsils removed at this point in my life. If you read the posts on tonsilectomies you'll see that most of the people are miserable and there are some real horror stories of bad things that happened to them because of the surgery. Only a few people made it through without major problems. I'd like to hear from others and see what they think. As for me, I definately am a tonsil stones sufferer, but things could be worse. Thank the Lord that is my worst physical problem. :eek:
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Timber
    Let's start a new discussion about tonsil stones.

    Tonsil stones are those white stinky "nuggets" that grow in the pockets (crypts) in your tonsils that get coughed up sometimes. They have a cheesy consistency and the medical term for tonsil stones is tonsilloliths.

    Many people can pick them out of their tonsils with a flashlight mirror and a Q-tip, paper clip or other object. Some people use Water Pics, or hydrogen peroxide to remove them.

    Some people have so many tonsil stones that they've had their tonsils removed, but there is a debate about whether this is a good idea or not. Many doctors and dentists don't even seem to know what tonsil stones are.

    Please share your experiences with tonsil stones!

    Thanks!
    [FONT=Book Antiqua]

     
    Old 11-11-2003, 11:27 AM   #3
    sugzey
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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Timber
    Let's start a new discussion about tonsil stones.

    Tonsil stones are those white stinky "nuggets" that grow in the pockets (crypts) in your tonsils that get coughed up sometimes. They have a cheesy consistency and the medical term for tonsil stones is tonsilloliths.

    Many people can pick them out of their tonsils with a flashlight mirror and a Q-tip, paper clip or other object. Some people use Water Pics, or hydrogen peroxide to remove them.

    Some people have so many tonsil stones that they've had their tonsils removed, but there is a debate about whether this is a good idea or not. Many doctors and dentists don't even seem to know what tonsil stones are.

    Please share your experiences with tonsil stones!

    Thanks!
    I had them in my tonsils years and years ago and had my tonsils removed. When I was real young, I use to have sore throats all the time. That is what caused the pockets in the tonsils and that is where food would lodge and rot. At first they tried to cut the pockets and open them so food would not get lodged but that didn't work for me. I was so glad to get the tonsils removed!

     
    Old 11-13-2003, 06:49 AM   #4
    Timber
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    Personally, I get a few noticeable tonsil stones a month. I pick them out with a flashlight and a dental pick (for scraping plaque off teeth - found at any drug store). Since it's metal, I sterilize it in a lighter before using it. Right now, though, I have one stone that's being stubborn and won't come out. Ugh.

    Sometimes, if you feel like you have a tonsil stone but can't see one, it's hiding behind a flap of tonsil or cheek.

     
    Old 11-13-2003, 02:00 PM   #5
    Stifster
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    i had my first tonsil stone when i was a teenager, still remember my dad (who is an ER physician) sticking a knife into the back of my throat to remove it!

    over the last couple of years they have started to re-appear, obviously those nooks and cranny's at the back of my throat are hiding the little buggers! it was only today that the true nature of the 'pieces of brain' was explained to me. my g/f sent me the lnk for this board and i did a search on google which threw up some interesting articles. of course what spurred her was that i e-mailed to tell her that i had sneezed and dislodged the biggest lump of gunk ever, she was delighted to know!

    from drgreene.com

    The tonsils are sentinels, standing guard at the back of the throat to protect the delicate tissues of our lungs and intestines from foreign invaders. They are part of a ring of defenders, Waldeyer's Ring (which includes the tonsils, adenoids, and other lymphoid tissue), encircling the back of the throat as an important line of defense. The tonsils and adenoids are largest during childhood; they are front-line guardians while the body's more sophisticated internal immune system learns and develops.

    The situation you describe, Alice, is a very common one. The tonsils usually appear like small, dimpled golf balls set on either side of the back of the throat. Children with large tonsils and deep crypts often do get food particles trapped in there. Because saliva contains digestive enzymes, trapped food begins to break down. Particularly, the starch or carbohydrate part of the food melts away, leaving firmer, harder remains of food in the tonsils. This does not look like the food that went into the mouth.

    As you suspect, however, there is more to these hard lumps than just food. The tonsils also trap other mouth debris such as bacteria and old cells from the surface of the mouth's lining. Some of these cells contain small amounts of keratin, the same substance found in fingernails and rhinoceros horns. Whatever the nature of the debris, it is then attacked by white blood cells. The aftermath of this battle leaves the crevices of the tonsil strewn with hardened remains.

    Most people swallow this material without ever noticing it, while it is still tiny. In those whose tonsils are large, however, the particles can lodge in the deep crypts, where they continue to grow. The enlarging lumps are called calculi of the tonsil, or tonsilloliths (tonsil stones). These stones are most common during adolescence.

    Microscopic studies of these tonsilloliths have shown them to contain a combination of food particles, bacteria, oral debris, and white blood cells in a concentrically laminated pattern -- rather like a pearl. Usually they are small gritty particles found in the center of soft, cheesy flecks. Sometimes, however, they become quite large, appearing as rough, yellow or gray, round stones. At times they reach an extraordinary size. Affected people usually have a history of repeated attacks of tonsillitis in earlier years.

    Most people with calculi of the tonsils have no associated symptoms. In that case nothing need be done, except perhaps for brushing or scraping them out, as your daughter does. Gargling, refraining from eating during the 30 minutes before falling asleep, and careful oral hygiene may help minimize their formation.

    For some people, however, the calculi can be quite bothersome, causing a constant foreign-body sensation, a chronic low-grade sore throat, recurrent episodes of tonsillitis persisting beyond childhood, or chronic bad breath.

    Treatment consists of either removing the tonsils or removing the calculi. Troublesome large calculi that are not easily dislodged may need an ear, nose, and throat doctor to remove them.

    Not too long ago, tonsils were routinely removed for the sole crime of being swollen and inflamed. We didn't understand, then, that the tonsils purposely accept the infections to prevent the organisms from traveling deeper, and to show the invaders to the developing immune system to train it for the future. The tonsils are selfless protectors. As a child becomes an adult, the tonsils usually begin to shrink; the watchful guardians of childhood are no longer much-needed.

    Tonsils are a bit like parents: looming large early in life, diminishing over time, ever-protecting, ever-teaching, but sometimes with rough or hard spots when we let things build up ;^)

     
    Old 11-13-2003, 07:54 PM   #6
    MrsLee
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    Haha, that's a nice analogy, but I don't think of mine as "guardians."

    I like to think of them as useless dirty pieces of flesh that cause me nothing but frustration, discomfort and disgust.

    I hate them!!! And I want them taken out!!

     
    Old 11-13-2003, 10:16 PM   #7
    poorLisa
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    I too have tonsil stones.....however, I don't think mine get really bad. I had a really bad one once when i was younger, it was about the size of 3 peas. It made me feel horrible. Of course I had planned to go to the doctor the next morning, to get it checked out, cuz my parents freaked out when they saw it.
    But like many stories you might have read on this message board. I felt terrible that night, and wound up throwing up....which dislodged the little bugger (ICK!!). It disappeared into the toilet. (YUM!) And of course, the next day, the doctor told me it must have been a "food build-up".
    Every since then, i haven't had that bad of an experience.
    When I get them, I never try to take them out myself. I am a big wuss, and I hate gagging.
    I am 21 years old, and have already been diagnosed with IBS and hypothyroidism. I have chronic sinus problems as well.
    My question to everyone is....when you find you are having sinus problems, and may or may not have a stone (that you can find)....do you ever have coughing spells that make you feel like you have a splinter in the back of your throat? When I am on the verge of recovering from a cold or sinus infection....I usually have a phase, when I'm recovering, when suddenly I breath in, and the "splinter" attacks...and I can't do anything about it. Coughing, clearing my throat, gagging, breathing, swallowing, even trying to drink something doesn't help. And I sit there and gag until, i guess, "it" becomes dislodged. It literally feels like i'm choking, but there is also this feeling of having a small needle poking me deep in the throat. It seems to happen in very embarrassing moments. One time it got so bad, I couldn't even talk without gagging almost for the entire day! It's not too cool for a college student to run from the classroom coughing and noticably gagging.
    Please let me know I'm not alone.

    Last edited by poorLisa; 11-13-2003 at 10:19 PM.

     
    Old 11-18-2003, 02:12 PM   #8
    AmyJoy
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    I started noticing mine about three months ago; however, now I actually seemed to get more of a liquid out of my tonsils, plus I am having terrible sinus problems. I am really uncomfortable with the ideal that I get fluid out instead of hard buildup. That is bound to mean it is more than food. Hate to admit it, but it looks like snot, or the stuff that drains down my throat (sorry for the visual).

    My throat is uncomfortable when I talk quite often. I hate it. I can feel them even when I cannot find them. I went to a different doctor who actually put me on antibiotics and says if I am not better in two weeks she is sending me to an ENT.

    I don't want a tonsillectomy, but I cannot go on like this forever. I also cannot use anything harder than a Q-tip as my tonsils will bleed.

    I can get stuff out at any given time, sometimes seeing one peak that I did not even know was there.

    Luckily, both physicians I have seen are familiar with the problem. That is good because sometimes it nauseates me (bad taste when very active). I also have chronic sinus problems and lots of drainage.

     
    Old 11-22-2004, 07:36 AM   #9
    Paet
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    Re: Tonsil Stones

    Stiftster...wow..that was excellent information. Thank you.
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