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Tonsil stones
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Tonsil stones

For the past few months I have been noticing that when I would wake up I would have tiny little balls of stuff...it would happen every so often.  I have bad allergies with constant post nasal drip and flem (phlegm), so I was just thinking it was something like that. Just this past week, I had had a sore throat for about a week withmy left tonsil totally swollen and red.  After a few days I really tried to look at them with a flash light and I saw two white dots.  i automatically thought it was an infection, but the more I looked and felt them, they seemed wierd.  Finally they both came out, they were larger than I had had before, about the size of a large pea... well I have them often , but obviously cant see them till I'm in pain.  I'm 24 years old and hate having this feeling in my throat with the bad taste in the back of my throat.. is this really tonsil stones? Thanks!
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41 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_n_tn
What you're referring to is tonsilloths....they're benign, but do cause some discomfort, and some worry with those who have them.  I have had them most of my life...the cause comes from having cryptic tonsils...either genetically, or becuase of recurrent infections...a water pik is wonderful at removing them...there's really not a treatment for it...but if they keep coming back and are bothersome, the only treatment is a tonsilectomy.  Good luck!
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi there i just read your post and i am experiencing the same thing. i've had it for years and i can understand your discomfort in the matter.  i have been told that having your tonsils removed will not help, it will only cause the stones to form further down your throat.  Gargling with salt and warm water on a daily basis will really help, or try mouthwash.good luck
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi there,

Usually after eating potatoe chip, french fries or cassava I get tonsil stones.  When i asked my Dentist about it, he said usaully this happens after eating starchy foods.  So, I try to cleans my palette with yogurt after eating a starchy meal.  Or just gargle with salt H20.  Knowing is half the battle....
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Avatar_n_tn
I get them all the time. They stink--literally and figuratively. Every one one of my brothers and sisters has them too, along with my father. We all inherited my dad's wonderful post nasal drip, allergies, and sinus issues.

I, too, use a water pick. Gargle each day. They are a nuisance but there's not much you can do, and you could be severely worse off :) Just another non-life-threatening annoyance to live with.

Good luck, and get a water pick to help flush them away.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have the exact same problem and it is getting me really down, about 10 minutes ago I managed to bring up yet another bundle of joy!  Have been trying all day and have given myself a sore throat and coughing up blood.

I try to fish them out with my finger but I cannot even see them when looking into my throat.  Am going to the doctors in the morning as I want something done about it.  I hate the constant bad taste and bad breath when the balls get rather big.

Any other tips on getting them out without wretching all the time???
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Avatar_n_tn
I have those and my doctor removed my tonsels he couldn't believe what they looked like if you have had mutiple infections it should be easier to get them removed. Take arnica a herb that prevents swelling it really works.
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Avatar_n_tn
Has anyone ever had ear problems or vertigo from these stones?  I have been getting them for about six months.  Recently I had severe vertigo-- went to the doc and asked if it could be related to this -- he says no, but then a few days later one came out and poof my vertigo was gone.  Doc says its a coincidence.  I think not.
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Avatar_n_tn
yes - i think it's related, but indirectly.  if you get the tonsil stones, likely from the excess mucus - ergo sinus issues.... then ear problems are not far behind.  for me, having sinuses prone to infection, it never surprises me when i fly that i always have problems with my ears - pain, clogging that i can't ever seem to unclog (sometimes take a couple days after we land before the ears decide they want to unclog on their own)...   so earlier this year when i went on a 3 day cruise, and i had mysterious dizziness and random lightheadedness and feeling like i was going to faint for TWO WEEKS after the cruise, somehow this didn't shock me, given my ear history.  I wasn't even sure if it was from the cruise, the plane trip to/from the cruise, or both.  i should note that in my efforts to avoid ear pain on the plane, i wore these industrial ear plugs (factory worker-grade), which helped with the clogging problems, but when i got the dizziness, i started to wonder if i screwed up my equilibrium.
just some things to think about, but personally i don't think it's a coincidence either.  if you find a method that works best for you that clears up sinus issues, therefore drying up the mucus ( = less tonsil stony grossness), perhaps the vertigo will abate in time.  good luck :)
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Avatar_n_tn
not related
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Avatar_n_tn
I was also told there was nothing to be done except maybe removing the tonsils which my doctor does not recommend.  I also has a very bad case of Vertigo and an ear infection right before this all started.  I love the waterpick idea.  It is really a royal pain so anyway like someone else said it could be so much worse.  Thanks for your ideas.
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Avatar_n_tn
I feel like a popcorn kernal stuck in the back of my throat (dead center).  I cannot see it with a flashlight and I gag when I use a q-tip and have been unsuccessful.  Any advise on what this might be and how to get it out?
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152264_tn?1280358257
I agree that tonsoliths have nothing to do with vertigo. It was a coincidence.

I hate those yucky things!! Gag.
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Avatar_n_tn
Just found this site and i just have to tell you guys this! I had sinus problems for about 7 months. Headaches, pressure, pain, dizziness, even thought i was going to collapse a few times and then oneday when I was running on a treadmill I coughed up a tonsil stone! Guess what? no more sinus problems!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Avatar_n_tn
I have tonsil stones. Or at least I think I do. They are the same things everyone else is talking about. I can pick them out with a Q-Tip but sometimes when I do I also get blood that comes out with it. Or just blood and no stone. Its quite a bit of blood. Im gonna see I doc I just wondered if anyone else had the same thing?

Thanks
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Avatar_n_tn
Wow...I just went to the ER for mine.  I had a 1/2" stone sticking out of my tonsil on the right side.  I took a q-tip to it which I thought would just easily pop it out.  Well it took about 5 minutes of me trying to just knock it off then trying to press all around it and pop it out like I usually do.  It finally popped out and I felt much better...although seriously grossed out!  I have NEVER had one that large before!  About an hour later I felt like something was stuck in the back of my throat again.  I went to look in the mirror and it looked like more stones (or perhaps part of the first) was coming out again.  When I went to try and pop it out I noticed a large blackish bump right behind it.  After I saw that I figured I'd just leave it alone for a while and try to get it out at home instead.  When I got home and looked in the mirror the black bulge had gotten HUGE!  I moved it around (very gently) with a q-tip to try to see what it was.  It honestly looked like a vein or artery had popped through the skin into my mouth.  Just as I thought that, poof, it started gushing blood!  It freaked me and my fiancé out so bad we immediately went to the hospital.  It turns out it was a tonsil stone to begin with and then (let's see if I remember the term) necrotic tissue because the stone had aggravated the tissue on its way out.  When I told the doctor that I was getting the tonsil stones 2-3 times a week she flipped.  She said I should REALLY think about getting my tonsils out and that I would probably be getting this necrotic tissue thing at least twice a month if I didn’t.  Has anyone else experienced any problems like this?
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Avatar_n_tn
I've been getting tonsil stones. I went to my family doctor and he said it was from allergies, not to mess with them, gargle with salt water. He said if if should ever bleed then I should go to an ENT. Another internal medicine doctor said that it just happens because food particles gets stuck back there and he said it was fine to pick them out with toothpicks. Is it okay or not to pick them out? I don't know what to think and certainly don't want to have tonsils removed unless absolutely necessary. My other tonsil is perfectly normal so no probs there.
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Avatar_n_tn
Wow, just found this page because I finally decided to try and do somethign about my problem.
I have had them for a while but have become more concious of them lately. I'm a chronic allergy/sinus sufferer with asthma who smokes. Yeah, thats bad. One thing I will say that no one else has.. mine smell HORRIBLE, like cat poop. It makes me very self concious and I always carry a tooth brush, mouth wash and mints.
I feel like I get them less often when I am smoking more frequently. I recently "quit" for 3 months and had them sumthin terrible.
I'm very put down though that there is really no perminant solution. I work in the medical field (with animals) and do alot of self treatment, I have been treating mine practically since I figured out where they were coming from.
My regiment for (what I didn't know was till now) has been the same as what others have advised. However, ask your doctors or friends in the medical field to get you some supplies, these have made my life easier:
* 12cc syringe (no needle)
* 20g or 18g over the needle catheter (just the plastic catheter tip)

Thats it, I fill my syringe with tap water (no need to use salt water, no open wounds) cuz it tastes better, and put on the catheter tip. The catheter combined with the syringe gives me enough length and I can flush away and controll the pressure of the water.

I WOULD NOT RECCOMEND USING Q-TIPS. I believee this is why you guys are getting necrotic tissue and bleeding. I have used qtips before on major ones and have experienced sore throat and bleeding because of it. If you must, be careful and avoid touching your tissues as much as possible, wet the qtip with saline, flush your throat with saline before and after thoroughly. If your throat is still soar the next day continue flushing/gargling with saline.
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Avatar_n_tn
I just went to the ENT at Kaiser. I was ready to have my tonsils removed. Have had this problem for about 15 years. One has been stuck back there for 4 months. I thought I was going to have to convince my ent, but right away he said, if you want we will take them out. Getting them out in november.
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Avatar_n_tn
Anyone have tonsil stones with a sore throat and referred ear pain? I've had a mild sore throat for about the past 6 months, but my doctor told me it was probably allergies and to do a nasal flush every day. I've never had allergies in my life. My nose doesn't run. My eyes don't itch. It's not very convincing to me. I want my tonsils out just to get rid of these stones and sore throat!
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Avatar_n_tn
My doctor said it's natural and she won't remove my tonsils. I hate how it makes my breath smells and it makes me anti sociable. My doctor said it's more dangerous to remove tonsils as an adult. I bought Dr. Katz Thera Breath Nasal sprays and the oxyD pills remedy's but it was making me throw up so I don't use it anymore. Any other suggestions?

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Avatar_n_tn
My ears/ throat/ back molars have been bothering me for at least three years. I, too, get sick often, and have allergies so my doctor gives me nasal spray and tells me my ears are fine and sends me home. I feel as though he isn't taking me seriously. The "pain" in my ears is more like a lot of pressure, as if I need to clean them out or there is wax trapped in my inner ear. The doctor looked into this and found nothing. I have removed many tonsil stones the size of a lima bean and larger. I do not eat a lot of sugary foods, I eat mainly vegan and organic foods. Could my ear pain be due to the pressure of the tonsil stones? As for my molars, I have had Xrays and regular cleanings, and have great teeth. No problems there. Dentist suggested ear/nasal problems as the cause of the discomfort.
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Avatar_f_tn
I'm really glad its not just me! Experiencing not only sever annoyance with these little chunks of bother !! I have been experiencing these things on and off for about two years, recently I am noticing a connection between having a cold/flu and a persistant bout of tonsil pain! Can just about manage to squeeze the little blighters out with a cotton bud but this only leads to bleeding and more pain! Where can I buy a water pik from as I think this might be worth a try! !
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Avatar_n_tn
HELLO FRNDS

AM TYPING IN CAPS SO THAT THIS POST IS UNIQUELY VISIBLE.

WE DO NOT HAVE TO PUT UP WITH THIS FOREVER. FORTUNATELY, I'VE GOT A SOLUTION.

MY ENT DOC TOLD ME THAT I HV TO GET MY TONSILS REMOVED. HOWEVER WHN I TOOK UP THE ANNUAL TEST FOR GLUCOSE, CHOLES., ETC., MY PCP FOUND THAT THE VITAMIN D WAS WAY TOO LOW & I ALSO LACK IRON. SO AM HAVING VIT D IN THE FORM OF VIT TABLET & ALSO IRON IN THE FORM OF RAISINS, SPINACH, DATES, ETC. AND GUESS WHAT ? SNCE THEN THESE STUPID TONSILLOLITHS HV NOT COME BACK ! I HV NOT DONE ANY CHNAGES TO MY DIET EXCEPT HAVING VIT D & MORE IRON REGULARLY, SO PEOPLE, PLS TRY THIS BEF U GO FOR ANY EXTREME TREATMTS.

FYI, I'VE HAD THS TONSIL STONE PROBLEM FOR 3.5 YEARS NOW, SO I KNOW HOW THS FEELS.
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Avatar_m_tn
Chronic sinus problems, post nasal drip, fluid/pain in my right ear, and raspy/sore throat.  I've been dealing with the tonsil stones for a little over a year now.  Little pieces (balls) just come out of nowhere.  I have a pretty bad gag reflex, so I really reach back in my mouth with any instrument or water pik, unless I want to induce vomitting.  I think I will make an appointment with an ENT based on my readings here.  Perhaps I can kill a few birds with one stone - eliminate the tonsil stones, the chronic sinus/nasal drip and throat pain.  I don't imagine having your tonsils out is a major surgery -- if anyone has had this surgery, is it a day procedure?  Are you able to go back to work within a day or so?
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi!!!
Everyone who has tonsil problems and bad breath have a chance to get rid of them for all. I had tonsil stones for almost two years, to till I started using "SINUS WASH".  I wash with it every day for 4 to 5 times a day and gargle with salt and baker soda mixed in a warm water. Very important, when you start washing your nose, hold one of the holes, so it will go all the way and washes all the infections that causing the tonsil stones. The water will go to the back of the throat, don't swallow it. Sometimes I mix one and a half pockets to make it strong. Also I put salt and baker soda mixed inside the tonsils, so it would kill the germs that left over from the stones. Believe me as soon as you start doing this you will feel relieve. I don't have these problems like bad breath and tonsil stones anymore. I am happy and wish you the same.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hello!

I have this problem too!  I will tell you that after being diagnosed with Sleep Apnea and being put on a CPAP, they have decreased significantly.  The pressure from CPAP may be assisting in keeping the pockets cleared or it could be that the CPAP keeps my tongue from falling back into my throat clogging them.  I'm not sure!  I think that any weakening of immune system, whether it be vitamin deficiency to sleep disturbances make them worse.  I still get them just before I get sick, but now it is at least manageable!
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I HATE these things! I just started getting them like 2 months ago and I don't understand why. I don't ever have allergies, I've never had tonsilitis, I've only had strep throat once and that was 8 years ago, and I take very good care of my teeth. I have to dig these things out like 2-3 times a week. I'm getting really tired of having to gag myself and choke and have a perpetual sore throat. I know they are "harmless" but they are just so nasty!

Do these things just ever spontaneously stop forming or am I stuck with them for the rest of my life?
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Avatar_f_tn
Ugh throat stones i have had these things since i was a teen i finally went to an ear nose and throat doctor all he did was give me a pick like thing to dig them out but yeah lately i have been having and awful sore throats when i get the thoat stones its reallly bothersome.. As for the people thts having  vertigo i think thts more do to an inner ear problem...
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1597714_tn?1299831689
hi, haha they just had an episode about this on Dr. Oz. do u watch it? anyway he said use a Q-tip to get them out yourself. but wouldn't someone trying to do that end up barfing? my friends used to be bulimic and thats how they did it........... be careful is all im sayin!
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Avatar_f_tn
i use a cotton bud to get mine out, not very gud if u cant stand the feel of wool but its a good way and less likely to cause any damage, i gargle the anti septic mouthwash cordisil as well which i just started doing recently an they come bk less often,wish there was a perminant solution though and ive not had these all the time :S dunno when it all started, i have also quit smoking quite recently
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1962649_tn?1332448451
I've had these as a teen ager...finally at age 23 I had my tonsils out. no
problem with them since and I am 64 years old now.
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Avatar_f_tn
I completely agree with Higgy. I had this same problem! I finally found out I'm allergic to dust mites and my dog:(. I've had on and off nasal infections for the past 2 years. Recently my tonsils became enlarged and was put on antibiotics after finding out I had Tonsillitis. After I got better my stones came less often,  but did make me notice my disgusting looking tonsils with holes in them! It smells horrible and I couldn't stand it! After 2 weeks i returned to the professional who proscribed me the medication for my tonsils and suggested I get a tonsillectomy before my tonsils become infected again. My surgery is next week but its well worth it. Sometimes ....like me your tonsils just do not do their job! When it comes to that its just better to have them removed.
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Avatar_m_tn
I've had tonsil stones for over a year now. i noticed one day i was just spitting these white things out and didn't know what they were. i went to the doctors because i had a sore throat and i saw these white things in the back of my throat and thought it was an infection. he said they were tonsil stones and he said they are from food particles that get stuck in the tonsil crypts. nothing u can do. u can try and pop them out or a doctor can remove them. For me, they just fall out on there own. its an annoying feeling in your mouth and it makes me uncomfortable when i am somewhere and have to cough it out. as for bad breath, i've asked my wife and she said i dont have bad breathe. however, when they do come out they stink bad. good luck everyone that has them!
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Avatar_f_tn
I beening having the same problems too, i can feel them in the back of my throat and it taste really bad,i think it has an lot to with allgeries,because i have them,im glad im not the only one with this problem.i didnt know that the dentist could get them out for u, i will be talking to my dentist soon. hopefullyhe can do something about them, i hate to get my tonsils removed, but if it will help then i'm all for it.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you for typing in caps. I too have been haunted by these embarrassing and irritating tonsil stones. I have searched and searched for cures. I have done just about everything suggested to get rid of them. I recently had a hair analysis done which tells how much calcium , magnesium , zink, iron, and a host of other minerals I have in my system. My results stated that my calcium and magnesium levels were through the roof. Turns out that my body is not absorbing calcium the way it should. Therefore, my body stores it in other areas, for example, my tonsils. Vitamin D is the source that helps the body to absorb the calcium, and if I am lacking Vitamin D. Chances are, calcium is being being redirected to other parts of your body. In my opinion, the Doctors have no idea, that's why we have this forum. My belief is, if we weren't born with this issue, we can get rid of this issue. I encourage everyone to seek out a wholistic facility of some kind, get your blood and body tested. Knowledge is power, our fix can be a mineral analysis away. Cheers to our health and fresh breath:) Hope this helped
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Avatar_f_tn
Try drinking 1/8 tsp baking soda in a cup of water every night before bed (on empty stomach).  It is so easy and has literally solved my daughter's problem!  We were so disouraged until we found this home remedy.  It REALLY worked for her!  I hope this helps.  (She actually only drinks 1/2 of the mixture and it still works).
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Avatar_f_tn
I get tonsil stones and when my throat feels full I get all kinds of sinus trouble (pain, fullness in the face and ears). I also get dizzy and nauseated and I dont think it's a coincidence because the ear, nose, throat are all connected so if my tonsils are constantly swollen with tonsilliths then I believe that puts some kind of stress on the ears which screws with my middle ear in some way most likely causing the vertigo. This dizziness can come on as if it were an anxiety or panick attack. These are my symptoms but I feel better when I don't have an overgrowth of these things in my throat. Haven't used anything that has cured them but I am sick of this problem. My doctor made a referral to an ENT.
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Avatar_m_tn
It has only been a little while but this is what has helped me a lot.
Air destroys the stones, what i do is breath IN and OUT through my nose only, while the back of my mouth is closed. ie DON'T breath in through your nose and allow the air around your mouth. You can breath through your nose with an open mouth as long as the back of the mouth is closed ( Ie so you can't see the middle dangling tonsil) .  Breathing OUT through your mouth a few time helps with saliva and is ok.
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Avatar_n_tn
I had my tonsils removed last year because of tonsil stones, and I had fresh breath for about two weeks after my scabs had healed.

Then bad breath came back.

I have since concluded that it was only the antibacterials that stopped the smell.

So, even though tonsil stones did stink, the real problem was different....

The next year whilst travelling, I saw an ENT in Thailand (Chiang Mai RAM) where my symptoms were really bad - people could smell my breath from about 3 feet away. The ENT said I had a sinus problem - probably a chronic allergy, and that it was post-nasal drip that was feeding the bacteria.

She put me on a course of medication which included antibacterial pills, something to loosen mucus, and a nasal spray to help with allergies. My breath was sweet fresh within a few days and stayed until the pills ran out.

Again, I believe this was the antibacterials doing all the work, just like after I had my tonsils removed.

Since seeing the ENT, I've been rinsing my sinuses with salt water at least once a day in the morning, sometimes in evening, for the last half a year and it helps keeping fresh during the day.

Nevertheless, if I drink coffee or eat any onions or garlic, my breath stinks for the following week or more.

Choice of toothpaste does help but still only in masking the smell not removing it, and mouthwash is as useless as ever.

The only thing I can think of that will help me is if I have the entrance to my sinuses opened up to remove any blockages that occur when I have an allergic reaction to dust or whatever causes it, and also correcting my deviated septum. In fact, my septum has been deviated since I was 10, so perhaps that is the rot of the problem.

I will repeat, if anyone on here who has bad breath also notices or suspects a post-nasal drip, I would look at fixing that first.

Antibacterials have only ever been the any thing that helped me so far, but I hate using them and DON'T use them because they really mess up your bodies ecology (they kill your good bacteria too, which will eventually cause you other problems).

Good luck.

By the way I did get my tonsils removed free on the NHS last year and it DID help my breath, however, the tonsil stones are only part of the problem, and I don't think I will be cured until I either have sinus surgery or deviated septum corrected.

Also, remember nasal rinsing helps but make sure you use a proper technique and the right combination of salt and bicarb. I got a Hashi nasal rinser from Thailand and it is great and convenient. If I didn't have that I think my breath would be 50% worse.
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Avatar_n_tn
tonsil removal is a day procedure but you won't be able to go back to work. You won't be able to sleep much because of sitting upright to avoid mucus build-up, plus the pain. The pain isn't unbearable with the strong pills but it does make things very awkward. I was surprised at how fast I healed, however I was very sensible about my lifestyle and I did everything I should to allow a fast recovery.

Look into correcting post-nasal drip as a priority.

The problem is a bacterial infection being fed by stagnant mucus from the nasal passages.

I had my tonsils removed because when they used to cough up, they smelled like concentrated cat poo. But the bad breath is still here, a bit better, but I would say that the post-nasal drip is the real problem here and making everything else worse.
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Avatar_n_tn
I will also say that in addition to doing a sinus/nasal rinse with HYPERTONIC solution at least once a day (morning is better), you should also use a nasal SPRAY throughout the day which is filled with the same solution that you use to rinse the sinuses.

The rinse will get rid of big lumps that have collected during the night, but the spray is necessary throughout the day to keep the passage clear and keep mucus moving regularly.

You can buy empty nasal spray bottles from pharmacies (some) or buy from internet. Make sure they are made of safe plastics.

You can also make your own blend of salt & bicarbonate soda, or buy premixed sachets. Just make sure they are pH balanced.

Hypertonic solutions can be too harsh for some, but they are proven to work more effectively but you will have to work with what is best for you.

Here are a few references that are really interesting. If you are not used to reading science research paper then the conclusions should still make some sense and you can work from there....

http://www.ent-journal.com/august2014_casestudy2.pdf

http://apamedcentral.org/Synapse/Data/PDFData/0011PJOHNS/pjohns-22-37.pdf

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18957157
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