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Smelly yellowish pellets coming up from chest/throat
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by seriously puzzled, Feb 10, 2006
For years now I've asked this question of  many doctors/dentists and it still remains to be answered...Quite frequently I get really bad breath for around a week which is followed by expulsion of very hard, yellowish in colour, very smelly pellets from my throat and/or chest. Sometimes it is followed by a bad sinus infection and /or bronchitis, but not always! It is very unpleasant and I would just love to get rid of this problem. I should also mention that I've had phlegm non-stop in my throat for as long as I can remember, I don't know if this could possibly be associated with this condition/problem...I am not a smoker/nor do I live in a smoke-filled environment.
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Member Comments (48)
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by maryheather, Feb 10, 2006
From my experience as a vocal coach, it is not unusual for this to occur.  Do you ever have a sore throat?  When the tonsils become inflamed/swollen, tiny particles of food can get trapped inside the small crevices of the tonsils.  They begin to smell, and eventually, you cough them up, or swallow them.  If you have chronic throat problems, your tonsils are probably always swollen...realize that this might be a cycle.  
Do you suffer from allergies?  If so, a daily allergy medication (allegra, claritin, there are lots of others...) may help eliminate the phlegm.  If you suffer from persistant drainage, you most likely have an allergy issue.  If not, then you could have a sinus infection--you should see an ENT (Ear, Nose, Throat specialist) about these issues.  They can do a scan of your sinuses and see if you have any blockages...that would explain a lot of your symptoms.
Good luck, and hope this helped--MH
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by little-worried, Feb 19, 2006
I often get the same thing and have found no way of preventing it. I can feel the pellets in my throat for weeks but cannot seem to get rid of them, and eventually i will cough them up. I dont suffer from any sinus problems and i dont generally get a sore throat or produce alot of phlegm. It really annoys me and i would love to know how to prevent them.
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by chronic phlegm, Mar 02, 2006
I have been searching online for 20 minutes and this is the first page I have come across that describes the problem I am having.  I am a habitual marijuana smoker of 14 years and I have had a significant phlegm issue the entire time.  But, a year or 2 ago tops, I started coughing up what seriously puzzled is talking about.  

I guess it is phlegm but it is an entirely different consistency from "regular phlegm."  Yes, more like pellets or small more firm balls kind of, but they smell so incredibly foul it's absolutely disgusting.  I usually examine them whenever they come up which has been kind of a lot lately, and it is just one of the most wrong smells ever.  Especially considering it is coming out of your mouth.  And yea, I brush the hell out of my tongue but it is so strong that it can lead to a subtle bad breath and horrible taste in the back of your mouth for a few days after the fact.  Don't touch them though directly, because then the smell will stick to your hand.  It really is very strong stuff.

But whats most puzzling (to me), is that the original poster doesn't smoke.  I assumed it related to my smoking habits, but maybe it still does.

I'm curious as to how/why there isn't more documentation of it, because to me it seems like an entirely different category of phlegm.  An advanced phlegm, it seems like.

Are any doctors or medical people on this site familiar with this?  I'm gonna go buy the strongest mouthwash available, but that probably still won't fully tackle this nasty stuff.

Any info IMMENSELY appreciated.
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by librarygal, Mar 02, 2006
The pellets are called tonsoliths. They are not dangerous. They are from pieces of food/phlegm getting caught in small crevices in your tonsils. They decay there, and eventually they are coughed out. Since they are decayed, they smell terribly. Some people are able to use a waterpic to get them out.
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by chronic phlegm, Mar 03, 2006
wow thank you library gal.  i thought there was seriously something funky and wrong with me.

tonsoliths SUCK.  i wish there was a magic drink you could drink and they all would come out nicely and also lose their awful smelling powers.  they're really disgusting.
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by Starfire1970, Mar 24, 2006
I get these, too, and they are disgusting.
If you see them in the back of your throat but can't get them out, try pressing against your tonsil with a Q-tip.
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by lolly4, Mar 07, 2008
i am so glad came across this page my mom is a nurse and for years i tried to explain these stinky balls i was coughing up but she had no idea what i was talking about. I even said thesame thing that chronic phelgm said.the smell is so bad that even if you wash your hands it still stinks. I am not a smoker and neither is my sister who gets them as well.it is nice to know that other people kno wwhat i am talking about!
I do however get really bad sinus infections. I read that people who do smoke are inclined to get sinus infections as well because they damage the little hairs in the nose and throat that protect the sinus passages from bacteria that cause infection.
So maybe they do have to do with sinus problems, even if you don't naturally have allergies or sinus problems
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by JTL600, Apr 09, 2008
I've had this for years. I tried asking my dentist but not answers. Have notice an increase of web info in the past years. I use my finger and push on my tonsils and force them out every couple of weeks otherwise they build up allot and i get this constant bad breath and taste in my mouth. I want my tonsils out.
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by camommyofthree, Apr 10, 2008
I have been dealing with those foul stenched yellow "things" for years as well. The texture kind of reminds me of corn when I poked at it but then mushed up when I squashed it with a paper towel. And that is when the stink comes really strong, when it is mashed. YUCK!  I use a toothpick (with care of course) to take them out or sometimes I will press on my tonsils to expel it from one of the crevices.  I only get them in my left tonsil.  Not sure why that is.  I have also tried to explain it to a doctor and they have no clue what I am talking about.  I don't get bad breath from it but if I am overly talkative one will all of a sudden free itself from a crevice and be on my tongue and then I have to excuse myself somehow from a conversation and find a napkin.  It is more annoying than anything.  I HATE MY TONSILS.  THEY SEEM TREMENDOUSLY LARGE WITH HOLE LIKE IT IS THE MOON.  I actually had one while I was driving.  I can always tell when there is one stuck because I start to feel like I have post nasal drip and want to cough all the time.  So, I pulled over and took out my mirror from Japan that my friend gave me (it has toothpicks in it) and started to remove the yellow  foul stenched spawn.  I can't take it anymore.