My boyfriend had these not too long ago. His doc prescribed antibiotics but since I still didnt understand I also googled it and this is what I found and shared with him.
These things are called tonsilloliths ("tonsil stones.") You have described them perfectly. They are typically white, or whitish-yellow, irregularly-shaped, foul-smelling, and usually smaller than a pea. The tissue lining the tonsils (oral mucosa) is fairly sensitive, so people with this problem often report that they feel an irritation in the back of their throat and are able to pick these critters out of their tonsils.
Like your skin, oral mucosa sheds continuously. The dead cells become incorporated in your saliva and then you swallow them. Yum! One more anatomical fact that you need to know: the surface of your tonsils is pockmarked with deep pits, appropriately called "crypts" (since dead stuff accumulates in these pits.) Oral mucosa lines the crypts. Under normal circumstances, as this mucosa sheds, the dead cells leave the crypts and are swallowed. In some unlucky people, like you and your sister, the dead cells accumulate and glom together to form hard little balls. All of this dead stuff makes great food for bacteria, and of course your oral cavity is colonized by all kinds of bacteria. Consequently, the tonsilloliths are ripe with bacteria. This accounts for the smell.
The only sure-fire method for ridding yourself of this problem is to have your tonsils removed (tonsillectomy), but there are nonsurgical alternatives which you should certainly pursue before you ask an ENT to take out your tonsils:
– You could try gargling frequently with warm salt water (1 teaspoon of table salt mixed with one pint of water– gargle with about 1/4 cup of this mixture three times per day, after meals.)
– You could also gargle with a mouthwash called Alkalol, which is essentially salt water combined with a variety of natural aromatic extracts; some people prefer Alkalol to plain salt water. Most other commercial mouthwashes contain sugar or alcohol, which are pleasant-tasting but are, in the long run, fairly irritating if used frequently.
– There is a doctor in Los Angeles, Murray Grossan, who markets a water-jet device for "hosing down" the tonsils. Relative to gargling, this device provides a more aggressive technique for clearing out those nasty crypts.
– In the hopes of avoiding tonsillectomy, I will often put my patient on a long (3 to 4 week) course of antibiotics in the hope that this will allow the tonsils to "settle down" (become less inflamed.) I must admit that antibiotics are not a very effective cure for this problem.
If I had this problem, I would try all of these things before resorting to a tonsillectomy. You should also discuss your problem with an ENT, since he/she may have other suggestions to help eradicate these nasty critters, and could also give you information on what to expect from a tonsillectomy.
His prob seemed to clear up with reg mouthwash and it hasnt happened since, also this happened when we first started dating and now that I cook balanced meals he hasnt had a recurrence so could be diet related? dunno but the antibiotics, mouthwash (all natural Toms of Maine) and different diet seemed to clear his up!!
Welcome to the MedHelp forum!
What you have is probably a tonsil stone. It is difficult to say what is causing the tonsoliths. These are made up of food particles, dead cells, and oral bacteria. Together these form hardened white balls and cause bad breath. Brush your teeth twice a day, rinse your mouth after every meal, and use a tongue cleaner. Change tooth brush every 15 days. Most tonsils go away by good oral hygiene. Some you can scrape off yourself. Others a doctor can remove, especially an ENT. If they still persist surgery is performed. Please consult an ENT. Take care!
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