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Little white things in the back of my throat!
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Little white things in the back of my throat!

I have been having these little white ball looking things in the back of my throat for a few years now. They come and go but they really bother me. The white ball things will sometimes come up the back of my throat and in my mouth and they smell sooooo bad. I have no idea what they are or what causes them. It does feel like I have something floating in my throat and clearing my throat does not help. Is there a cancer that causes this or anything else that would cause this to happen?
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185634_tn?1257074739
It sounds like you have tonsolloliths.  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.
Try gargling with warm salt water after meals to see if this helps.  Also, you may want to talk to your doc about it.
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171768_tn?1324233699
thanks for asking... and to the previous poster thanks for the great info! i have experienced the same thing, although not constantly. just on and off every now and then. i could never think of a way to describe it, so i never actually asked anyone. i seen to get them more when i have congestion from allergies, so you're explanation makes a lot of sense to me!
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167_tn?1374177417
They are very gross. I get them, too in the pits of my tonsils. I actually take a bobby pin or toothpick and pick them out. They make your breath smell bad. I can always tell when I get one and I go fishing for it to dig it out. They are also called tonsil stones and yes-basically bacteria filled. Your tonsils are filters for everything so they catch the bad stuff. Yuck!
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185634_tn?1257074739
My son has them, and it IS gross.  It seems like whenever we go anywhere together in a vehicle and I
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Avatar_f_tn
Yep, there just globs of white blood cells and bacteria. Your tonsils fight off infection and this is a good sign that they are working properly.  Try gargling a mix of 1/2 mouthwash, and 1/2 peroxide. Don't swallow it, but it can help get these out. Take care, tmv
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151154_tn?1208134182
Do you have tonsils?   If you do sounds like you won't have them much longer.  Go to an ear, nose and throat specialist.  
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164559_tn?1233711618
Actually just drinking a lot of water will eliminate this problem.
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185634_tn?1257074739
And yet one more benefit of drinking lots of water!!  I didn't know that, but it makes sense.  I'll pass that along to my son and see if it helps.  Thanks!!
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Avatar_f_tn
Rinsing your mouth with 1 part water and 1 part hydrogen peroxide helps too.
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93654_tn?1247502934
Oh how I would love a Bud Light right about now.
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158812_tn?1189759426
ME TOO...
My husband cracked one open last night, and I just wanted to take it.
At least after this, my tolerance will be low, and I can drink cheaper.
Geez, I sure sound like a lush, well, maybe I am!  (((sulking)))
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174483_tn?1327629077
i could go for an ice cold coors! oh wait i cant.....****
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93654_tn?1247502934
Mmmm...man, it's gonna be a long summer without beer. Dh had a margarita the other night, and I sucked down a big gulp of it. He would only let me have one "sip" though...jerk.
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158812_tn?1189759426
Your right.  I used to get them all the time when I was in my twenties (ya know, living on Mt. Dew, coffee, Bud light, etc.)  
Since I have stayed home, and have been pregnant and nursing for the past 5 years, they seemed to have dissapeared.  I have been drinking much more water the last 5 years, than I ever did in my twenties......and VIOLA, I haven't had them....
Sure don't miss that nasty stink....gross.
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Avatar_f_tn
they are called crypts... just thought i would add that..lol..
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you so much for the info. That really does make me feel so much better and I am not the only one out there that has this.
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Avatar_n_tn
I've been getting them on and off, too. I started to worry and though to google it - alas I came across this helpful forum. I'm happy to know it's not a result of cancer. Hopefully with drinking more water and gargling salt water the bacteria will eliminate.
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Avatar_n_tn
If only the Internet had existed 15 years ago when I first had these. I didn't know what was wrong with me, and I thought I was so weird and unique for getting these stinky things in the back of my mouth. Thanks to whoever posted the very technical explanation. Now I know what to call those pits! Crypts! Yeesh. But one thing I'll mention is that I had these much, much more often when I used to drink [a certain green mermaid logo'd coffee megamerchant] soy mochas. I don't have any tolerance for soy milk anymore, so I don't drink soy ... and I don't get the creepy white things. Once in a while I indulge in a soy mocha ... and then I get one of these nasty buggers the next day or three. It's a good incentive to leave them alone!

jjsmama
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Avatar_n_tn
WOW I AM SOOOO GLAD to hear that i am not the only one!!!! Mine are yellowish or a faint lite green. It smells so horrible and i have never told anyone. I decided to ask about it and i think that this is one of the only sites that came up for it. Thank you sooo much. I usually gag myself trying to get them out!
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Avatar_n_tn
I am so glad I found this site.  I can now tell my husband that I am not an alien (LOL) , and that other people have this same problem.  I can't count how many times I have actually thrown up trying to get those things out.
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Avatar_n_tn
i collect them and stick them together to make balls for catfish bait.  The fish can't resist them.  I once caught a 50 pounder!!!!
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187666_tn?1331176945
That is amazing. My daughter and I get them occasionally (once or twice a year). I work with birds and they remind me of bird pus which is thick and yellowish. Sorry - side tracked. I know I have one when I feel like I have something stuck in the back of my throat. I found using a Q-tip and gently pressing on the side of it will remove it. By the way, my tonsils were removed decades ago. I'm just happy to learn what these lumps are called.
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Avatar_n_tn
I would like to know more about what people use to get them out.  Sometimes I push with the back of my toothbrush or poke at it with a Qtip, but like right now, I have one of these in my throat and I can't get it out with my usual methods.  Its been in there for a few days now and I am very self conscious about what it does to my breath!  Help!!
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Avatar_m_tn
shux, i hope all this will help coz its oh so irritating,especially when i havnt eaten and i'm hungry, its the only thing there is on my throat, i cant caugh it out i cant swallow it....tiring, and when i do try caughing it out  my throat hurts for nothing coz it just tosses and doesnt come out.
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Avatar_m_tn
Use a toothpick or something with a very small tip to remove the  tonsolloliths, but try not to poke the lining of your throat because if you do have these nasty things, beware of the fact they are full of bacteria.  If the bacteria gets in an open cut it can become infected.   Your best bet is to first brush your teeth well, then gargle with mouthwash.  THEN remove the tonsoliths from your throat.  Afterwards gargle with mouthwash again to further clean the area and remove bad breath.  Keep mouth clean and gargle twice a day every day after brushing.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks everyone for the comments, I have been dealing with these off and on for years, mainly when I am dealing with a cold or allergies.  I went to CVS and bought this kit that dentist use with the 2 piks and mirror and I have no problem getting them out now.
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Avatar_f_tn
I drink lots of water and that doesn't help at all. I don't know what to do anymore. I don't want to go to the doctor because she might tell it's nothing and that's just gonna make me mad.
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Avatar_n_tn
wow I love the internet for this very reason.  I also have a husband who thinks I am crazy... he never gets these and I drink way more water than him.  I am thirsty all of the time.  Maybe it has something to do with how some people are just dry mouthed.  Oh they are so gross and they smell like really funky breath.  So embarrassing.  
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks a lot, I have had this problem since a teenager. I have asked my doctor several times for an answer to, what the white smelly balls are. I've coughed, goggled, even took my nails & pushed them out. This site has been very helpful. Thank you all so much for posting the information. I feel much better it's not a serious illness.
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Avatar_m_tn
I got it for nearly 5 years now and i just found out the way to get them all out easyly by using the smooth tooth brush handle in ractangle shape and push against the skin cheek , just beside the tonsil not on the tonsil and it all squeese out in the long stream 1cm long and 1mm thick of couse the head is big depend on how long you left it there.Yeah I could taste it when i swallow the air and exhale through nose and i know it there.
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Avatar_f_tn
I first started to get tonsilloliths when I was 18 years old.  I was feeling really tired and sick all the time and when I noticed the lesions in the back of my throat with white stuff in them, I went to the doctor.  He told me that they are a common thing to come up when a person gets mononucleosis - he tested me and sure enough I had it.  The thing is, that was13 years ago, and I have continued getting the tonsilloloths ever since then.  I usually only get one or two here and there, but I am now pregnant and have started getting them a LOT more during pregnancy.  I had about 20 of them come up the other night (during my husband's company Christmas dinner party, how nice).  I mentioned it to my OBGYN, and she looked almost shocked.  She told me that I am only her second patient EVER to have this (or at least that has mentioned it).  She said she sent the first patient to the ENT dr. and the solution was to remove her tonsils.  I find it interesting that someone above says they get them even though their tonsils were removed.  Another side note is that I drink TONS of water, and I still get them.  I did not grow up drinking cokes regularly, so that was never an issue for me.  I do have abnormally high calcium rates though, and I have heard that they are partially calcium build-up too.  I'm not sure if that's true, but it would make sense in my case.  So I'm not sure if any of this info helps anyone else, but just a few things I've noticed/been told in my personal experience.
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Avatar_m_tn
plzz help me  abt that !!!  i cant sleep coz of  Little white things !!  
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Avatar_m_tn
plz help me  from that "Little white things in the back of my throat!" , i cant not sleep !!!
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Avatar_f_tn
Should you get them if you have had your tonsils removed? Does it mean your tonsils have grown back??
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Avatar_m_tn
I finally decided to tell my husband of 11 years about my aliens last night and he asked where did I get that information as I tried to explain those little white critters.  He said I didn't know what I was talking about.  I said to him I get these little white fatty cells in a pocket in the back of my throat, I get them out with a Q-Tip (now he knows why I was going crazy when we ran out), they give me bad breath, I know when they are there, but once remove, bad breath gone.  He said he had to find out about it, so here I am.  I am sooooooo pleased to have found this site and not feel alone.  It was annoying not being able to intelligently explain it and not sound nuts.  Internet.  Viola!!!!  
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Avatar_m_tn
I went to the doctor and they sent me to ear nose and throat doctor I said I had something stuck in my throat. They said nothing was there. I said I can feel it. But if I new what I know now I would of told the doctor that it come out some times. My granddaughter has it now and her breath really stinks. and she goes to the dentist and she brushes her teeth and tongue and uses mouth wash and her breath is still stinks. It is not from not brushing your teeth because she does everything to try and stop the odor. She also takes the white yellowish stuff out with either a toothpick or Q-tip she is 11 years old. How do you get rid of this there has to be a way.
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