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Things You Should Know About Tonsil Stones

Have you ever found small white balls stuck in the back of your mouth or just floating around inside your mouth and wondered what they were? If you have experienced these, you probably noticed that they have a really bad odor to them. These small, smelly white balls are called tonsil stones, and a lot of people have these trapped in their tonsils. If this is something you have noticed, here are several things you should know about tonsil stones.

What They Are

Tonsil stones are always white or yellowish in color, and they are made up of a mixture of several different things, including mucous, dead cells, bacteria, and food. These are all normal things you can find in a person's mouth, but there are times when these items get trapped in a person's tonsils. When this happens, these items collect together and harden. As this occurs, they turn white and can get lodged in the small holes and crevices of the tonsils.

At times, these small stones will work their way out of the tonsils, and you may find them in your mouth. If you feel them, you will notice they are slightly hard and smell really bad if you squeeze them. Other times, they will not come loose and will just stay trapped in the tonsils. There are times when you can actually see these small stones, too, but there are other times they are hidden deep in the pockets of the tonsils. If you want to see if you have them, you could use a flashlight and a mirror to try to get a good look at the back of your mouth and throat area.

They Are Generally Harmless

In most cases, tonsil stones are completely harmless; however, they can lead to bad breath and other minor problems. People who experience a lot of problems with colds, sinus issues, or tonsillitis tend to develop tonsil stones more frequently than people who do not have these types of issues, but anyone can develop them.

If you have tonsil stones and are bothered by them, you may want to visit a dental office to find out what you can do. There are times when people will develop really large tonsil stones. These stones can lead to pain in the ear or sore throats. If this happens, you should definitely have them removed. Some people also deal with these so often that they choose to have their tonsils removed, as this is often the only way to fully eliminate tonsil stones.

What You Can Do About Them

If you develop tonsil stones often and do not want them there, there are several things you can do. First, you can try to prevent them. To do this, you should practice good brushing and flossing habits daily, and you may want to rinse with a mouthwash product. This can help loosen small stones that are just starting to form. If you can keep bacteria and food particles out of your mouth after eating, you will have a better chance of preventing stones from forming, and a good habit for this is rinsing your mouth out with water after eating anything.

If you see a small stone in your tonsils, you could try to remove it with a cotton swab; however, removing them is not always possible. You could also visit a dentist for help removing them. If you have really big stones in your mouth, you may need to visit a specialist like an ENT to have them diagnosed and removed.

Having tonsil stones is not unusual, but it can be aggravating. If you have questions about these or anything else related to your mouth, contact a dental clinic today.