Tonsil stones are small, hard formations that form in the tonsils over time. Tonsil stones can produce foul breath but are normally painless and harmless. Tonsillolith is another term for them. Tonsils are gland-like flesh pads located in the back of the mouth. They are made up of tissue that contains lymphocytes, which are immune-system cells that help to avoid and prevent disease. Tonsils, according to many specialists, perform a function in the immune response and are designed to operate as nets, capturing germs and bacteria that enter the body through the mouth. Let us understand what are tonsil stones, its symptoms, diagnosis, treatments and what causes tonsil stones?

What do tonsil stones look like?
Tonsil stones appear on the tonsils as small yellowish - white pebbles. The patient may have one or more tonsil stones. Tonsil stones are normally tiny, although they can occasionally be enormous.

Tonsil Stone Symptoms
Small tonsil stones may not create any noticeable symptoms. Usually these are only discovered after X-rays or CT scans, especially when they are huge. Among the signs and symptoms are:
•    Foul breath: Extreme bad breath, or rotten teeth, that accompanies with a tonsil infections is a common symptom of a tonsil stone. Patients with a kind of long-term tonsillitis are tested for volatile hydrogen sulfide in their mouth, which can indicate poor breath.
•    Inflamed throat: It's tough to predict which is producing discomfort in the throat whenever a patient has a tonsil stone and gastritis at the same time. The tenderness may be caused by the tonsil stone itself.
•    Cough: A stone may strain the throat, resulting in a persistent cough.
•    White sand: A tonsil stone in the back of the neck may be visible to the patient as a mass of pure white substance.
•    Difficulty swallowing: Based on the placement or size of the tonsil stone, ingesting food or drinks may be difficult or uncomfortable at times.
•    Earache: Tonsil stones can form anywhere in the tonsil, causing ear discomfort. Since of common neural pathways, the patient may experience ear discomfort even if the stone is not contacting the ear.
•    Tonsil enlargement: Tonsil swelling occur when debris solidifies and a tonsil stone develops, as a result of irritation, illness, or the tonsil stone directly.

How are tonsil stones diagnosed?
The clinician may do a medical examination, checking within the throat and mouth, to identify tonsil stones.
•    If the stones are difficult to notice, an imaging scan is performed.
•    Occasionally, a healthcare professional will find tonsil stones during an inspection. If the patient has no signs, the physician may find a stone throughout a diagnostic or X-ray for another condition. Alternatively, the dentist might see them throughout a dental checkup.

How one could prevent tonsil stones?    
•    Gargling: There are a few benefits to vigorous gargling with salt water. It soothes the throat and may assist to eliminate tonsil stones. It might even get rid of the stink. This is especially useful when gargling after eating to avoid food and detritus from being lodged in the tonsil crypts.
•    Wheezing: Some individuals believe that a powerful cough might loosen and keep bringing up stones.

Note: The purpose of this article is to create general awareness among the readers. The information provided is not meant to be used for self-diagnosis or as a substitute to medical practitioner's recommendations. In case you find above stated symptoms in you or your known, kindly consult a physician or a specialist regarding diagnosis and treatment.

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What causes tonsil stones