Tonsil Stones Facts
Looking for some tonsil stones facts? What is a tonsil? The tonsils are organs which contain lymphocytes that fight off microorganisms threatening to invade the body by entering through the mouth and upper airways. The pair of tonsils found at the back of the tongue and that which become swollen during infection, are the palatine tonsils. The palatine tonsils are familiar to the layman since tonsillitis may infect a person during his/her lifetime. However, there are also the numerous lingual tonsils lining the base of the tongue, and the pharyngeal tonsil solitarily located in the pharynx.
What are tonsil stones? Tonsil stones or tonsiloliths are accumulated food particles, mucus, and bacteria that become solid and calcified. The tonsils are made up of crypts and crevices consistent with its function in trapping potentially harmful microorganisms; however, some people have deeper tonsil crypts which trap food debris as well. When food accumulates in the tonsils, bacteria follow suit. The particles then aggregate, solidify and harden. Unfortunately, the process of calcification or tonsilolith formation is not entirely understood.
Ok let’s move on and talk about some tonsil stones facts that are interesting and enlightening.
Some Interesting Tonsil Stones Facts
Tonsil stones are common. We have a number of interesting tonsil stones facts for you. Here’s the first one, according to a French study involving 551 subjects, 31 people or 6 per cent of the population was found to have tonsil stones. Another study by Brazilian researchers found that 75 per cent of those with bad breath also have tonsil stones, while the condition was found in six per cent of those with normal breath.
Tonsil stones are benign. Tonsil stones are not dangerous and they are not associated with any serious medical conditions. However, tonsil stones may cause symptoms such as bad breath, odynophagia (difficulty or pain in swallowing), and tonsil swelling so they should be removed and treated promptly.
Tonsil stones are made up of other minerals too. As mentioned above, tonsil stones are made up of calcified food, mucus and bacteria. They may also contain phosphorus, magnesium, ammonia, and carbonate, which are trace minerals normally found in the body.
Many clinicians are unfamiliar with tonsil stones. Despite its prevalence in people with tonsillitis and bad breath, tonsil stones are often missed by clinicians. Some dentists think they are only food debris and wrongly advise the patient to ignore them. Others mistake tonsil stones at the back of the tongue for white spots characteristic of bacterial infection.
Tonsil stones are usually found in the palatine tonsils, but they also occur in the lingual tonsils. Most tonsil stones occur in the palatine tonsils, but there are very rare cases when they form in the lingual tonsils.
Anaerobic bacteria thrive in tonsil stones! The foul smelling breath often associated with tonsil stones are due to anaerobic bacteria which thrive in the tonsil crypts. Anaerobic bacteria thrive in very little or no oxygen as in tonsil crypts with debris build up, and they produce substances including sulphur which contribute to bad breath. Out of all the tonsils stones facts in this article this is the most enlightening and most important when trying to find a tonsil stones cure.
Tonsil stones can be small and weigh 300 mg – but there are reports of tonsil stones reaching a weight of up to 42 grams! Out of all the tonsil stones facts here, this is the most scariest (to me anyways). The stones are usually small, but there are very rare cases where tonsil stones can become enlarged.
I hoped you enjoyed learning about the tonsil stones facts. If you have any you would like to share, please email me and I will be sure to let everyone know.