What Are Tonsilloliths?
Many people have heard of kidney stones or gall bladder stones, but you may be asking yourself, what are tonsil stones?
In the medical field, tonsil stones are known as tonsillolith. Tonsilloliths, or tonsil stones, are small globs of bacteria and mucus that are shaped irregularly, with a whitish or yellowish hue and have a foul smell. They are usually formed in the back of a person’s throat. Tonsil stones is not a smooth appendage found in the throat. Tonsil crypts are small empty spaces that are present in the tonsils, where debris, mucous and dead cells accumulate.
To get a better idea of what tonsil stones are I’m going to take a minute to explain the anatomy of our tonsils. The tonsils are appendages that looks like glands founded in the back of the throat. On each side, there is one in a cavity. It is believed that the tonsils are supposed to be like nets that capture bacteria and particles that go through the throat. These particles can get stuck in the crevices of the tonsils. When particles accumulate, they tend to calcify and causing them to turn into these tiny pebbles.
Most experts in the medical field concede that as ‘organs’, the tonsils are not really that efficient in doing their supposed functions. In fact, many medical doctors believe the tonsils are not all that useful. It’s not uncommon for people to have had their tonsils removed. When a person has their tonsils removed he/she normally doesn’t notice any difference from when they had their tonsils, of course except for the recovery period and the expensive cost of the procedure.
Due to the fact that those yellowish spots don’t pose any health risks, except for unpleasant side effects such as bad breath and sore throat, many in the oral care and medical community has not really given a lot of attention the subject. Consequently, there is a lot of misinformation about tonsillolith. For a long time, people have been advised by dentists that those white spots in their tonsil area are just food particles that have been left behind and can be washed by drinking water. This is completely incorrect.
So to reword in another way and answer the common question I get of, “what are tonsil stones?” This question can be answered by looking at its composition: bacteria, post nasal drip and a couple of compounds containing sulfur, which lends them the nasty smell.
While tonsillolith may not be dangerous to one’s health, it is certainly be disadvantageous to one’s social life, due to the really bad odor it creates. I hope this article was able to answer your question as to exactly what is tonsil stones.