The tonsils are part of the body’s defense system in the form of two small glands in the base of the throat that function to prevent infection. Sometimes deeptonsilsformedrockwhich comes from the deposits of objects that enter through the mouth, including bacteria.Tonsil stonesusually harmless or painless, but can cause bad breath.
Tonsil stonesis a small lump on the glandtonsilswhich is composed of dirt, bacteria, and particles that enter through the mouth.Rockthese can form in crevices or creasestonsils. According to a 2014 study , many people can experience this condition without realizing it until they feel the symptoms. In that study, about 8 percent of the population aged 9-87 years hadtonsil stones.
Tonsil stonesaka tonsilloliths are usually harmless.Rockit is formed whentonsilstrap bacteria or dirt and other toxic substances that can cause disease. The tonsils contain lymphocytes, which are cells that play a role in preventing infection. There are many folds and fissures on the surface of the tonsils so dirt can easily get trapped there. When that happens and the particles solidify, they formtonsil stones.
These stones can usually be seen lodged in the back of the throat. But there are some cases where the stone is not visible and no symptoms arise. There is a possibility that the size of the stone is too small so that it cannot be seen with the naked eye. Can alsorockformed deep within the rifttonsilsso it’s not obvious. In this case, the doctor needs to take medical action to see the presence of these stones and help overcome them.
Not alltonsil stonescause symptoms. If it appears, here are some common symptoms:
- Stinky breath
- Difficult to swallow
- Feeling that something is stuck in the throat
- Mouth tastes bitter
- Sore throat
- There are white or yellow spots on the tonsils
Exact causetonsil stonesunknown. However, there are a number of factors that can influence its formation, including:
- Lack of care for dental and oral hygiene
- Large tonsils
- The tonsils have large fissures, passages or folds
- Experiencing chronic tonsillitis
- Excess mucus production due to chronic sinus infections
- Teenagers because teenagers tend to have large tonsil gaps and will shrink with age
- Experiencing recurrent tonsillitis
How Doctors DiagnoseTonsil Stones
- Do a physical exam, look inside the mouth and throat
- Get an X-ray or computed tomography (CT) scan of the head and neck. Even so, usually the presence of stones can be discovered accidentally during an inspection rather than a specific examination to find the stone.
- Remove the stone using a tool that complies with health standards
How to overcomeTonsil Stones
According to the doctors, duringtonsil stonesdoes not cause symptoms, no treatment needs to be done. The stone will disappear by itself. Meanwhile, if mild symptoms arise, the patient can do self-care first at home, for example:
- Gargle with room temperature water for 30 seconds after eating to help remove stones and relieve pain if present.
- Use a water flosser to lifttonsil stonesgently.
- A strong cough can loosen stones and lift them up.
One thing to remember, do not try to pick up the stone yourself with your fingers or toothbrush. This is because the soft tissue in the tonsils can be damaged and cause other problems.
It is better to see a doctor who can handle it with safer equipment and procedures such as administering antibiotics and may require surgery, namely tonsillectomy. This surgical procedure can be an option if the patient often experiences ittonsil stonesor infectiontonsils.
Tonsil stonesIt can lead to complications, although they are rare. These complications include the proliferation of bacteria in the stone which can cause halitosis to tooth decay.Tonsil stonesLarge ones can also damage the networktonsilsand cause swelling, inflammation, and infection.
Other complications include:
- Abscess or pus that appears between the tonsils and the throat wall
- Trouble breathing during sleep ( sleep apnea )
- Infection that spreads to surrounding tissues (tonsillar cellulitis)
- Infection resulting in pus collecting behind the tonsils (peritonsillar abscess)
The main way to preventtonsil stonesis caring for oral hygiene. For example by routinely brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing or cleaning the gaps in your teeth with special floss.
In addition, try to visit the dentist at least once every six months for treatment and examination. Cigarettes also affect the formationrockintonsilsso stay away from smoking habits to prevent it.
When to See a Doctor?
If home remedies don’t work as they should,tonsil stonescontinues to appear or is very disturbing, you should go to the doctor for the examination and necessary actions.
Ear Nose Throat Specialist Head Neck Surgeon
Primaya Hospital Makassar
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