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Has anyone treated tonsil stones?

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Ok, I know this is a really gross subject but, I get tonsil stones - a lot. Like, I can dig around in my tonsils and get some out every day. It's disgusting. I feel like I always have a bad taste in my mouth and, I have this funny smell in my nose. My DH says my breath doesn't stink but, I have a funny taste.

The older I get, the worse they get. I've heard that as we age, our tonsils shrink which creates more pockets for food to lodge causing a build up of bacteria etc...

Well, I'm at the point that I think I want to meet with an ENT to discuss my options. Right now, I'm digging them out on my own and I'm causing bleeding and swelling. I know, I know - I need to leave them alone but, I can feel them and taste them and I want them out so I go digging and I always come up with some. GROSS!!!

Anyway, I'm wondering if anyone has successfully treated tonsil stones? I know removing the tonsils is an option but, I've also heard of shaving them down or a partial tonsillectomy.

I'd love to hear any experiences.
post #2 of 24
Until I read your post, I had no idea there was a name for the damn things, I get them too! Not as often as you, though.

If I were in your situation, I probably would meet with the ENT to discuss options, mainly because it's so bothersome to you.
post #3 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by amcal View Post
Anyway, I'm wondering if anyone has successfully treated tonsil stones? I know removing the tonsils is an option but, I've also heard of shaving them down or a partial tonsillectomy.
I've heard that even after a tonsillectomy, they still occur... and you loose a part of your immune system (the tonsils) I've also heard that it can make the problem worse...

Going off of dairy is supposed to help a ton... that's not an option I can personally do (no matter how "bad" i know dairy is, I can't get enough calories without it)...

Using a neti pot has helped me (ah, post-nasal drip), but I still poke around at least once a week and some come out... so freaking gross.

Not much help, but you are in good company
post #4 of 24
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post #5 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your thoughts!

Partymoo - I've been using the bobby pin too - recently upgraded to a super big one so I can really get back there. I had used the smaller one, thought I got them all but saw a big one so I used that and sure enough - more were way back in there! Gross

I also use a waterpik to try to flush out the area but, it doesn't seem to be working.

Gosh, this is disgusting
post #6 of 24
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post #7 of 24
I never knew there was a name for those! I've had them all my life, but they don't usually bother me too bad. My sister used to get them, too. The only part that bothers me, is sometimes when they get loose on their own and I swallow one, and I'm not sure what I just swallowed!

Do yours hurt? Why is it so important to remove them? When I was younger, I used to use a Qtip to get them out, but I really don't see the need anymore.
post #8 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by thixle View Post
I've heard that even after a tonsillectomy, they still occur... and you loose a part of your immune system (the tonsils) I've also heard that it can make the problem worse...
Just curious, how can you get them if your tonsills are removed? where would they hang out or whatever?
post #9 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jemmind View Post
Just curious, how can you get them if your tonsills are removed? where would they hang out or whatever?
Yeah, I've never heard that either. I've heard that having your tonsils removed is the only sure way to be completely rid of them since you no longer have that space between your tonsils and cheek for them to hide in???

I have an ENT appt on Wednesday morning. I'll let you know what they say....
post #10 of 24
Now, this is just what I have gleaned from message boards from individuals, and I don't have anything bookmarked, so I can't get you back to the origional sources... I hope I make some sense, this was enough to keep me away from surgery because it is not a sure thing that surgery would cure it...

Okay, so first off, more than one person said the ENTs they went to had no idea what a tonsil stone (tonsilith) was in the first place and said the white stuff was pus and an active infection and they needed their tonsils out asap or they were at risk for massive sepsis... Which is obviously not true, and goes to show that some ENTs can be like some urologists when it comes to foreskin. Both of those body parts have been automatically cut out/off for so long that "modern medicine" doesn't exactly know the purposes and functions of them, they just know how to remove 'em... Personally, I think there is a purpose to the tonsils (why else would we have 'em) and possibly the purpose of tonsilliths is to keep that bacteria and crud near the tonsils to buid up your immune system. I just think some people have more accumulation than others, just like earwax. And just like earwax, I'm gonna remove it when it's bugging me!

Second, the tonsils are organs. Remove those and there is still at least one pocket-- where the tonsil was sitting. It doesn't smooth out the wall of your throat. There is still a depression/wrinkle/fold where the tonsil was-- and tonsil stones can still accumulate there. You would basically have to have some kind of resurfacing on the inside of your throat to make it flat and smooth, and I just don't know how plausable that would be. I mean crap, even plastic surgeons can't be sure you won't be left with some bumpy scar tissue. And this is inside your throat with mucousal tissue...

Third, many people have "cryptic tonsils" which basically means they have lots of pockets (crypts) on and around their tonsils which leaves that many more spaces for crap to accumulate. Like more than "average"-- I guess you could relate it to wrinkles on other body parts: some people have more, some have less. Either way, taking out the actual tonsils will not touch the "crypts" that aren't directly ON the tonsils. You still have folds in your throat, no matter what. And no one can guarantee that they can make it smooth. And the openings to the crypts can be very very small, barely noticable, but the crypts underneath can be very big-- which leaves places for that crap to build up and cause some major problems because the openings that are left are too small for it to get out of... Gross picture of a HUGE tonsillith *warning, DISTURBING*

Here, I just pulled this up from a message board, in response as to why someone who had their tonsils removed at age 12 was getting tonsil stones at age 23, so take it as you will:
Quote:
Don't forget that the oropharynx is surrounded by the lymphatic tissue of waldeyer's ring, so if you've only had your palatine tonsils removed, that still leaves you with pharyngeal (adenoid), tubal, and lingual tonsils within which to form the "tonsil cheese". I would venture to guess that if you are hacking these guys up, they're likely coming from the lingual tonsils at the base of the tongue.
sooooooo... it's darned near impossible to remove ALL of the tissue we reguard as "tonsils" at least when talking about where tonsil stones occur.

Actually, that whole thread is quite informative and entertaining On second thought, I'm on the second page now and feeling very queasy :Puke
And I can't stop coughing because I can feel them in my throat. Ugh.

Oh gosh, I've just rambled and rambled!
post #11 of 24
I just try to leave mine alone. I know that's not what you want to hear, but really, digging around back there is probably just stirring things up, and making you feel gross, and you might end up with a real infection. :P (Bleh, I'm starting to feel icky thinking about this too!)

In my case, I usually only notice the bad taste when I've been poking around back there.

Have you tried a gargle? Maybe that could get rid of the bad taste, at least.
post #12 of 24
Oh shew, I had posted in Dental about that nasty mothball breath, and had read about these. I gag if I touch anywhere past the back of my tongue. And recently my gag reflex has gotten super-sensitiv, but I totally get the *** breath feeling. Ugh. My DH noticed. Mine don't look holey at all.

Where would I start?

Mouthwash/gargling doesn't help. I do Neti Pot some.

Amcal, thaks for being brave.
post #13 of 24
Old gross thread I apparently didn't have the guts to sub to earlier.
I was wondering if there was anyone else who has experienced the following:
I *used* to have a LOT of tonsiliths. I was dx'd in June or so with a dairy intolerance, though I quit dairy in April/May due to ds1's allergy to it. I was off dairy for 3 or 4 months. I had *no* tonsiliths whatsoever in this time. I started consuming dairy again in September or so when I started having serious pregnancy cravings and, lo and behold, the tonsiliths are back! So I'm seriously wondering if it's a sign of food intolerance or allergy.
Has anyone else "treated" tonsiliths by going off a problem food?
post #14 of 24
Mine stop when I don't eat nuts. I'm not allergic to nuts but my tummy isn't always the happiest after I eat them either.
post #15 of 24
I get these, too, but I have noticed that since going off gluten I don't get them as much, and those that I do get don't have the putrid smell that they used to. I wonder if it's a matter of my eating fewer processed grains?
post #16 of 24
I had my tonsils removed (for another reason) and the tonsil stones stopped. I do have a mild depression where the tonsils were, I guess you could call it a pocket, though it's not really. The depression is smooth and there is nowhere for the stones to build up.

Not that I'm recommending surgery, but it did cure me.
post #17 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by JacquelineR View Post
Old gross thread I apparently didn't have the guts to sub to earlier.
I was wondering if there was anyone else who has experienced the following:
I *used* to have a LOT of tonsiliths. I was dx'd in June or so with a dairy intolerance, though I quit dairy in April/May due to ds1's allergy to it. I was off dairy for 3 or 4 months. I had *no* tonsiliths whatsoever in this time. I started consuming dairy again in September or so when I started having serious pregnancy cravings and, lo and behold, the tonsiliths are back! So I'm seriously wondering if it's a sign of food intolerance or allergy.
Has anyone else "treated" tonsiliths by going off a problem food?
My dentist (who gets them, too) said that she thought they were related to food allergies. But my memory from that conversation is that she was referring to environmental allergies.

I went off wheat, gluten, dairy, egg, peanut and other nuts in the past year. It hasn't made a difference in my tonsil stones. I have a mild-moderate affliction. Of course, I went off these foods for my DS, who is nursing, so *I* am not the one with the allergies/intolerances. But for the number of mamas who say, "I went off xxx, and I feel SOOO much better!" I would think that I would have felt SOME improvement. But, no, I've just lost a bazillion pounds.
post #18 of 24

Tonsil stones due to diary, gluten,etc

My entire life was crippled due to bad breadth last 25 years...a few days back, i bumped into anarticle where the author met a chinese herbalist. This herbalist exactly elaborated the reason for the tonsil stones; lactose intolerance. this author says, if we remove the existing tonsil stones and completely stop diary (not even a drop of it), in 2 to 4 weeks, tonsil stones wont recur and the bad breadth is cured . one should never ever have diary in their lives..this was a stunning find. everyone goes to ENTs and these nuts immediately talks about removing the tonsils surgically as the only way..i am sure after removing tonsils, the lactose intolerant person will continue to have bad breath..what a disaster! luckily i havent gone ahead. now, i have stopped dairy products (including biscuits, cakes,etc which also have diary in it). let me see whether its true. I think it should be true as i am extremely lactose intolerant. if i drink milk, i will get stomach upset..i hope that i will be liberated from this bad breath menace after 25 years! By the way, when I have done an intense yoga programme, we were instructed to completely avoid diary products. Yoga is very much against consumption of diary. They say the milk is for the calf. Not for the humans. I think I have cut down diary that (but still continued with tea,coffee). But now when I look back, those few months my tonsil problem was much less. So, I think there is a very strong connection. Even after such a possibility if modern medicine (ENTs) don’t bother to check this out and continue to talk about tonsil surgery, that should be criminal!
One more thing. the author of that article also says that those who hare lactose intolerant can be "gluten intolerant" too. so, if banning diary products is still not curing the tonsil stones, then move to the next step of banning all "gluten"-related foods including wheat,bread,etc..
post #19 of 24
You know, my dad quit drinking milk and my mom said his breath was much much better.
post #20 of 24

dairy is the culprit for me too

For me: Post nasal drip from dairy + cryptic tonsils = tonsil stones (and lot's more viral and bacterial infections too!

I tried sing a turkey baster type contraption from Whole Foods (similar to a Netti) but never consistently used it, though I've read many people have success with it.

For me, I can't ignore them. They are huge sometimes and I just can't walk around feeling like a tennis ball is lodged in my tonsil, lol.
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