While tonsil stones don't really pose any serious health risks, they are unavoidably annoying to deal with. They tend to result in bad breath and even chronic discomfort—two of the most common symptoms that people with tonsil stones experience.
That said, let's talk more about tonsil stones, delving into what they really are, what symptoms they cause, and what causes them to grow in the first place:
What Are Tonsil Stones?
Sometimes referred to as tonsilloliths, tonsil stones are stone-shaped masses that grow in the pockets inside your tonsils. They are very small, typically less than a centimeter, and are often covered with a white film. If a tonsil stone is visible from the tonsil's surface, it is called a visible tonsil stone.
There are also non-visible tonsil stones, which are so embedded within the tonsil pockets that they are not visible without special tools.
What Are the Symptoms of Tonsil Stones?
The main symptom of tonsil stones is bad breath. As you probably know, bad breath is caused by the sulfur compounds that are created by oral bacteria, so it is no surprise that tonsil stones are actually one of the main causes of this unpleasant condition.
You may also experience chronic sore throat, ear pain, and a feeling of a lump in the throat, all of which are caused by tonsil stones. However, this may be on the severe side of things.
What Causes Tonsil Stones?
The exact cause of tonsil stones is not known, but there are certain factors that can make the occurrence of these unpleasant masses more likely.
Poor Oral Hygiene
The most important factor that can cause the development of tonsil stones is poor oral hygiene. Tonsil stones develop from bacteria trapped in the pockets of the tonsils. If there isn't any way to wash them out, bacteria will accumulate and form a hard mass.
Food and Drink
Some foods and drinks can contribute to the formation of tonsil stones. Smoking is a well-known cause of the formation of tonsil stones. Drinking excessive amounts of coffee and alcohol makes it more likely that you will develop tonsil stones. A diet high in meat and dairy products can also cause the development of tonsil stones.
There is also no doubt that genetics play a role in the development of tonsil stones. People who have a family history of tonsil stones are more likely to develop them than those who don't.
Keep in mind that the above causes of tonsil stones don't necessarily mean that if you fail in any department, such as oral hygiene, you will automatically get tonsil stones. For instance, tonsil stones can be caused by bacteria build-up, but many people who have tonsil stones have the same amount of bacteria in their mouths as people who do not, so the causes aren't clear.
Tonsil stones can be an annoying, uncomfortable, and embarrassing condition, but they have no known serious health risks. Tonsil Tech offers tools specifically made to help in the removal of tonsil stones. If you are looking to buy tonsil stone removal kits in the US to help you live a life free from bad breath and more, check out what we have to offer!