If you experience pain when swallowing food or are suffering from bad breathe and you keep coughing, you might have tonsil stones, in which case you will need to consult your doctor.
The term refers to deposits of calcium that form at the back of the mouth; also called tonsilloliths, tonsil stones are a fairly common occurrence, especially in adults.
They are typically a mixture of yellow and white in color, sometimes manifesting as cream colored lumps that appear in the clefts of the throat (also called the tonsillar crypts).
Tonsil stones are a fairly simple ailment to diagnose, often resulting in symptoms such as the following:
-You can expect pain, especially in the neck; though not all manifestations of tonsil stones result in noteworthy amounts of pain. In some cases one will experience discomfort, emanating from the stones rubbing against the surface of the throat.
-Swallowing can become difficult, this applying to both solid food and fluids. The presence of the lumps will cause pain, enough to make eating a nightmare.
-The presence of tonsil stones more often than not leads to swelling which should be visible at the back of the throat.
-Because of the irritation resulting from the presence of the lumps, patients of tonsil stones tend to cough sporadically.
-Because of all the intermittent coughing, a sore throat is often an expected and relatively common result.
-People with this condition have bad breath; this is because of the anaerobic bacteria which grows and produces sulfur compounds that lead to halitosis.
-Some patients of tonsil stones have been known to experience pain in their ears (or at least some discomfort) as well as the taste of metal.
Treating Tonsil stones
This condition is most commonly treated using antibiotics; it is worth keeping in mind however that antibiotics are more likely to bring relief than actually treat the underlying causes of tonsil stones. And that isn’t even taking into account the discomfort that arises from prolonged antibiotic use.
Tonsil operations are also an option in cases where the stones become too large or contract an infection. There are cases where tonsil stones keep reoccurring even after treatment, in which case you might have to have your tonsils removed using a procedure known as Tonsillectomy.
By removing tonsil tissue completely, the chances of stones forming in the throat are completely eliminated.
Not every case of tonsil stones requires one to visit their local pharmacy or even a doctor, though, not with the numerous homemade treatments that have been known to effectively combat tonsil stones.
It is possible to remove stones from the crevasses of the throat using cotton swabs; though the most common homemade tonsil stone treatment would be salt water. After gargling salt water, you can use a tooth pick to essentially dislodge the lumps from their place. It will take some effort but the stones should come lose, in which case you have to remember to spit them out rather than swallowing.
It is worth keeping in mind that you could just as easily extract the stones with your fingers; by just reaching into your mouth and pulling you might save yourself a trip to the doctor.