Causes and Symptoms of Tonsil Stones

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Causes and Symptoms of Tonsil Stones

Tonsilloliths, more commonly referred to as tonsil stones, are stones that develop in or on your tonsils. The hard, tiny stones are typically yellow or white in color and can vary greatly in size. The smaller tonsil stones look similar to a grain of rice, but they are able to grow to the size of a grape. 

Normally, tonsil stones do not cause any health issues, but occasionally they become excessively large and will have a negative effect on your tonsils. Tonsil stones usually have a foul odor and will cause inflammation in one or both tonsils.  

What Causes Tonsil Stones?

Causes and Symptoms of Tonsil Stones

In order to understand why tonsil stones develop, you need to know that your tonsils look like small orbs filled with fissures, holes, and cavities. This means that there are plenty of places for debris, germs, and bacteria to hide, which is how tonsil stones develop in the first place.  

When the germs, debris, and bacteria have had a chance to build up, tonsil stones can form in the different gaps and cavities inside your tonsils. Once formed, these calcified lumps are easily able to grow and multiply.  

What Are the Symptoms of Tonsil Stones?

A lot of people with tonsil stones are completely unaware that they even have them because they do not typically cause pain and are often very small and difficult to see. Tonsil stones, however, do produce a few obvious symptoms. If you become aware of some of the below-listed symptoms occurring simultaneously, it could be an indication that you have developed tonsil stones. 

  • Consistent bad breath
  • Raw/sore throat
  • Constant cough
  • Yellow or white spots on your tonsils might be visible 
  • Hard time swallowing
  • Consistent earache
  • Inflamed tonsils

Can Your Dentist Remove Tonsil Stones?

It is not a good idea for you to try to remove your own tonsil stones or those of another person. If you develop tonsil stones that persist for more than a few days, it is important that you schedule an appointment with your dental professional. He or she might be able to remove them for you manually, but if they have been allowed to develop for a period of time, surgery may be required to get rid of them. 

At McBride Dental, we want to help you and your family do everything possible to have and preserve healthy teeth and gums. By scheduling regular appointments with your California family dentist and practicing the oral care techniques we teach you, your whole family will easily maintain teeth that are healthy, strong, and effective.

The San Marcos offices of Dr. Michael McBride are staffed with reputable, professional San Diego dentists that are ready to address any concerns you may have regarding common dental procedures, as well as preventative, cosmetic, or restorative dentistry. We also provide sedation dentistry treatments as an option for our patients with severe dental anxiety.

It is our job to help you and your family establish healthy dental habits to make sure that your teeth will always be there when you need them and your smile will always look great.

If you would like to schedule an appointment with a San Marcos dentist, please give us a call at (760) 471-1003 and speak with a trained member of our dental staff today.

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