Also known as tonsilloliths, tonsil stones are becoming a very common problem. Millions of people suffer from this condition even though it is not as well known as most other health conditions out there. These stones that develop on and around the tonsils are a build up of calcium carbonate deposits.

These stones develop in the tonsillar crypts, which are pockets in the tonsils that are used to prevent bacteria from entering the body. The color these stones often have are an off whitish color. However, sometimes these stones can look yellowish as well. They come in different shapes but often they are little round balls.

Most tonsil stones are small in size like little pebbles. In fact, sometimes they are so small you can’t see them until you cough them up. In some rare cases tonsil stones can become enlarged to the point where they can stop you from breathing properly. In these rare cases where tonsil stones become huge the only way to remove them is through surgery.

One of the most common symptoms these stones cause is excessive bad breath. Most people that have tonsil stones believe they have halitosis because their breath smells so badly. However, as soon as the stones are removed their breath will begin to smell a lot better. Once the discovery of these stones have been made most people will turn to common household items to remove them.

One household item often used to get rid of tonsil stones are Q-tips. The use of Q-tips can help dislodge the stones out of your mouth. You have to becareful because if you apply too much force you can actually puncture the stone and release the nasty build up in your mouth.

Bad breath is not the only symptom you’ll experience if you have tonsil stones. Other symptoms that you may experience include earache, difficulty swallowing, inflammation towards the back of your mouth, and excessive coughing.

Inflammation is believed to be the most common cause of these stones devloping in the tonsils. Stones can also form in your tonsils’ pockets due to excessive build up of bacteria and other debris. This is why it’s important to brush your teeth daily in order to remove these unwanted wastes from your mouth.

If the stones are too small to see the best way to check if you have them or not is to get an X-Ray done. As far as treatments go gargling your mouth with salt water daily can help remove the stones. The salt-water gargle will loosen up the stones and then get removed once you spit them out.

Even though you remove your tonsil stones doesn’t mean they won’t return. If they keep returning after removal then it may be a good idea to just remove both tonsils. With the tonsils gone there won’t be anywhere for the tonsil stones to form. However, since the tonsils are required to help block unwanted materials from getting into the body the removal of them should be your last option. The name of this surgical procedure is tonsillectomy and it can cost a lot of money if you don’t have insurance to cover it.

Tonsil stones are a problem that most people don’t know how to deal with. John writes at his website about different ways to treat this unknown problem.