When to See a Doctor About Tonsil Stones

Tonsil stones have troubled individuals for generations, and they can lead to a myriad of unpleasant symptoms that can range from mildly annoying to severely painful. Although your tonsils are designed to trap bacteria and viruses in order to keep them from invading your body even further, they are sometimes unable to properly perform this function and may begin trapping too much bacteria and other particles in their crevices. When this happens, the excess material can become calcified and turn into tonsil stones. If the tonsil stones are very small, they may not cause any noticeable symptoms, but if they are large they could cause a variety of problems. You should seek help from a doctor if your tonsil stones cause any of the following symptoms:

  • Bad breath
  • White debris in the back of the throat
  • Swelling and discomfort in the tonsils
  • Ear Pain
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Chronic sore throat

Bad Breath

Everyone can expect to deal with bad breath periodically, especially after eating certain types of foods like broccoli, garlic, and onions. When bad breath is caused by food or by poor dental hygiene, it typically improves once the affected individual ceases to eat certain foods and adopts a healthier dental hygiene routine. However, if bad breath is severe and persistent, then it may be a symptom of tonsil stones. Individuals who have infected tonsils often have an unusually high concentration of foul-smelling compounds such as sulfur in their breath. Depending on the severity of the tonsil stones, bad breath symptoms can be extremely unpleasant and very noticeable.

White Debris

Some tonsil stones may be detected by the presence of white debris in the back of the throat that looks like a solid white lump. If you suspect that you have tonsil stones, have someone check the back of your throat with a flashlight and see if any white debris is visible. Even if white debris is not obviously visible, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have tonsil stones. In some cases, the white lumps can be very well hidden within the tonsil crevices and folds and may not be detectible without the use of specialized tools.

Swelling and Discomfort

If your tonsils are swollen and infected, they can become very uncomfortable and can cause your throat to feel restricted. When the tonsils are swollen and infected it is often visibly apparent.

Ear Pain

Because the tonsils share some nerve pathways with the ears, tonsil stones can cause you to suffer from frequent earaches.

Difficulty Swallowing

If the tonsil stones are large, they may partially block off the throat and make it painful and difficult to swallow foods and liquids.

Chronic Sore Throat

Tonsil stones can cause discomfort and pain in the back of the throat that is persistent and chronic. In most cases, the only way to alleviate this pain is by having the tonsil stones removed. The larger the tonsils stones are, the more likely they are to cause chronic sore throat symptoms.

If you experience any of these unpleasant symptoms, it is important to visit your doctor and find out if you are suffering from tonsil stones. Once your tonsil stones are removed, your symptoms should immediately begin to subside.