The tonsils are the two masses of tissue on either side of the back of the throat. According to Medicine Net, normal tonsils are similar in size to each other and have the same pink color as the surrounding area.
A person who has recurring sore throats and enlarged or infected tonsils might be diagnosed with chronic tonsillitis. If persistent infection of the tonsils continues, small depressions called crypts might appear. These pockets in the tonsils can harbor bacteria and stones, or foul smelling balls of pus.
Tonsilloliths, also known as tonsil stones, are irregularly shaped, whitish-yellow globs of mucus and bacteria that get caught in the back of the throat, according to TonsilStones.com. Since these stones can contain a high quantity of sulfur, they usually smell like rotten eggs when crushed, and in turn can cause extremely bad breath. Stones also can be bothersome because they give the feeling of debris lodged in the back of the throat.
Things You'll Need
- Water Pick
- Ear curette or Q-tip
Make an appointment for a consultation with your health care provider, in order to confirm that the problem you are experiencing is actually tonsillitis.
Get a prescription. If your physician determines you have infected tonsils, he probably will write you a prescription for an antibiotic. Fill the prescription at a pharmacy and take as directed.
Gargle with warm saltwater. Fill a coffee cup 2/3 full of warm water, and add several teaspoons of salt. Gargle several times for 30 seconds each to clear mucus and lessen the swelling of your tonsils.
Dislodge stones by using water pick. TonsilStone Info suggests that you use an irrigator or water-pick with low pressure, attach the tongue-cleaner and use to clear debris out of the crypts in the effected tonsil.
Remove stones with ear curette or Q-tip. Wet the cotton end for less discomfort, and use the end of the object to dislodge the stone. Use caution with this method, because slipping can cause injury and you might experience a gagging sensation.
If you have recurring problems, you might need to have your tonsils surgically removed. However, this should be a last resort, because your tonsils help to fight infection.
Tips & Warnings
- Change your toothbrush frequently because it can hold bacteria.
- Try gargling with an antibacterial mouthwash.
- Seek medical attention, since untreated tonsil stones can lead to serious infection.