What are these stinky bones that come out of my mouth?
Answer: Tonsillar Stones
The tonsils are located in the back of our throat. Tonsils help the body prevent and fight infections. They assist the immune system by trapping incoming bacteria and virus particles that are passing through the throat. Tonsillar stones tend to happen most often in people who have chronic inflammation in their tonsils, repeated episodes of tonsillitis and generalized large cryptic tonsils.
Cryptic tonsils are tonsils that have small pockets or pits called crypts. The crypts trap particles of bacteria, dead white blood cells, bacteria of fungi, food particles, excess saliva or mucous or smoking without a filter. These deposits are called tonsilloliths, tonsillar stones, or zots which can carry an unpleasant odor. They can cause discomfort, sore throat and bad breath. If small, however, they are often asymptomatic. In rare cases, tonsillar stones can become large enough to block air flow.
Effective ways to remove or dislodge them?
- gargle warm salt water
- press gently with a cotton swab
- oral irrigator
Unfortunately, the only way to CURE or PREVENT tonsillar stones are by surgically removing your tonsils (tonsillectomy). A tonsillectomy can be very painful and recovery lasts about two weeks or more.
Samantha is a Registered Dental Hygienist at Seasons of Smiles in Camden Maine. She graduated from the University of Maine in Bangor with her Associates Degree in Dental Hygiene.