Halitosis Caused By Tonsillolith-Treatment By Tonsillectomy
Tonsilloliths (Tonsil stone) are rare calcified concretions that develop in tonsillar crypts within the substance of the tonsils.
Causes of Tonsil Stones
Your tonsils contain several crypts or holes which are filled with bacteria and other materials, including dead cells and mucous. When this occurs, the debris can become concentrated in white formations that occur in the pockets.
Tonsil stones, or Tonsilloliths, are formed when this trapped debris hardens, or calcifies. This tends to occur most often in people who suffer from chronic inflammation in their tonsils or repeated attacks of tonsillitis.
While many people have small tonsilloliths that develop in their tonsils, it is quite rare to have a large and solidified tonsil stone.
Symptoms of Tonsil Stones
Many small tonsil stones do not cause any noticeable symptoms. Even when they are large, some tonsil stones are only discovered incidentally on X-rays or CT scans. Some larger tonsilloliths, however, may have multiple symptoms:
Bad breath (Halitosis). Patients with tonsil stone had high content of volatile sulfur compounds in the subjects’ breath.
Sore throat. The presence of a tonsil stone itself, though, may cause you to feel pain or discomfort in the area where it is lodged. Depending on the location or size of the tonsil stone, it may be difficult or painful to swallow foods or liquids.
White debris. Some tonsil stones are visible in the back of the throat as a lump of solid white material. Often they are hidden in the folds/crypts of the tonsils. In these instances, they may only be detectable with the help of CT scan. When collected debris hardens and a tonsil stone forms, inflammation from infection (if present) and the tonsil stone itself may cause a tonsil to swell or become larger.
Treatment of Tonsil Stones
The appropriate treatment for a tonsil stone depends on the size of the tonsillolith and its potential to cause discomfort or harm. Various options include:
and No treatment. Many tonsil stones, especially ones that have no symptoms, require no special treatment.
and At-home removal. Some people choose to dislodge tonsil stones at home with the use of picks or swabs.
and Salt water, Antiseptic gargles. Gargling with warm, salty water, chlorhexidene or iodine gargles may help alleviate the discomfort of tonsillitis, which often accompanies tonsil stones.
and Antibiotics. Various antibiotics can be used to treat tonsil stones, but it is not very helpful and they cannot correct the basic problem that is causing tonsilloliths.
Surgical removal :Tonsillectomy
When tonsil stones are exceedingly large and symptomatic, it may be necessary for a surgeon to remove them. Since tonsil stones are more common in people who have chronic tonsillitis, the only way to prevent their occurrence is with surgical removal of the tonsils. This procedure, known as a tonsillectomy, removes the tissues of the tonsils entirely, thereby eliminating the possibility of tonsillolith formation.
Unlike tonsil stone extraction, traditional tonsillectomies are typically performed under general anesthesia. Laser Partial Tonsillectomy can be done if the causative crypts are identified.