Tonsillolith

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A tonsillolith, also known as a tonsil stone or a zot, is a piece or, more commonly, a cluster of calcareous matter that forms in the rear of the mouth, in the crevasses (called tonsillar crypts) of the palatine tonsils (commonly known as tonsils). Protruding tonsilloliths may feel like foreign objects lodged in the tonsil crypt. Tonsilloliths occur more frequently in adults than in children. Many small tonsil stones do not cause any noticeable symptoms. Even when they are large, some tonsil stones are only discovered accidentally on X-rays or CT scans. Other symptoms include a metallic taste, throat closing or tightening, coughing fits, and choking. Larger tonsilloliths may have multiple symptoms, including recurrent halitosis, which frequently accompanies a tonsil infection, sore throat, white debris, a bad taste in the back of the throat, difficulty swallowing, otalgia, and tonsil swelling. A medical study conducted in 2007 found an association between tonsilloliths and bad breath. Among those with bad breath, 75% of the subjects had tonsilloliths while only 6% of subjects with normal halitometry values (normal breath) had tonsilloliths. A foreign body sensation may also exist in the back of throat. A common method of removal is with use of the tongue. Unlike other methods, this does not provoke the gag reflex. Various other methods also exist. While difficult to perform due to the gag reflex, a quick brushing with a toothbrush may remove surfaced tonsilloliths. Another effective way to remove tonsil stones is by pressing a finger or cotton swab against the bottom of the tonsil and pushing upward. The pressure acts to squeeze out stones. Using an oral analgesic like Chloraseptic can help suppress the gag reflex while cleaning the tonsils or crypts. Embedded tonsilloliths (which develop inside tonsils) are not easily removed, but will naturally erupt from the tonsils over time. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]





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