Tonsil stones (also known as tonsilloliths, tonsilar calculi or stinkers) are clusters of calcified material that form in the crevices of the tonsils. They are mostly composed of calcium but may contain other minerals as well, such as magnesium, carbonate, phosphorus or ammonia.
Most of them are small and quite common, and true tonsillar stones that are large and solidified are rare. They are not harmful or deadly, but they can cause a lot of problems to the patient, including bad breath.
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The tonsils are gland-like structures found in the back of your throat and play a role in the immune system. Specialists believe that they are meant to work as a net, catching bacteria and viruses that are passing through the throat. But unfortunately, because of the large number of bacteria we are getting in contact with on a daily basis, the tonsils don’t perform their job very well. Most of the times they become a hindrance rather than a help and can develop different conditions, including tonsil stones.
How Do You Get Tonsil Stones?
There are many things that can cause stones in tonsils such as bacteria, dead cells, a bad oral hygiene, a bad diet, medication etc. and we covered them all in this article: “What Causes Tonsil Stones?”