Tonsil stones (tonsilloliths) are white or yellow hard formations located within the tonsils. It is quite common that people can have tonsil stones without knowing. The rocks are not always visible, and they can form from the size of a small grain of rice to as large as a size of a grape. It is not a known factor that tonsil stones can cause health complications, but it can cause your tonsils to swell and leave an unpleasant odor due to the size of the growth.
The tonsils are made up of tunnels, cervices, and pits that are called crypts. There are various types of debris like dead cells, salvia, mucus, and food trapped in the open area that bacteria and fungi feed on, which creates a foul odor. When the trapped debris hardens over time, it becomes tonsil stones. The potential causes include overgrowth of the tonsils, chronic sinus issues, tonsillitis, or poor dental hygiene. If you noticed these symptoms such as bad breath, sore throat, swallowing problems, ear pain, swollen tonsils, white or yellow stones, you must schedule an appointment to see your dentist.
Luckily there are ways to prevent tonsil stones by practicing good oral hygiene, including cleaning bacteria off the back of your tongue, stop smoking, gargle salt water once a day, and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.