Tonsil stones: the horror continues

And I do mean horror. The following is strictly TMI.

I’ve been having problems with these disgusting things for the last several years. I’ve discussed it on the board before. Notably, in a thread in January of this year, I asked for instructions on how to remove them. I couldn’t get it to work then.

A couple of weeks ago, I got a tonsil stone in my left tonsil that was so large I was having trouble swallowing. It was so irritating that it was keeping me up at night. I think I finally swallowed it in my sleep or something.

Then, on Sunday night, I got the same feeling in my right tonsil. It felt like I had a tonsil stone the size of a marble in there. This happened during the six hour drive home from my grandmother’s house, and I disgusted the whole car by trying to cough the thing out. Nothing worked.

So I went home and got a magnifying mirror, a bright light, and a pencil. As soon as my tonsil was visible, I poked the eraser end of the pencil in there and pressed on my tonsil. I was positively horrified by what happened next.

It looked like I was squeezing a big fat centipede out of a tube of toothpaste. The stone that emerged must have completely filled the crypt of my tonsil. It was about an inch and a half long and more than half an inch wide. It was a little bloody.

It was all I could do not to throw up in disgust.

My right tonsil now feels very strange. Probably because it’s empty for the first time in years. Gah! I’m afraid to proble the left tonsil, for fear that I’ll find another massive stone.

I tried to save the hideous thing to show to my ENT, but it vanished from my bathroom during the night. The evidence strongly indicates that my cat ate it.


I feel your pain. Well. almost. I’ve never had one THAT big! Largest Iv’e had was maybe 1/4 inch x 1/4 inch. But then, I am in the bathroom every few days with a flashlight and a medical grade swab stick (basicalyl a q-tip with a looooong handle. :wink: )

I have been having HORRIBLE mouth problems since last November. Clearly, it’s realted to my new work locale. As soon as I started worknig in this hospital, I was getting tonsil stones and realyl bad post-nasal drip. Even trighgt now, a big ol’ glob of mucus is sitting in the back of my throat. If I cough it up, more will jsut take its place. I was given a free sample of some allergy meds by my doc, and no go. I bought some more allergy meds on my own, in case a ten day supply wasn’t long enough. Took tyhem for almost am onth, and still no help. I am pretty sure the post nasal drip is contributing to the tonsil stones.

Oh, and there is always blood coming from my tonsils when I remove the stones. Especially from the left one. Argh. :mad:

Dude! Get a tonsilectomy! That kind of event more than justifies it in my eye. And rinse off the cat.

Now I don’t feel so bad about my tiny, only-when-i’m-sick tonsiliths.

I’ve never had one that large. Mine are tiny, and allergies seem to work for me, because when I sneeze they often come out all by themselves!

But they are nasty. And I feel like throwing up thinking your cat ate yours. (erp)

No kidding! I am completely disgusted by that.

I guess the cat thought it was tasty, though, because she’s been sniffing around that part of the bathroom counter, apparently hunting for more. :eek:

Hey, I get mine out that way too! We use the same methods for pushing our stones out. How sweet.

Actually, I haven’t had one in awhile (knock wood), but a few years back I used to be plagued by them. I had mono when I was in my teens and it attacked my tonsils, scarring them and leaving pitted areas behind. These were a great breeding ground for stones and I would have to poke them out once a week or so. I think eventually new flesh grew over the pitted areas, since I haven’t had a stone in about a year.

After you get them out, gargle rinse your mouth out with salt water or an antiseptic mouthwash to flush out remaining particles, and prevent infection.

Go get yourself a tonsillectomy. That is by far the most disgusting thing I’ve seen in a long time. You’ll feel like shit for about a week, but at least you won’t have the gross-out fest to contend with.

I’m hoping to avoid surgery. I keep reading on sites like WebMD that there are ways to keep the stones from forming, but I haven’t seen anything specific. I’m hoping the ENT will tell me what the options are.

You can poke your own stones out of your own tonsils?

I shudder to think what you guys would do with kidney stones! :eek:

I feel such a brotherhood right now. A brotherhood of nasty white things that come out of my tonsils.

I was reading about a year back that a non-invasive laser technique had been developed, and passed at least an initial phase of clinical testing, but have heard nothing since. I’ve been reluctant to go for the full-fledged tonsilectomy, but the sheer number of crypts in my tonsils (which keeps getting larger) might necessitate it soon.

So, just chimin’ in to feel your pain.

Mama Tiger, I can’t do it. No matter what, soon’s I touch a Q-tip or anything to my tonsils, I have to stop. It’s just too much for me.

I couldn’t do it before either. And I was coughing and gagging as I did this one. I just had to get the Centipede Stone out of there, though, and I think its large size made it pretty easy to get it out.

I’m amazed that anyone can pop stones out on a regular basis.

I don’t have much of a gag reflex. And I’ve enver been scared to go to the dentist, so the eneral acto f things proding and poking inside my mouth doesn’;t bother me. Though I have come very close to inducing my gag reflex a few times trying to get really hard to reach stones out of there. It seems that the more I can taste/smell it in the back of my throat, the more deep down it’s nestled. Makes no sense.

When I first started getting them a few years ago, I asked my dentist about them. I was very embarrassed, since I was much more of a girly-girl back then, and I knew ladies didn’t admit to such things! He just laughed and told me some people can pop them in and out on command and often demonstrate for him. :eek: The things people do.

I have never been so happy to have my tonsils out in my life.

I can’t even FIND my tonsils, much less pop stones out of them. I feel like I’ve got a very small mouth right about now.

AFAIK, they don’t do tonsillectomies unless you’ve got a severe, recurring infection. Partly b/c such a surgery is worse for adults than it is for kids, and partly b/c the tonsils help fight off infectious bacteria that enter the body. My doc said that if I hadn’t had my tonsils, the mono would have hit me a lot harder. My brother had his tonsils out at age 5, and when he got mono some years later, he was bedridden for a month. I just felt like I had a bit of a flu.

I dunno. The last doctor I saw about this seemed to indicate that if I really pushed, they would be willing to take my tonsils due to the many crypts in them. If it gets much worse (and it has been getting worse, steadily, for about 20 years!) I may just do that.

And here is the link for some laser ablation:

Not sure how widely used this is, if at all.

When I mentioned them to my dentist, he stared at me like I was insane.

Wow, **Q.N., ** that’s gotta be traumatic. At least my dentist reassured me that there was nothing to fear and it was totally normal.