Tonsil stones are essentially hardened substances made up of bacteria, mucous and dead white blood cells, which give them the whitish color. These often emit a foul odor as should any biological objects which get stuck in your mouth and start to decay. While tonsil stones are not harmful to our health, they do become a very bothersome nuisance as it is a major cause of bad breath in most people.
There are plenty of symptoms which point towards this condition, but how to be sure? Some symptoms are more vague than others, such as coughing and sore throats. These are very common illnesses that may or may not be the causes of this condition. Well, this 5-step guide is here to help you determine whether you do indeed have this condition
1. The first thing to do is to check your breath. A person afflicted with tonsil stones will always have foul breath as these stones themselves emit a horrific smell.
2. Get a mirror and a torchlight, and shine the light into your mouth while looking into it through the mirror. If you see any white substances lodged on your tonsils, then you have tonsil stones for sure. Sometimes however, it might be difficult to locate the stones as they might be out of your sight, or they might be too tiny to be able to be seen.
3. Next, try brushing your teeth and go on your business as usual for about an hour. If your breath turns foul after an hour, it is likely that you have tonsil stones.
4. Try swallowing your saliva a couple of times, and feel if there is anything lodged at the back of your throat.
5. The final step to be sure might seem too difficult for most people, so you do not have to do this if you feel you are not able to. In the event you choose to attempt this, make sure you have not just had a meal. Get a cotton bud and while using a mirror, gently apply pressure on your tonsils with the bud and push upwards. This might stimulate the gag reflex in most people, which is why I recommended not doing this right after having a meal. If there are any stones lodged in your tonsils, they would come out of their crevasses after a couple of pushes.
If nothing of the above convinces you whether you do or do not have tonsil stones, then the alternative would be to just see a doctor. Be forewarned however that general practitioners might not be able to spot this condition. The best would be to see an ENT (ear, nose and throat) specialist.
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