Before we discuss what causes tonsil stones, here is a little bit of information on what they actually are. Tonsil stones, which are medically referred to by the term tonsilloliths.
They are described as small outgrowths or clusters of calcified material in the crevices of a person’s tonsils. The stones commonly occur in the palatine tonsils but may sometimes occur in the lingual tonsils.
Though tonsil stones are mostly composed of calcium, they may also contain various other minerals, these include minerals such as magnesium and phosphorus, or even ammonia and carbonate.
Studies indicate that these stones are a fairly common condition that affects adults more frequently than small children. In some cases this condition may not produce any noticeable symptoms. In other cases this condition is manifested by bad breath, pain when swallowing, coughing fits, metallic taste, throat tightening, or even chocking.
What are causes?
Though most people have no clue concerning the causes of tonsil stones, this is an important question that acts as the first and most important step in the prevention, diagnosis and proper treatment of tonsil stones.
To understand the answer to this question, it is important that one understands how the human body cleansing system which encompasses the lymphatic system and the tonsils works.
The lymphatic system carries lymph fluid, a natural body fluid that collects and transports dead cells, bacteria and foreign objects from the body and deposits them in your tonsils.
In turn, the tonsils, which are natural filters, remove the dead cells, food particles, bacteria and other foreign particles deposited from the lymph fluid. The filtered material are then stored in the crevices of the tonsils.
Naturally, the body is able to dispose the filtered material through a person’s mouth or feces. However, in some cases the material dumped from the lymph fluid for filtering by the tonsils is too much that the tonsils end up being overworked and at times even swell up.
As a result, the filtered material continues to accumulate too fast while the body is unable to naturally dispose of this material. After sometime this material grows hard, or calcifies and turns into tonsil stones.
Allergies are also seen as a cause of tonsil stones. This makes people who suffer allergies more likely candidates of tonsil stones. Most people who suffer allergies are more prone to sinus infections.
This excess mucous produced by the sinuses is a leading cause of tonsil stones. Below we will discuss what you can do to prevent tonsil stones.
Your diet can also be one of the many causes
In other cases, tonsil stones causes are diet related. Dairy products, sugar, fats and oils are the most commonly known foods that can cause or otherwise worsen the problem of tonsil stones.
The Lactose in sugar and dairy products is a perfect food for bacteria that cause tonsil stones, while fats and oils results in an imbalance in the bacteria that are naturally found in your throat.
Smoking, especially without a filter is very harmful to the tonsils and also causes tonsil stone symptoms. Smoking is a major cause of tonsillitis in the US. Tonsillitis in turn causes tonsil stones.
Other known causes of tonsil stones include:Post Nasal Drip,Autoimmune Disorders,Stress,Refined Foods,Virus & Bacterial Infections,Alcohol,Toxins From Environment, and other conditions which cause dilution of the lymph fluid.