When you look in the mirror, do you notice little white spots on the back of your throat?
If so, chances are you’re looking at books and websites trying to self-diagnose these whiteheads, fearing the worst. Could be some kind of strep throat. It could be “candidiasis”, a yeast infection in the mouth. Or they could be tonsils.
Tonsilloliths or “tonsil stones” are small white or yellow balls of accumulated food, dead white blood cells, and other particles in the mouth.
Ask yourself this: – Do you have a sore throat that accompanies the white spots on your throat? – Do you have trouble swallowing or do you feel like something is stuck in the back of your throat? – And do you have very bad breath?
If you answered Yes to any of the questions above, it is very likely that those white spots in your throat are tonsil stones. Tonsil stones occur in some people and not in others. Experts suggest that overactive salivary glands, an excess of oral bacteria, larger tonsils, and larger crypts or crevices play a factor in tonsil stones.
Tonsil stones are not life-threatening or dangerous. They are simply annoying as they can be irritable and also cause embarrassment. They have a rather strong unpleasant odor caused by the accumulation of bacteria. Tonsil stones, similar to tartar, will continue to grow and harden over time. While some tonsil stones are only the size of a pea, others can grow as large as a marble.
Tonsil stone removal can be quite difficult. Some people just sneeze or flex their throat and these white spots go away on their own. Others have to use a toothbrush, a Q-tip, or their finger to scrape out the tonsil stones. Others choose to have their tonsils removed surgically or with a laser if the problem becomes too big.
If you are prone to these annoying white spots on your throat, you need to make sure that you practice good oral hygiene. Adding baking soda to your toothpaste can also combat odor, as can chewing mint, thyme, or parsley leaves throughout the day.
And keep in mind that those disgusting white spots on your throat are more common than you think. You are not alone.