They may once have been a useful part of your immune system, but now tonsils are more likely to be the source of throat problems like tonsil stones. If you or your child has symptoms of tonsil stones, the experienced team at Family Ear, Nose & Throat, LLC. can help. At their locations in Kittery, Maine, and Stratham, New Hampshire, they can treat tonsil problems medically or perform surgery if you have large, troublesome tonsil stones. To learn more about the available treatments for tonsil stones, call the office nearest you or book an appointment online today.
Tonsil stones form when dead cells, mucus, bits of debris, and bacteria collect in the tissues around your tonsils. The trapped materials may stick together and then solidify to create small, hard lumps called tonsilloliths. Small tonsil stones are quite common, but it's unusual for large stones to form.
Your tonsils are at the back of your throat, one on each side, and aren't usually visible. They may have been an important part of the body's immune system, trapping viruses, bacteria, and other microorganisms before they could enter bodily tissues.
Now, tonsils have limited uses and are prone to developing infections rather than preventing them. Tonsil stones are more likely to affect you if you experience frequent bouts of tonsillitis or have chronically inflamed tonsils.
Many people have tonsil stones without realizing it because they don't experience any symptoms. If your tonsil stones do become symptomatic, you might have:
If you look at your throat in the mirror, you might be able to see a lump of white material on your tonsils.
Your provider at Family Ear, Nose & Throat, LLC. can generally diagnose tonsil stones by their appearance. If there are no visible stones, but your symptoms suggest their presence, you might need to undergo a CT scan to confirm the diagnosis. The practice has convenient CT facilities on-site.
If you have tonsil stones that aren't causing any issues, they don't need treating. However, if your tonsil stones are adversely affecting you, the team at Family Ear, Nose & Throat, LLC. offers several treatment options, including:
Cryptolysis is a technology that uses laser or radiofrequency energy to generate scar tissue on the tonsils. The scarring helps prevent tonsil stones from forming.
If your tonsil stones are particularly large or causing a lot of trouble, your provider at Family Ear, Nose & Throat, LLC. might recommend surgically removing them.
Tonsillectomy is a procedure for removing tonsils; it offers a permanent solution to tonsil stones and other chronic tonsil problems. Your provider might suggest a tonsillectomy if you have severe or persistent tonsil stones.
If you have symptoms of tonsil stones or your tonsils are repeatedly causing unpleasant symptoms, call Family Ear, Nose & Throat, LLC., or book an appointment online today.