The Common Causes of Tonsil Stones

Foods rich in calcium

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  • Your diet is one of the most influential factors for developing tonsil stones. In addition, calcium-rich food can contribute to the formation of stones
  • Read on to learn which symptoms currently match your lifestyle so you can make the necessary adjustments to prevent these annoying deposits from forming

Tonsil stones are caused by a mixture of controllable and uncontrollable factors. Read on to learn which ones currently match your lifestyle so you can make the necessary adjustments to prevent these annoying deposits from forming.

Particles From Your Diet Can Clump Together and Harden

Your diet is one of the most influential factors for developing tonsil stones. Depending on the food you consume, particles can become stuck in your tonsil crypts. Over time, these can pile up and react with bacteria to form stones and cause bad breath.1 In addition, calcium-rich food can contribute to the formation of stones. Similar to food particles, the mineral can pile up in the crypts and calcify (harden). As time goes on, you may begin to notice a whitish substance forming at the back of your throat.2

Nasal Drips Can Cause Mucus to Become Stuck in Your Tonsils

The human body has membranes in your mouth, nose and throat that produce mucus, a sticky substance that helps trap bacteria and other harmful microbes before they enter your body and cause an infection. However, when you develop a runny nose, excess mucus is produced, which can drip to the back of your throat. Certain situations can lead to nasal drips, such as:3

Eating spicy foods

Developing a flu or common cold

Allergic reactions to dust, smoke and/or pollen

When this happens, some of the mucus can lodge in your tonsils, which increases the likelihood of bacteria and other substances clumping together to form stones over time.4

Bacteria Can Build a Home in Your Tonsil Crypts

Aside from your diet and mucus, bacteria can become trapped in the crypts. The bacteria then feed on stuck food particles and produce sulfuric compounds that contribute to bad breath. Furthermore, your immune system reacts and kills the bacteria, which results in dead cells in your mouth.

Poor Dental Hygiene Is Often Ignored

In most cases, poor dental hygiene can be attributed to the formation of tonsil stones. Furthermore, it may even affect your health in ways that you may not realize, such as:5

Heart disease and stroke: Certain bacteria can enter your bloodstream through canker sores and cause your blood vessels or arteries to harden.

Dementia: If your gums become infected, your immune system releases compounds to fight off the microbes, but it may have a negative side effect that can increase brain inflammation and cause neuronal death.

Respiratory disease: In a study published in the Journal of Medicine and Life, evidence highly suggests that poor dental hygiene can lead to the development of respiratory diseases such pneumonia.6

These Risk Factors Are Minor, but They Can Contribute to Tonsil Stones Nonetheless

Aside from the causes mentioned above, tonsil stones can form due to the following circumstances:

Genetics: If you have large tonsils, it’s highly likely you have large crypts as well, which increases your risk of catching food particles, calcium and other substances.7

Chronic conditions: Recurrent sinus problems can cause your tonsils to gather material, which then become stones over time.8

Medication: Certain medicines can make your mouth dry, which allows bacteria to reproduce rapidly and gather in the tonsil crypts.9

Age: The condition is more common in children than adults.10

MORE ABOUT TONSIL STONES

Tonsil Stones: Introduction

What Are Tonsil Stones?

Tonsil Stones Symptoms

Tonsil Stones Causes

Tonsil Stones Treatment

How to Get Rid of Tonsil Stones

Tonsil Stones Removal

Tonsil Stones Prevention

Tonsil Stones FAQ

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