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While a surprising number of people suffer from unpleasant tonsil stones, not very many people truly understand what causes them. Understanding the cause is the first step in treating and preventing them. If you have got them, the following information will help you understand what causes such stones and help you find ways to get rid of this pesky condition.

Tonsil stones occur when your body’s natural cleansing system- the lymphatic system and your tonsils themselves- can’t keep up with the bacteria and food particles that build up in your throat. Your tonsils are natural filters, and they regularly remove food particles and bacteria that build up naturally in the back of your throat. For most people, there is a sufficient amount of natural cleaning that occurs to keep stones from forming. In people with the condition, this natural debris isn’t cleared out, causing it to begin decomposing in the throat and creating the bad breath that is often associated with these stones.

People who suffer from allergies are more likely to develop this condition. This is because allergy sufferers are more likely to develop post nasal drip or sinus infections. Excess mucous produced by your sinuses is one of the leading causes. When your body begins to produce higher levels of mucous that enter your throat through your sinuses, it creates a reaction that overloads the tonsils’ ability to filter out the cause. Mucous remains in your throat after it drains from the sinuses, and bacteria and bits of food stick to the mucous. The mucous and the bits of food and bacteria are deposited in the natural spongy tissue of your tonsils and begin to ferment. This is how they are formed.

For people who don’t suffer from allergies but who experience these stones, the cause is usually related to their diet. Foods such as dairy products, fats, oils, and sugars can cause or worsen the condition. The lactose sugar in milk is the main dietary culprit. Lactose is the perfect food for the bacteria that lead to tonsil stones, so people who consume high amounts of lactose in dairy foods are more likely to develop them. Fats, oils, and sugars are also part of the problem because they provide the fuel needed to create an imbalance in the natural bacteria found in your throat.

Once your body begins forming such stones, you may experience a number of symptoms. Many people report feeling pain when they eat or drink, seeing white or yellow bumps on their tonsils or in the back of their throat, developing a cough that won’t go away, or feeling like there is something stuck in their throat that they can’t swallow. While the cause and factor isn’t certain, we do know that there are some problems- such as diet choices and post nasal drip- that can worsen the formation of stones. If you suffer from these, try to determine what causes them and see if there are things you can do to prevent them from developing.

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