Why on earth do we have tonsil if they are home to those utterly smelly tonsil stones and they lead to tonsillitis? It is fairly easy; the tonsils are a pair of soft tissue with crypts located at the side of the back of your throat. They are part of your immune system, and are the first line of defense against ingested or inhaled pathogens. They will trap bacteria and viruses and communicate with the immune system to start the production of antibodies to fight against the pathogens. In short, it’s like a guard tower that warns which type of enemy is approaching so that the appropriate soldiers can be ready for the fight. Considering this, it is obvious and highly advised to keep your tonsils clean and healthy.
Tonsil stones, also known as Tonsilloliths, are small, off-white deposits that you can see in the craters of your tonsils. They are usually caused when bits of food particles, dead cells and debris get lodged in the craters of your tonsils; bacteria start feeding on them, digesting them until they turn into the foul-smelling stones you know. This tends to happen most often in people who have chronic inflammation in their tonsils, large tonsils or repeated bouts of tonsillitis.
Although most people experience tonsil stones by coughing them up into their mouth, this widespread affliction is rarely talked about and the awareness about it is very low. Many suffer in silence believing that they’re alone or the occurrence is nothing more than dregs of last night’s dinner. Another reason people don’t talk about their tonsil stones problem is because they are embarrassingly nasty and foul-smelling! Indeed, Tonsil stones are composed of volatile sulfuric compounds which have the same smell as rotten eggs. Consequently, having tonsil stones will give you a terrible bad breath also called halitosis.
Whenever your tonsils are fed up of your ungrateful attitude, tonsillitis strikes and your tonsils functions are on strike!
Tonsils inform the immune system about pathogens entering the human body. Tonsillitis occurs when tonsils become infected and swollen. Your tonsils can sometimes get so loaded with bacteria and other pathogens that themselves become a source of infection.
Which will cause:
- Throat pain / tenderness
- Redness of the tonsils
- A white or yellow coating on the tonsils
- Hoarseness or loss of voice
- Loss of appetite
- Ear pain
- Swollen glands in the neck or jaw area
- Fever, chills
- Bad breath
- Difficulty swallowing or breathing through the mouth
A research pointed out that unhealthy tonsils that are frequently ill are less effective at performing their role in the immune system. This highlights the importance of a good tonsil hygiene.
“Athough healthy tonsils offer immune protection, diseased tonsils are less effective at serving their general immune functions. Diseased tonsils are associated with decreased antigen transport, decreased antibody production above baseline levels, and chronic bacterial infection.”
To conclude, your tonsils play a role in your immune system by informing the immune system which pathogens are entering your body. However, if your tonsils are full of tonsil stones and you often have sore throats or tonsillitis, your tonsils will not be able to perform their role well, consequently losing your first defense line against pathogens. Besides, you will experience all the symptoms of tonsils stones and tonsillitis such as bad breath (halitosis), sore throat, swollen tonsils, etc. Therefore, you should take in consideration the health of your tonsils.