Can You Always See Tonsil Stones?

Anyone who has had those stinky tonsil balls has felt them in their mouth but for some reason couldn’t find them thus posing the question, can you always see tonsil stones or is there a reason why you can’t.

How many times did you get that nagging feeling to check for the annoying tonsil balls? You know the drill, move your tongue around and probe the back of your throat. Next thing you know you feel something there, something hard hanging somewhere back there. You then tried to get a look using a mirror and a flashlight. You were expecting to find something but no luck. Why is this?

Tonsil stones are known in the medical community as tonsilloliths. Tonsilloliths are white or yellow in appearance and have a strong foul smell. The smell is horrible because they are composed of a variety of things including: postnasal drip, food particles, oral bacteria and dead white blood cells.

As the mixture of these things come together and harden in the back of the throat and in the tonsils, they hide in places like the crypts. The tonsilloliths are visible as they always come in white or yellow which makes it easy to see. However, the reason why they become “invisible” is because of their placement in the throat.

The usual place they hide in is behind the tonsil close to the back of the throat. A second place that they are common to be found is between the flap of the throat skin and the tonsils. If you move the skin just slightly you may be surprised to find quite a few of these balls of bacteria. The third place they can be found is in the crypts, which are simply indents or scarring left behind from pus pockets that burst during a bout of tonsillitis.

So as you can see they can potentially be seen as long as they are in a visible area. Unfortunately they have a tendency to hide very well and are seen once they come out.