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Tonsillith or Tonsil Stone Defined

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Updated January 04, 2009

Definition: A tonsillith, or tonsil stone, is a collection of food and infectious material that gathers in the crypts (folds) of the tonsils until they become small stone-like particles.

Tonsilliths can be irritating, as the person often feels something hard in the mouth that does not belong there. In addition, they can cause chronic, severe bad breath.

Tonsilliths can often be dislodged with normal activity or gentle pressure, such as being brushed with a toothbrush. Chronic problems with tonsilliths, known as chronic cryptic tonsillitis, can be permanently resolved with a tonsillectomy in severe cases.

Also Known As: tonsilliths, tonsil stones, cryptic tonsillitis, chronic cryptic tonsillitis
Common Misspellings: tonsilith
Examples:
The patient felt lumps in the back of his mouth, which were diagnosed as tonsilliths.
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