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Noticed a piece of skin hanging from tonsil. Found red tip and is poking. Should I worry about this?

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I have a small piece of skin hanging from my right tonsil. A week or two ago, it felt as though a piece if food went down the wrong way. I just examined it today to see if i could see anything and there is a small long oval piece of skin hanging from my right tonsil. The tip of the oval seems to be dark red or brown and while poking and prying, where there's that pocket of some sort, I spotted a white dot....please tell me if/what there is to worry about and what I should do. There's no pain.
Female, age 26
Posted Thu, 13 Jun 2013 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Jorge Brenes-Salazar 51 minutes later

Thanks for your health concerns. Most likely, by your description, you are seeing a tonsil crypt; these are small pockets or recesses that form with the tonsils, which are essentially very vascularized aggregates of lymphoid tissue (part of the immune system). Many times, small pieces of food get into these spaces, and bacteria make a feast of it. the immune cells get rid of the bacteria and try to digest the contents, but calcium is not digested and forms a nucleus for a small, white, semisolid body call a tonsilyth ( tonsil rock), which I think is the white spot you are seeing. Usually they are benign, but they can be a cause of bad breath.

Hope this is useful, wish you the best health blessings.

Dr Brenes SalazarMD
Mayo Clinic MN
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Noticed a piece of skin hanging from tonsil. Found red tip and is poking. Should I worry about this? 26 minutes later
Is there anything you recommend I look out for on whether or not I should go see a doctor? Thank you.
Answered by Dr. Jorge Brenes-Salazar 5 minutes later
Yes. If there is any bleeding, discomfort in the area, swelling, ulceration, fever, pus, all of those could potentially point towards other diagnoses particularly infectious in nature. With a q tip you can attempt extraction of the white dot from a crypt; if successful, an inequivocal sign of a tonsilyth is that they really stink, smell bad.

Hope this helps, best regards

Dr brenes salazar
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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