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Pressing on tonsils, semi hard balls come out. Serious issue ?

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Internal Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 1998
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My step son presses on his tonsils and white semi hard balls come out, he just came to us for the summer what is this?
Tue, 22 May 2012 in Child Health
Answered by Dr. Jasvinder Singh 2 hours later

Thanks for posting your query.

From the symptoms it can be due to simple food debris getting caught in the tonsil crypts or tonsilloliths which is basically calcified material that forms in the crevices of the tonsils and can present as hard white balls which can be extracted from tonsils after pressing.

The second possibility is of tonsillitis which may sometimes present as white or yellow patches on tonsils and this may be scrapped off. In addition, there is redness and swelling of the tonsils and sore throat.

Diagnosis can be confirmed after inspection, imaging techniques like CT scan of the area and a swab sample and culture from the tonsils and throat to rule out any tonsillitis.

If these are tonsilloliths then usually no treatment is needed as many stones produce no symptoms but larger ones may need irrigation, laser cryptolysis or surgical removal of the tonsils. Your stepson should get an examination done from an ENT specialist.

Hope this answers your query. If you have additional questions or follow up queries then please do not hesitate in writing to us. I will be happy to answer your queries.

Wishing you good health.


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