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5 year old with Chronic Tonsil stones, what to do?
An_187633 posted:
I took my 5 year old in for chronic throat clearing and the doc said it was probably allergies, Now i had expected she had tonsil stones already cuz she had giving them to me telling me they came out of her mouth. Not to long fallowing the doc visit, she was showing me her sore tounge(from eating to many sour candys) and i noticed she had 2 tiny balls on her tonsils (witch i think are really big, but doc tells me all kids have big tonsils) i was able to remove one of them with a wet q-tip and the other one she spit out that night. They dont seem to bother her other than the throat clearing and bad breath. Shes never had strep or let alone a soar throat (that shes told me anyways) I'm concered becuase i suffered with chronic strep throat my while childhood, even getting the onsets of scarlett fever. Finallt at 16 years old i had to have them removed because they where blocking my air way. And her father had his removed last year after suffering from chronic soar throats and tonsil stones. Ive called the doc last week for a referal to an ENT but no word from her yet. I dont know what to do about it i mean i dont want her to have surgry and i know how painful it is but i dont want her to struggle with it her whole life either.
Rod Moser, PA, PhD responded:
The ONLY reasons to remove tonsils are: 1. Chronic or recurrent strep throat (documented by lab tests, not just a "look and see" diagnosis). 2. Enlarged tonsils that are obstructing the airway or interfering with breathing. 3. Tonsil abscesses, and 4. Sleep apnea/bad snoring. Rarely, do tonsil stones (tonsilliths) alone qualify for the removal of tonsils.

It is fine to remove these stones, which are really just accumulations of food and other debris. These food particles do smell (and taste) bad when they are dislodged or rotting in those holes/crypts in her tonsils.

See the ENT and plead your case. Depending on the restrictions placed by your insurance company, she may or may not qualify for a tonsillectomy. No parent wants their child to have surgery, but sometimes, it is the only way to solve the issue if the ENT agrees.