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OT-gross! pus on tonsils

So I have been finding white pus on one of my tonsils repeatedly for about a month. I don't have a sore throat, swollen glands, a fever etc. No other symptoms (I discovered the pus while flossing one night). I've removed the pus a couple of times and it seems to come back after a week or so. I know, I should probably go get it checked out, but I figure if it was strep or some serious infection I would have pain, right? Anyone have any idea what could be going on? Thanks for any imput you folks can give me.

Sat. Feb 24, 10:37pm

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Friday, November 24, 2006, 2:50 PM

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It's probably strep through, the bacterial kind if you don't have cold-like symptons. I have the same thing now and I get it every once in a while. Go to the doctor and he will probably prescribe antibiotics.

Sunday, February 25, 2007, 12:34 AM

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*Oops strep throat i meant

Sunday, February 25, 2007, 12:35 AM

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yep thats what it is..i used to get it all the time and could actually stick my finger back and dig it out TMI sorry and i was never sick..

Sunday, February 25, 2007, 12:59 AM

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The white stuff on your tonsils is a plaque, not pus. Anything that causes even minor tonsillitis can make your tonsils form one -- from strep throat to a cold to mono.

Sunday, February 25, 2007, 9:40 PM

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They're called tonsillar stones. They're not an infection.

Tonsiloliths (tonsil stones)

People with chronic sinusitis and post nasal drip may develop tonsiloliths, which are tiny, white, foul smelling stones which lodge in the tonsilar crypts. Sometimes a tonsolith can be pried out of the surface of the tonsil with a pencil or other small pointed instrument leaving what appears to be a little "hole" but is, in actuality, the tonsilar crypt in which it originally formed. Tonsiloliths sometimes give the feeling of something lodged in the throat. They can also contribute to bad breath. Some people have chronic problems with tonsiloliths. The only sure treatment for chronic tonsiloliths is removal of the tonsils. The operation is performed by an ear, nose and throat specialist (ENT) and is fairly simple and safe. As noted above, in adults the operation causes a very serious sore throat for two weeks post-op. Short of removing the tonsils, the bad breath can be treated with mouth rinses, and the condition itself may be lessened by gargling with Peridex® mouth wash which is available by prescription from your dentist or physician, and possibly by the use of decongestants to lessen the post nasal drip which is part of the cause of tonsiloliths.

Sunday, February 25, 2007, 10:48 PM

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whoa, above poster, thanks, I have been wondering about this problem for several years! it's not serious, maybe once every couple months, but I always thought... what the heck is this thing?

Tuesday, February 27, 2007, 10:12 PM

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10:48 is correct

I had a very bad problem with this and finally talked an ENT into removing my tonsils when I was 20.

There is no infection there is nothing wrong, but you can feel it and it smells and it's gross...

If it doesn't happen regularly just handle as it happens.. if it's driving you nuts you can get the tonsils removed but it's not a surgery they like to do on adults.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007, 8:14 AM

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I'm not alone!

I have had this problem since I was a kid, I am so glad I found this forum, I've always felt I was the only one with this problem. I went to an ENT and he said it was just food or something, shows how much he knows. Today I was trying to get one of those tonsiloliths out and it started to bleed and a bunch kept coming out, so I searched for answers and found this site, pphheeww I'm glad it's not cancer or something. I'm glad I finally know what it is, it doesn't make the problem any easier, but at least I know I'm not alone.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007, 9:06 PM

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Me too!!!

So I cant believe I have these too---Tonsiloliths (tonsil stones)
I have found that I get them on the right tonsil mostly. The best way to remove them is to WASH YOUR HANDS WITH SOAP & HOT WATER then push on the tonsil directly below the stone and it will come out, along with more gunk. Be sure to keep on until everything comes out. I wouldnt recommend just scratching at the surface because that only removes the "scab" on the outside. And yes, they are SMELLY! Its super gross, but I was going to the dentist thinking I had gingivitis b/c my breath was reaking, when it was these stones the whole time. Anyway, thanks everyone for the advice and glad to know Im not alone.

Sunday, September 09, 2007, 10:25 PM

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My husband gets that every now and then and it has nothing to do with strep or sore throats. His dentist looked and I can't remember what exactly it is but it forms in these little holes or crevices and its almost like a white chunky thing but not pus maybe plaque is closer but if you gently press around it it will pop out. He gave him some stuff to rise with and it goes away but every now and again it will come back. Pretty odd stuff, lol. Oh I just read 10:48 and that is exactly what it is.

Sunday, September 09, 2007, 11:15 PM

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Weird question maybe, but, how do you press on your tonsils?! They're pretty far back - I can't even get my fingers that far in my throat, and I'm sure if I could, I'd gag!

Monday, September 10, 2007, 6:01 PM

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Oh my god, I think this is more disgusting than the colonic thread(s). Not complaining - just really, really glad I don't have this medical issue!

Monday, September 10, 2007, 6:18 PM

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You can use the end of your tooth brush or something else, just make sure its clean. Also if you can see it chances are a little pressure and it will just pop out. And no this isn't as gross as cleaning out your colon.

Monday, September 10, 2007, 6:55 PM

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Tonsiloliths (tonsil stones)

I am so pleased that I found this site by accident. I have always wondered what on earth these awful things were and thought I was the only one! I am sure that there are many others who have this problem; either they are not yet aware or have wondered what on earth they are! Anyway, I don't know if you have found that when you are little run down or have had too many late nights, the problem gets worse. When I am not tired, I find that I do not have them. When I spoke to an acupuncturist once about the problem, they said that it was an infection. I am not sure that this is the case. Anyway, if you search on tonsililoths there is a lot of information out there.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007, 1:09 PM

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I HATE IT!! How do you prevent it?

I have had this problem on and off for years now. I HATE THEM!! Recently i have had them for about 4 days and I really HATE IT. Even after pushing it with a Q tip, I can still feel it. Once I get rid of it, I don't want them to come back, do you know how to prevent it?

Thursday, December 06, 2007, 4:40 PM

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white things in tonsils

I have gotten these things for years too, I'm seriously thinking about getting my tonsils removed. My tonsils are constantly large & swollen looking, even if I'm not sick. I have found that when I'm taking minocycline for my occassional acne breakouts, the white things clear up. Makes me think they are some type of infection. But the bad breath & constant swollew tonsils & constantly picking the white things out is driving me crazy. After the New Year, those tonsils are coming out!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007, 12:25 PM

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I'm so glad I had my tonsils out when I was 5. I had no idea tonsils required so much maintenance. I just brush and go. No bad breath to worry about either. Yay for me!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007, 5:11 PM

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Try a Coffee Stirrer

First, I'll join the chorus thanking people for this topic. It helps to identify this as neither tonsiitis or strep.

Continuing on the "gross" and removal thread and adding some experience...

I've been dealing with these for a while and recently got experienced with removing them. I found that, for me, a SMALL ROUND COFFEE STIRRERS (or narrow straws used at bars) work well to get them out of my tonsil. I'll emphasize using the circular, not flat ones.

More gross details and explanation...

My left tonsil has a deep opening that's the "perfect diameter" for them and their length is also "just right" for the moth. Not only does it scoop out the contents which stick inside the straw, the pressure (due to stretching of the tonsil) tends to squeeze more out. With the hole filled it's a simple matter to blow through the stick to clear the pus out (and go back for more).

Another, more simple technique for getting the stones to move out is to open your mouth wide, fold your tongue back and work to squeeze the tonsil with it. I did the for some time before I got "comfortable" cleaning my tonsil.

Another observation is that the stones start out small and, left unchecked, over time squeeze together to form the much larger ("pea sized") versions. As a result I've taken to removing them regularly as soon as I feel that familiar scratchy feeling in the throat.

Now if it only did more to improve my breath.

Monday, January 07, 2008, 8:40 PM

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'm verryyyyyyyyyyyyy glad I found this forum too. When I 1st start experiencing this, I got very scared and thought it was a very serious disease, so I went to the doctor. I THOUGHT it was strep throat due to surfing the internet trying to find out what it was on my own, but it wasn't. Of course, for some doctors to get a quick buck, they just gave me some antibiotics. They worked for awhile, and then they came back, and as of now, its been happening to me for months. I would normally dig em out with a toothpick, but they came back anyways. I monitored myself and here are some experienced facts.

1.) Get plenty of sleep, for some reason, this helps the stones come back
2.) Make sure not to skip even 1 day of brushing your teeth, it cuts down on the bacteria in your mouth since your mouth is a living bacteria host.
3.)Also, use mouth wash.
4.)Not sure if food is associated in helping these stones form, but try to watch what u eat anyways.

Methods to rid of em
I know this might be abit weird, but wash your hands with SOAP AND HOT WATER.Next, take your index finger and push it toward the BOTTOM of your tonsil (w/e one is producing the stones, do both to be sure) .Trust me, putting your finger thats already infested with millions of germs from variety of things will not only worsen this situation, but also bring upon future problems. Doing so will dislodge your tonsil with all the "secret" stones its hiding. Now that your tonsil is clean, to prevent this from happening, just make sure to do the above as followed.

Thursday, February 21, 2008, 3:24 AM

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tonsil stones

my husband has these too and I have not been able to get him to the dr. so thanks for the info. He has found that a WaterPik on the lowest pressure setting works perfectly for "cleaning" his tonsils.

Thursday, February 28, 2008, 10:07 PM

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tonsill stones

Wow thank you all so much! I just coughed up a stone this afternoon .. made me think of when I was a kid with toncilitis now I am 50 .. I brushed my teeth real good when I got home went out to a concert tonight and coughed up more! Then I got out a mirror and a flashlight and wow there they were.

I tried the straw.. and the WaterPik at high and got some more out.. I just cannot tell if I got them all. .. I had some Mucinex Nasal Spray and used that thinking that the spray would work it was down the throat and help if there is a drip.

Does anyone suggest I run to a doctor .. or should I just deal with it as you have and mention the problem when I have a regular visit in two months?

I am worried about my breath.. my husband said I did not have bad breath. But after working on my throat I can taste it! Awful .. I brushed my teeth, flossed, Waterpiked and scrapped my toung.

Now I am going to get a good nights sleep!
Appreciate all the information and keep it coming ... Please and

Saturday, June 28, 2008, 3:04 AM

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Bitter Sweet Relief

I have been living with this for as long as I can remember, even as a small child I remember coghing up these disgusting cottage cheese like things, unfortunately when I was a kid I was more facinated by it than disgusted and never really asked anyone, by the time I realized how disgusting it made my breath I was too embarassed to ask, I just started on a particularly bad run of it a couple days ago, but I thought I'd never find anything about this from anyone else, thank you so much to all of you who have given valid information about this condition!! I'm 31 now and I don't care if I have a sore throat for a year my tonsils are going adios, little bastards. Quick follow up question, does anyone hear also suffer from chronic middle ear infections or swimmers ear, I get them about every 4 months, and I am curious if the two are related in anyway?

Saturday, July 12, 2008, 4:06 AM

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I have heard that the two can be connected. My first husband had chronic ear infections when young and had his tonsils out. No more ear problems. My oldest son had chronic ear infections but he had enlarged adenoids, which when removed, the ear infections stopped also. I believe it had a little to do with pressure on the ears. Good luck everyone.

Saturday, July 12, 2008, 5:45 PM

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Thank you everyone! It feels so great to know other people have this problem. I am sick of it and it was about to run me crazy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Until tonight. I wil either deal with it on my own (I find the finger technique really works, but I'll try the coffee stirrer!) or go and get them out. Has anyone ever been brave enough to tell you guys that they smell your breath? Just curious it hasn't happened to me me but you wonder since you know the real truth.

Thursday, July 24, 2008, 1:06 AM

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THat is gross, what did the doctor say?

Thursday, July 24, 2008, 11:30 AM

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1 in 4 people get them

And I am one of them. I don't remember where I read this, webMD or or something. But point is they are common, very common.

They kinda scratch my throat sometimes, so I sterilize an open paperclip (think of a long skinny S) and "scoop" them out when they bug.

Otherwise I don't have bad breath so I don't worry about them =)

Thursday, July 24, 2008, 2:13 PM

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I get them, infrequently, but have bad breath all the time. I use ice drops or chew gum when I am out and about, since I am sensitive to this. My daughter calls it "turd breath". Nice.

Thursday, July 24, 2008, 6:01 PM

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Tonsil Removal

Why are doctors reluctant to remove tonsils on an adult I wonder..... Any idea? Also would a tonsillectomy be covered by insurance if it was required to prevent something that's just a nuissance (tonsiloliths) and not necessarily harmful?

Sunday, July 27, 2008, 11:43 AM

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I was really freaked out about this. I had a sore throat when I woke up and removed some of this plaque stuff with my finger nail....felt a whole lot better. Got a little weirded out when it came back this evening. Took a toothpick to it and found it went the whole way through....I pushed the rest of the stuff out of the back side of the hole and then removed it from my tongue with a q-tip. It really scared me and I thought I had some kind of cancer or something. Thank God for the internet!!! Thanks to everyone I will be able to go to sleep tonight....without crazy nightmares!

Friday, August 15, 2008, 12:05 AM

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Oh my god,I'am a 37 year old female and works as a P.C.T TECH. and i found this little white thing in my tonsils. i went crazy i felt i had sometime so bad i was going frist i felt it was strep,but no pain no fever .so i went to the clinic and thay did not do a strep test the doctor just look at me and gave me i felt it was strep he said so to.while i was going home i felt i needed to see a nother doctor. so i satred takeing them for a week it did not go away,then i got very very worry. and went to the E,R. THE DOCTOR GAVE ME MORE AMOXICILLIL WITH P IN IT. BUT IT DID NOT GO. AWAY SO I WENT TO A TOP DOCTOR OFFICE I WAS GIVEN A STREP TEST IT CAME BACK NO TRACES OF STREP, THE DOCTOR CALL ME IN TO HER OFFICE AND TOLD ME I HAVE PLAQUE AND ALL I HAD TO DO IS GET SOME HYDROGEN PEROXIDE AND MOUTH WASH RINSE . I WAS SO DAME MAD BECAUSE FROM TAKEN SO MUCH AMOXICILLIN MY LITTLE PRIVATE STUFF WAS ON FIRE SO THAT GAVE ME CREAM FOR THAT.WOW WHEN I CAME UP ON THIS PEERTRAINER WEB AND FOUND YOU PEOPLE I CAN KISS ALL OF YOU ,THANK YOU I PULL IT OUT IT WAS VERY VERY BIG THAT LITTLE WHITE PLAQUE YUK!


Wednesday, January 28, 2009, 9:07 PM

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Wow a water pik works!

I just tried a water pik after discovering yet another white thing on my tonsil. I put salt water into it, shot it at the tonsil and was Amazed at how much junk was removed. I first removed some with my finger and thought it was all gone. Then I used the water pik and got out over twice as much. My gag reflex kicked in but it was worth it to remove that junk!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009, 9:44 PM

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I had these for years, every day, starting when I was about 14 or 15. I have also had chronic ear and sinus infections my whole life. Finally, when I was 20, I got sick of the smell and started going to ear/nose/throat specialists. The first two were reluctant to take my tonsils out for such a 'minor' issue, but the third one I talked to told me, 'it's your mouth, and you have to live with it, so I'll remove your tonsils if that's what you want'. I said YES PLEASE, and got both my tonsils removed.

I have never had the tonsil chunks, or an ear infection since. That was five years ago, and I don't miss my tonsils a bit. :)

Back when I used to have the tonsil chunks, I used a little squirter/syringe thing with warm salt water to clean them out, and that worked well for me.

Thursday, January 29, 2009, 2:24 PM

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sore throat!!! extreme pain

so i have a question , i've been very sick fever , vomiting , and sore throat, and i'm thinking it's strep throat but only my left side is extremely swollen and appears to have a hole in it . i've never felt this kind of pain in my life if anyone has any ideas of what this might be please let me know . i've been sick for over a week now and it just keeps getting worse the vommiting and fever have subsided but the sore and extremely pain throat is not going away and would like to know if anyone else has ever seen an acual hole in tonsils before . so if anyone could help please let me know thank you so much

Saturday, February 07, 2009, 4:21 PM

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I have this same problem and is so unpleasent thank you for your info I will call my doctor.but what is peridex .Thank you

Wednesday, February 18, 2009, 4:26 PM

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oh thank god

I have been living with these disgusting little goobers for as long as I can remember, but lately they've been bothering me to the point of googling it. So here we are. I have gotten some relief in the past by douching my tonsils out with dilluted GSE (grapefruit seed extract) and a clean (preferably sterile) tincture dropper. Both can be purchaced at your local health food store. They're gonna come out now! yay!

Sunday, July 05, 2009, 1:40 AM

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I get these gross things too, and found two things that help prevent it: 1) gargle with a little warm salt water in the morning ( I don't think this hurts your teeth) and 2) Gargle or drink a little water (rinse your tonsils) after drinking milk or a latte. For some reason dairy just sits in there a ferments.

Sunday, July 05, 2009, 7:34 AM

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tonsil pus


Monday, September 21, 2009, 6:35 AM

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I was too one of the people who thought I was the only one! I feel so much better knowing that that other people get these things too! This is what I really needed to read, I found new ways to get them out and I didnt know that they come out of a "hole" type thing and its on my left side too. I am only 18 and I have had them ever since I was little but I am so glad that I am NOT the only one!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009, 9:56 PM

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wow..this is the 1st time ive noticed havin them i could feel somethin stuck there for the past few days so then i lookd n saw this white stuff stuck to my tonsil... eew im so glad i read this everyone was really helpful.thanku !!!!!!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009, 10:17 AM

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Tonsil pus

My daughter had one swollen tonsil with no fever, no headache, no sore throat nothing. So I went looking for answers, not wanting to take her to the doctor for something that may be nothing. When I began reading this, I not only figured out that this is what she has, but I have gotten these for years myself. Now I know what they are!

I instructed her to see if she could clean it off, her's was worse than mine ever were, but I always cleaned them out at the first sign. Sure enough, she started getting the white, foul smelling, little "pus" ball things. I tried to get her to gargle with warm salt water. She had been having some post nasal drip the past few weeks, and not getting enough sleep.

Our tonsils actually serve a purpose, this may be why doctors are reluctant to take them out, but it isn't just an adult thing any longer. New research has shown that the tonsils help to prevent bacteria from getting into our bodies, or something like that. Off to research this topic further, thank you all!

Sunday, January 03, 2010, 2:47 AM

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Tonsillitis will result in "puss" on the tonsils. It's not necessarily puss because it goes away after a few days. Sometimes it will be accompanied by fever, but not always. I've gotten tonsillitis for years and it used to be 3 times a year. It's not a bad thing, just annoying. Be careful not to try and scrape the "puss" off or you will cause more harm than do good.

Sunday, January 03, 2010, 9:26 AM

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tonsil pus tastes good

Ever since i was a littlke girl i have passionatly loved tonsil pus (also known as tonsiliths). Every time i got them i put them in plastic containers and named them. i have a special room in my basement that holds my beloved puses. i name them. my favorite pus specimen is bertha, she came to me one summer afternoon when i was 15, it was the biggest tonsil pus this world has seen. i talk to her every day. she understands me, and loves me for who i am. i love bertha. any ways i know everyone who reads this probably thinks i'm weird, but i don't really care. because of my tonsil pus addiction my 6 daughters don't speak to me. i have even gone as far as to slam gym weights against my tonsil area to realease the lovely substance.

Sunday, January 31, 2010, 1:41 AM

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Swollen Tonsils and Ear Pain

I have one terribly swollen tonsil on my left side for 1 month now, that is associated with ear pain when i swollow. there is no pus on my tonsil, but its been swollen forever. every doctor i go to says its a viral infoection, because my lymph nodes on that side is swollen. i have been on clindamycin for 1 month, with no results. no one seems to know whats going on. all the physicians say its not tonsillar or throat cancer, but i am getting frustrated, so i want them removed. the right side is also swollen, but nowhere near as inflamed as the left side. I've had an ENT scope me, and have had 3 cultures, mono, strep and yeast. all negative. im annoyed, the left side of my neck./tonisl area seems so swollen! help!

Friday, August 06, 2010, 11:56 AM

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Tonsil Stones

There are a couple good websites for tonsil stones and/or tnsillectomy: and

Good Luck!


Friday, September 03, 2010, 10:34 AM

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Getting Rid of Them

I have found three good ways to remove them:
1. There is a product on the market to remove ear wax called Debrox. It is basically a peroxide/glycerine mix. Put the tip of the bottle in the crypt and squeeze a little in there. The peroxide will foam them out. Try to spit most of it back out or swallowing too much peroxide could make you queezy.
2. Take a syringe (no needle of course) with water or water and lysterine and irrigate the crypts.
3. irrigate your tonsils with a waterpik and warm water and lysterine. Put the tip IN the crypt, 1 at a time and then turn the waterpik on low. I love my waterpik...

Tuesday, March 22, 2011, 4:39 PM

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Sunday, June 15, 2014, 10:35 PM

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