Everything you need to know about tonsil stones, those strange growths that look like pimples in the throat

Disgusting medical videos are all the rage on YouTube. Removing pimples, draining cysts, extracting earwax, splitting backs, scraping corns: no doubt there are millions of people who want to see them on video.Removing tonsil stones – small, pebble-like growths that can be expelled from the tonsils – is no exception. It is somewhat similar to the removal of a pimple, but inside the throat. It is very satisfying to watch this operation on video.First, a quick explanation for the uninitiated: The tonsils are part of the immune system, as the Mayo Clinic points out. They produce white blood cells and antibodies and help fight infection. But they’re also filled with scary cavities called tonsillar crypts. In some people, the crypts are deep enough that bits of food or mucus get stuck inside.This message about tonsils is short, sweet and to the point. No wonder it has been viewed more than 15 million times.

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