What Is This Thing in My Daughter's Throat/mouth?

Updated on October 05, 2011
C.R. asks from Olathe, KS
13 answers

My daughter is 4 years old and her right tonsil is very swollen. The doctor tested for strep which came back negative so now they are testing her for mono. They are also testing her blood for several other things, but we will not get those results back until Friday or Monday. Anyway, tonight when I was looking in her mouth to see if her tonsil has gotten any bigger I noticed something at the very back of her throat. It is really hard to explain, but it is white/light yellow, thin, and it curves up to a half circle. Is this something that is normal to be at the back of your throat/tongue? I personally have never seen anything like it before in my other two girls. It is the wierdest thing I have ever seen in my life! Any ideas as to what this can be? I'm really worried about my baby!

It is not drainage or any other kind of fluid. It actually looks like you could grab the end of it an pull it out. It is actually laying on her tongue in the very back.

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So What Happened?

Thank you AngieOPlasty!!!! I looked up images of what you said it might be and that is exactly it!!!! One less thing I need to worry about! I feel a little better now. You are awesome AngieOPlasty!!!!!!

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answers from Raleigh on

It's probably a tonsil stone. It's nothing to be worried about. It's just food, cells, etc that accumulates in the pits of the tonsils. Kids have large tonsils and get them more often. You are probably seeing just the edge of it- the rest is lodged in the tonsil. They generally come out on their own, but they can be annoying if they get too large. However, the worse thing about them is they can cause stinky breath.

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answers from Louisville on

Was her mouth open very wide when you were looking? How big was the thing you're describing?

It sounds to me like youre seeing the epiglottis, which is part of her normal anatomy. That's the flap that covers the trachea when you swallow. In some people, it rises higher than others.

Of course if it was a tiny thing you saw, then I'd agree - tonsil stone.

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answers from Minneapolis on

Google a medical condition called "Quincy." Not to alarm, but mono is often the cause of the lymphatic system going haywire. Often, when very severe, the tonsils become so enlarged they need to be removed to prevent suffocation or choking.

Besides stones as some have mentioned, the thing that is curving into a half circle could possibly be her very infected tonsils. If you notice there is little to no space for the passage of air, get her to urgent care. This is something you should monitor very closely. If it gets worse, or she has difficulty breathing or apnea while sleeping you should bring her to the ER.

In the interim of getting further word from your doctor, do all you can to help boost her immune system. Foods rich in vitamins, lots of rest, and avoiding sick people and crowds are a must to prevent any complications such as another illness on top of this one.

I'm not a doc, but this happend to one of my little ones, and it was very serious. The doctor you saw may be like the first doctor we had, and not recommend laying low and avoiding others. Our child got a second illness on top of mono and his throat nearly swelled shut. He had to have a rush surgery. So be very watchful. Hopefully this will resolve soon. There are cases where surgery isn't needed because the condition resolves itself. But if her system is very taxed or she catches something else, that really does complicate things.


For pictures of severe cases of Quincy and more information see:

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answers from Houston on

I've never heard it called a tonsil stone, but it sounds the same as what I have known to be called Tonsililiths. I get them all the time & it seems as though if I don't remove them (push on the sides with my finger to push them out---gross!!) but if I don't get them out I get some sort if infection! Also it seems I get them more when I am sick. Weird! It'll probably just come out on it's own. No worries. Hope she is better soon!
ETA: I just Googled it: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tonsillolith

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answers from San Francisco on

A tonsil stone stuck in a slit in her tonsil? I removed one that was a little larger than a pea from her tonsil when she was about 8. And there was a ton of goo in behind that.

Some doctors don't seem to know about tonsil stones. In my daughter's case, she had cryptic tonsils, so there was actually a slit in the tonsil that got filled up with goo. Google it and you can see videos of the stuff being removed.

Maybe that's what your daughter has in her tonsil.

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answers from Redding on

Sounds like puss. Yuck, I hate that word.

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answers from Dallas on

Tonsil stem. My 16 year old gets them all the time, especially allergy season.

They stink, make breath bad but are normal

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answers from Portland on

I would call the advice nurse and see what she has to say...just in case.



answers from Philadelphia on

Is it mucus from post nasal drip?



answers from Minneapolis on

Has she been checked for tonsilitis? I get it all the time and its very painful! Strep test always comes back negative. They say out just had to run it's course and will usually give pain meds. The back of your throat and tonsils can get huge and crazy looking! Hope she feels better soon!



answers from Kansas City on

It is the epiglottis.



answers from Dallas on

Could it be drainage?



answers from St. Louis on

you know, with strep, the dr usually does a quickie test & then sends off for a culture that takes a couple of days.

A couple of things come to mind: yes, it could be strep...wait for the culture results. It could be thrush. It could be a pus pocket from sinus drainage.

BUT, the fact that it's just one tonsil...does lean toward mono. I was diagnosed with it earlier this year...& according to my dr, that's a hallmark symptom. The paperwork from the dr said that 95% of adults have had it & few ever know it! Apparently, it's a pretty common phenomenom & can easily be missed. The severe cases are the ones that get documented!

As a head's up: I took 2 rounds of antibiotics before I recommended being tested for mono. The dr agreed & was not surprised at the positive results. I was SICK for 3 weeks prior to the final diagnosis....it totally sucked. But, I was taken off the antibiotics & given a steroid pack...& my throat was healed within 2 weeks. The tiredness/fatigue lasts for months, tho'.

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