If you look way back into your mouth by the throat, you’ll see your tonsils. There’s one on either side of your throat opening and they serve the purpose of fighting infections in your mouth. They trap germs and help your immune system destroy bacteria and viruses.
Sometimes though, tonsil stones form on there from debris of bundled up bits of food and dead cells from your oral cavity – and they get stuck on your tonsils. It becomes hard and can lead to irritations. They usually look white or yellowish and can be very small or very large.
You may feel a little uncomfortable and not know why. If you look at the back of your throat and see something on your tonsils and you notice a terrible odor, chances are that you have tonsil stones.
Once upon a time, it was rather common to remove tonsils when tonsillitis struck, but as times have changed, most people still have their tonsils now. This means tonsil stones can be a concern for you if you’ve never had your tonsils taken out.
What Are The Symptoms?
For many people, there is no pain with tonsil stones. But if you don’t feel right or notice these symptoms, you may want to do something about them.
- Bad smell in relation to tonsil stones appearing - like sulfur
- Feeling like something is stuck in your mouth or throat
- Pain or pressure in the ears
- Small flecks in white or yellow at the back of the throat
- Large rock-like clusters
The good news is that while troublesome, tonsil stones are generally harmless even if they can make you feel uncomfortable. You should re-examine your oral hygiene habits as people who neglect their teeth are more susceptible to them. Additionally, the same bacteria that leads to tonsil stones can also bring on gum disease, oral infections, and tooth decay.
How To Treat Tonsil Stones
If you have tonsil stones, you can do a few things at home to help get rid of them. Be advised that if you see them in the back of your throat, but you don’t have any hardships, you can leave them be. They will go away on their own.
You can try the following methods for getting rid of tonsil stones:
Gargle With Salt Water
Using warm water, add a half teaspoon of salt to one cup of it, then gargle for 15 seconds. This can help loosen the stones.
Use Alcohol-Free Mouthwash
A mouthwash that’s free of alcohol can help reduce bacteria in your mouth which helps prevent tonsil stones from forming again while loosening any you do have.
Use Water Pressure
If you have a water irrigator, this can be helpful for loosening tonsil stones and preventing them too. This method is dangerous for children though so please don’t attempt it on them as they can choke.
Some also make attempts with cotton swabs, but this can be extremely dangerous. You should consult a doctor first because it is so risky. It’s also not recommended for children.
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