Written By Kassandra Foreman / Reviewed By Ray Spotts
Tonsil stones are a buildup of bacteria, cells, and other debris that get caught in the crevices and bumps on the tonsils. They become harder over time and remain attached until something loosens and removes them. While they can sometimes be removed at home - or loosen and come free themselves - it may be necessary to have them removed by a medical or dental care provider to avoid the pain that can accompany them.
Tonsil stones symptoms
When the symptoms of tonsil stones are present a doctor or a dentist can diagnose and offer treatments to remove them. These symptoms include bad breath caused by the bacterial buildup, a sore throat, a cough as your body tries to loosen and be rid of the stones itself, the presence of white pieces of matter in the mouth that may be spit out as you brush teeth or gargle and they come loose, painful swallowing, and even pain in the ears.
These symptoms may also relate to an infection or other causes so correct diagnosis and treatment is important and should be completed promptly.
Tonsil stones treatments
Small tonsil stones that are not causing many symptoms and are not affecting the breathing, swallowing, or eating may not require special treatment, and may resolve themselves. When they become bothersome or there is spreading pain they must be addressed. Possible treatments include antibiotics and removal.
An antibiotic may be used to decrease the bacteria buildup and help stop the spread of the tonsil stones and to be rid of any infection that is forming. A surgery may need to be performed on larger tonsil stones, and this may include the removal of the stones or tonsils themselves.
When tonsils are removed there is a reduction in the risk of tonsil infections or tonsil stones. Alternatively a laser may be used in a procedure that creates scars on the tonsils and makes it very difficult for any debris to gather on the tonsils or for stones to form.
Smaller ones may be removed by gargling saltwater at home, as the salt will help draw out any infection and the pain will be eased. In some instances a small tonsil stone can be removed with the stream from a water flosser or even a small swab, but care must be taken to not cause any harm or pain.
Tonsil stones prevention
Prevention of a tonsil stone is simply regular dental hygiene and care. Brushing and flossing the teeth twice daily or after every meal is beneficial, and gargling may prevent buildup on the tonsils and therefore prevent tonsil stones. Keeping the mouth clean, fresh, and even using a mouthwash to rinse and gargle can help to keep debris from gathering on the tonsils and from hardening there by rinsing it away before a problem can occur.
Tonsil stones can form in almost anyone and they may be small and mostly harmless, or they may become problematic causing pain, infections, and difficulty eating and swallowing. To treat them at home take preventative measures of brushing, flossing, and rinsing after each meal, and gargle saltwater to loosen any small ones that you discover.
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Kassandra Foreman has been writing freelance for five years now and enjoys learning about new things to write about. When not writing she teaches yoga and meditation with a focus on health and fitness.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.