Tonsil stones are tiny whitish globs that form in the rough terrain of our tonsils. They can be soft and cheese-like, hard and jagged, or a combination of both. How do you get them? They form when food particles, dead cells, and debris get lodged in the tonsillar crypts (tonsil nooks and crannies), battle with white blood cells, and then fester.
Why remove tonsil stones? They produce various sulfur compounds that can cause breath that smells like a corpse-filled sauna. They can also cause severe annoyance, swelling, and even sore throat. But don’t panic. Don’t go crazy removing them with just any old coat hanger. The tonsils are made up of extremely sensitive tissues that bleed easily. Below I outline safe, effective ways to get rid of Tonsiliths at home, as well as more permanent and invasive medical treatments for people suffering recurring tonsil stones. But before taking any self-care measures in this sensitive area, it’s best to consult your doctor.
Avoid cottonmouth. Having a dry mouth—either from mouth breathing at night or medication—leads to an explosion of anaerobic bacteria, which in turn may lead to or speed up the formation of tonsil stones.
Take care of your mouth. Keep your teeth, mouth, and gums clean by practicing good oral hygiene. Tonsilloliths get their start with food particles, bacteria, and debris, so it makes sense to limit these things as much as possible.
Gargle after meals. It’s a quick way to get rid of food particles and filth before they get stuck in your tonsils.
Don’t eat before bed. It’s what the Tonsilloliths want you to do.
Getting Rid Of Tonsil Stones at Home
Saltwater gargles and carbonated beverages can remove them in time. Again, the tonsils are delicate, so you’ll want to try the least invasive strategies first, especially if you have a sore throat or tonsillitis. Try gargling with salt water 3–4 times daily (half teaspoon of salt to one cup warm water). Work in some carbonated beverages like seltzer water or club soda. The gargles will decrease swelling and bacteria while the carbonation helps to loosen the tonsil stones.
Use hard swallowing and tongue thrashing. Hard swallowing is simple: raise your tongue to the roof of your mouth, tighten your throat, and swallow like you mean it. In between swallows, sick your tongue on those nasty pearls. In combination, these simple methods are often enough to eliminate this condition.
Use a moistened Q-tip or your finger. Place either your finger or a moistened Q-tip at the lower part of your tonsils or beneath the tonsil stone. Apply pressure and slowly move upward. The pressure is often enough to pop a tonsil stone out of its festering nook.
Use blasts of water. Using a water pick or oral irrigator, flush the offending area repeatedly (pulse settings work best). The blasts are strong enough to break up and dislodge tonsil stones, but be careful. Keep devices on the lowest setting to avoid irritating the tonsils.
Use a soft-bristled toothbrush. To loosen and break up the tonsil stone, you want to massage the area on and around the stone using extremely slow, gentle strokes. If you have an electric toothbrush, try placing THE BACK smooth side against your tonsils (not on the stone), and let those insane vibrations do the work.
Removing with Medical Treatments
Minor surgery is used in this condition. If your tonsil stone won’t come out on its own, or it’s causing infection, severe discomfort, or swelling, you can get it surgically removed. This is best done by an ENT (ear, nose, and throat doctor). This operation is simple. The doctor numbs the area and then removes the tonsil stone by scraping it out.
Laser cryptolysis can permanently eliminate tonsil stones. If they are recurring and causing discomfort, swelling, or infection, then laser cryptolysis may be your ticket. With this procedure, a doctor will use a CO2 laser to reshape the geography of your tonsillar crypts, closing off or smoothing over the nooks and crannies prone to tonsil stone development.
Having your tonsils removed is the only sure way. But think hard before having a tonsillectomy. This operation, despite claims to the contrary, can be straight-up, beg-for-death painful. The surgery also becomes more prone to complications as we age. As with laser cryptolysis, insurance companies try not to pay for this. You’ll need to partner with your ENT in making a case for your operation.
Tonsil Stone Remedies
Subdue your gag reflex. Some people use chloraseptic sprays (pain reliever and numbing agent) to keep from vomiting while removing. This can be especially useful for those with a sensitive gag reflex, but care should be taken. If your tonsils become too numb, you may not realize when you’re roughing up your sensitive tonsils.
Sleep with your mouth closed. Nasal strips can significantly reduce mouth breathing and the anaerobic bacterium (found in tonsil stones) it creates. It’s a cheap, simple solution that will lead to a better night’s rest and, hopefully, fewer tonsil stones.
Try TheraBreath, a commercial Tonsillolith treatment. Peddled by Dr. Harold Katz, author of The Bad Breath Bible, this treatment has received positive reviews from various online vendors. The downside? It’s expensive and will need to become a permanent part of your routine to prevent tonsil stones from forming.
Best Tonsil Stone Removal Methods
Previously you might have heard only about the kidney stones but tonsil stones also exist. If you ever suffer from this problem then you need to learn about the latest removal methods. But before that you need to understand what tonsil actually is. Tonsils are usually structures like glands that are found at the back of the throat.
The tonsils are located on each side of the throat. The tonsils are usually made up tissues. These tissues contain cells that can help you fight different kinds of infections. Therefore, the tonsils play an important role in the immune system of your body.
But in certain cases it is found that the tonsils tend to become a hindrance rather than helping the body. There are people who even get their tonsils removed due to a number of reasons.
Removal sometimes leads to the removal of the tonsil itself. Before you learn about the various removal methods it is important to find out why these stones occur.
Are Stones Dangerous?
When you hear about Tonsilloliths you might surely feel that they are quite dangerous. But they are actually not as dangerous as they are thought to be. You can flush the stones out of your tonsils with some effective methods.
But if you do not treat the conditions for a longer period of time then it can lead to sore throat, infection as well as other serious illnesses. It is also important to understand the causes before you take up the removal methods.
You might not be aware of the fact that tonsils have certain crannies and nooks where certain materials and bacteria get trapped and later on becomes hard like stone. These kinds of stones are usually common among people who suffer from tonsillitis. Once you are diagnosed with Tonsilloliths, you need to start thinking about the stone removal methods.
How to Treat Symptoms
First of all, it is important to learn about the various Tonsillolith symptoms before you take up the removal process. One of the most common symptoms is sore throat. The area where the stone exists creates discomfort and pain in the throat. The other common symptom is bad breath.
There are certain bad smelling compounds that get into the nooks and corners of the tonsil which creates bad breath. At least 75 percent of people suffering from tonsil stone have bad breath problems. Swallowing can become a little difficult with Tonsilloliths.
The difficulty might vary according to the size of the stone as well as the location of the stone. It can become difficulty in swallowing solid as well as liquid foods. A burning sensation in the throat is also a common symptom. Sporadic coughing is also common in this case. Sometimes ear pain can also occur due to this problem. You can get rid of them with simple and hygienic oral methods. The tonsil stones will disappear with time. This is one of the easiest methods of stone removal process.
Other Popular Removal Methods
One of the easy stone removal methods is to scrap it with your fingertip. But this method is not safe and hygienic. Other than your finger you can even use your toothbrush to scrap the stone. It is very important to make sure that you use a soft toothbrush.
This method is much more hygienic and safe than the previous method. These are usually low-tech methods which can be done at home. But for the high-tech methods of stone removal you might need some high-tech devices. You can use an irrigating device to spray the tonsil stone out of the gland.
But if your tonsil stone is big then you might have to go for surgery. If you have recurring tonsil stones then you need to use this removal method to get rid of the problem permanently.
There are certain products in the market which can help you with tonsil stone such as Banish Tonsil Stones. This method can help in tonsil stone removal without surgery.