Every complete human is born with 4 tonsils. You can find yours behind your throat. They are an integral part of your body’s immune and lymphatic systems. What your tonsils do is that catch and capture bacteria that come in through your mouth before they gain entrance deeper into your oral cavity. These bacteria can sometimes collect in small folds in your tonsils. These, alongside food substances, may cause the formation of small stones. When these small “stores” form in your tonsils, doctors call them Tonsil Stones. They typically do not cause any stop symptoms but they can cause a few minor implications. One such implication is bad breath. In this article, we will tell you how to get tonsil stones out.
Another name that doctors call tonsil stones is tonsilloliths. As much as they usually do not cause symptoms, that’s mostly only small tonsilloliths. They can grow larger into bigger formations. When this happens, it can lead to painful swallowing and sore throats. This comes alongside bad breath (or halitosis), hoarseness, and tonsil inflammation. Thankfully, you can rid yourself of these tonsil stones right in your home. But in some cases, you may also have to consult with a doctor. We will talk about all of these in this article.
What You Should Know About Tonsil Stones?
There are pits, crevices, and tunnels in your tonsils. We call them tonsil crypts. Now, different kinds of substances can be trapped in these places.
These substances include debris, dead cells, saliva, mucus, and even food. When they build up, fungi and bacteria begin to feed on them. In turn, this produces a distinct odor.
As time goes on, the debris begins to harden and form stone-like collections in the tonsil. Sometimes, there is only 1 large tonsil stone. But then, some other times, there may be so many small formations.
Some of the potential things that may cause tonsil stones are as follows:
- Large tonsils
- Poor oral and dental hygiene
- Long-term sinus issues
- Chronic tonsillitis (inflammation of the tonsils)
When tonsil stones do occur, they may be hard to recognize. Remember, the may cause no symptoms at all. Small tonsil stones are the commonest. They may cause no symptoms. But large ones can be symptomatic. When they do cause symptoms, some of them may include:
- Bad breath
- Trouble swallowing
- Ongoing cough
- Sore throat
- Swollen tonsils
- Ear pain
- Yellow or white debris on your tonsil
If you ever have “stones” in your tonsils, they can come back again and again. Thankfully, there are ways to prevent the formation of tonsilloliths.
Some of the steps you can take include the following:
- Practice good dental and oral hygiene. This would include paying close attention to the back area of the tongue while brushing your teeth daily. Ensure to clean off bacteria from there thoroughly
- If you smoke, you should stop
- Gargle regularly with salt-water
- Drink lots of water. This helps you stay hydrated. Proper hydration is vital for preventing tonsil stones.
But then, what if you have tonsil stones already? How do you get rid of them? Is there anything you can do? Let’s find out.
How to Get Tonsil Stones Out
Most times, tonsilloliths don’t cause any harm. But then, many people who have them want to get rid of them. Many times, the reason is the bad smell. Other times, it should also cause discomfort.
Treatments for tonsilloliths could either be home remedies or medical procedures. They include:
Vigorous gargling with salt-water can do two things. It would ease any throat discomfort. Then it may also dislodge any tonsil stones.
Aside from these, salt-water may have other benefits. It changes the chemical composition of your mouth in such a way that it doesn’t favor bacteria. This can rid you of the bad odor.
It’s easy to make your gargle. Just dissolve one-half teaspoon of salt in 8 oz. warm water.
2. Manual removal
You can remove tonsil stones yourself using rigid items. Some use their toothbrush to do this. While it works, doctors will tell you that it’s not a safe method.
Among other things, your tonsils are quite delicate tissues. So you must be gentle with them. If you are not careful, manual removal can be very risky. It can cause serious complications like infection and bleeding.
If you think you want to try manual removal, don’t use anything as big as a toothbrush. Water picks and cotton swabs are better options.
One way many people first realize that stones are present in your tonsil is when that cough a stone up. This means that you can indeed loosen stones by energetic coughing.
4. Laser cryptolysis
This procedure involves using a laser to eliminate the home of tonsil stone. It removes the crypts in your tonsil. To perform this procedure, you will be put under local anesthesia. The recovery time for this procedure is usually short.
5. Coblation cryptolysis
This procedure, unlike lasers, does not involve using heat. It uses radio waves instead. These waves cause the formation of charged ions. These ions, in turn, cut through your tonsil tissue.
The ions, like lasers, reduce tonsil crypts. But since there is no heat, it doesn’t cause any burning sensation. This is its advantage over laser cryptolysis.
This refers to surgically removing your tonsils. Doctors may use a laser, scalpel, or a coblation device for the procedure.
Tonsillectomy is a very controversial procedure. Doctors only recommend it when the case is severe and chronic. More so, it’s usually a last resort, after they see no results with other methods.
Tonsil Stones, though quite common and asymptomatic, can sometimes cause bothersome symptoms. However, they hardly lead to serious complications.
If you tend to have tonsil stones frequently, ensure to follow good oral and dental practices. Also, make sure to stay hydrated.
If in the end, the stones become problematic, you may consider taking them out. We have shown you how to get tonsil stones out. So you can try them out. You should also consult with you your doctor. When you work with your physician, you can both determine what’s best for your tonsils.