Tonsil stones are hard yellow or white growths that grow on the tonsils or within them. It’s difficult to diagnose them and most people might not be aware of them particularly because their size different from that of a rice grain to a grape.
They rarely cause more health complications but they can grow bigger in size forcing the tonsils to swell. Additionally, they produce a very unpleasant odor.
Causes Of Tonsil Stones
Tonsils contain crypts basically made up of tunnels, crevices and pits. Eventually, they collect different types of debris such as mucus, dead cells, saliva and food causing a lot of buildup. Eventually bacteria will thrive on this buildup cause an unpleasant odor.
With time, the debris hardens to become a tonsil stone. It might be one large stone or smaller formations. Some of the causes of tonsil stones include the following.
- Large tonsils
- Inflamed tonsils
- Poor dental hygiene
- Chronic sinus issues
Tonsil Stones Symptoms
As mentioned sometimes they are tough to notice but there are a few tonsil stones infection symptoms that might be noticeable. These include the following:
- Trouble when swallowing
- Sore throat
- Ear pain
- Bad breath
- Swollen tonsils
- Ongoing cough
- Yellow or white debris on the tonsils
With smaller tonsil stones will not have any symptoms but are more common than the large ones. Watching out for these symptoms is how to tell if you have tonsil stones.
How Can You Prevent Tonsil Stones
If you get tonsil stones, they will have a regular recurrence but you can take a few steps to prevent them. Here’s what you need to do.
- Start practicing good oral and dental hygiene. For instance, you should clean the bacteria on the back of your tongue when brushing your teeth to prevent any buildup.
- Make sure you are properly hydrated by taking lots of water every day
- Gargle regularly with salty water to clear out the bacteria in the buildup
- Stop smoking
Removing Tonsil Stones
Tonsil stones are not very harmful but you can remove them because of the bad breath and if there is a lot of discomfort. There are numerous medical procedures and home remedies that can be used to remove tonsil stones. Here are some of the top choices for tonsil stone removal you should consider.
- Gargling – Use salt water to gargle vigorously to remove any discomfort in your throat and dislodge the tonsil stones. It will also change the chemistry in your mouth removing any bad odors caused by the tonsil stones.
- Coughing” You can find out whether you have tonsil stones by coughing. Once discovered, energetic coughing can loosen them up completely.
- Manual Removal ” Don’t use a toothbrush to remove your tonsil stones since it might cause bleeding or infection. Alternatively, you should consider a cotton swab or a water pick for a gentle removal.
- Medical Removal Procedures ” You can visit the doctor to have your tonsil stones removed through lasers. However, there are some antibiotics that can remove them.
Keep in mind that tonsil stones are not contagious but there are a few complications they might cause such as inflammation, swelling, infection or abscess as well as disrupting the normal tissue found in the tonsils.
If any of these complications occur, you need to consider surgery.