Suffering from Tonsils? Know these Prevention Tips and a few DIY Home Remedies
Tonsil stones are tiny stones that are formed in the tonsils. They typically have no symptoms, however, they occasionally do produce minor problems like bad breath and sore throat. Gargles, irrigation, and other natural therapies can help control tonsils, but if necessary, medical attention should also be given. When bacteria, food particles, or mucus become lodged in the tonsils, there is a higher chance of developing tonsil stones. Patients might be able to get rid of them by gargling with specific treatments or eating specific meals. The lymphatic and immunological systems are supported by the tonsils, which are located in the back of the throat. The tonsils ideally trap and catch micro-organisms before they enter the mouth cavity.
However, the tonsils feature tiny folds known as crypts that allow food and germs to assemble. This may result in tiny, stony growths known as tonsilloliths or tonsil stones by medical professionals.
Tonsil Stones – Symptoms
Tonsil stones have rigid growths on the tonsils that are yellow or white in color. Tonsil stones often do not show symptoms. But, when symptoms appear, they consist of:
- Tonsil Swelling
- Persistent Bad Breath
- White or yellow formations on the tonsil
- Sore Throat
- Difficulty Swallowing
- Feeling that any object is stuck in the throat’s back/feeling choke
- Ear Pain
- Chronic Inflammation/Tonsil Infection
Small stones are very common and are mostly swallowed without patients knowing the symptoms exist or actually getting symptoms. Large tonsils stones are actually rare.
Basic Tonsil Stones Treatment
Tonsil stones frequently disappear by themselves and are either swallowed or coughed up needing no medical intervention. Treatment options for tonsil stones that are stubborn and refuse to go away include:
- Medications, like
- Antibiotics for treating the infection
- Antihistamines for treating allergies or sinus problems
- Laser Treatment: It is also known as laser tonsil cryptanalysis, a painless treatment that removes or minimizes tonsil crypts after which tonsil stones are blocked
- Tonsillectomy: This is a surgical method of removing the tonsils. It is usually the last option but is the only remedy for the ailment
- Coblation Cryptolysis: The treatment uses radio waves that transform into charged ions from the salt solution. This can be cut via tissue, which reduces the crypts of tonsils and gets rid of the tonsil stones.
Since tonsils are fragile tissues and might bleed or become infected if tonsil stones are not carefully removed, it is generally not advised to remove tonsil stones at home. Consult a doctor in case tonsils are big, or sore, or if breathing problems prevail.
Do It Yourself Methods for Removing Tonsil Stones
Use Cotton Swabs: The tonsil stone can be gently pushed out of its cleft by moistening the cotton swab’s ends. Don’t exert too much pressure since this could harm the tonsils.
Saltwater Gargle: Stones in the tonsils may be removed by gargling with salt water. Gargle for 30 seconds after adding a teaspoon of salt to a glass of lukewarm water. Do this several times a day.
Manually Removing using a Toothbrush: Massage gently on the area of the tonsil using a clean toothbrush. This may facilitate the removal of tonsil stones.
Water Pick: Tonsil stones can be flushed out with a water pick. Spray warm water from the water and pick it straight onto the tonsil area. The water’s pressure may help to remove the stones.
Drink Plenty of Water: Tonsil stones can be naturally flushed out by drinking lots of water. It is advised to consume 8 – 10 glasses of water every day.
Note these Precautions to be Safe:
Stay Gentle on the Tonsils to Avoid Harm: It’s crucial to be cautious trying to remove tonsil stones. Avoid exerting excessive effort, which can harm the tonsils.
Use Clean Tools: Make sure the tools are clean before using them to remove tonsil stones. This will help in limiting bacterial spread.
Avoid Swallowing Stones: Avoid ingesting a dislodged tonsil stone. If swallowed, tonsil stones may result in digestive issues.
Consult a Doctor: It’s crucial to see a doctor if in case the patient is excruciating pain or having trouble breathing. Tonsil stones can occasionally result in problems that need medical care.
More Home Remedies to Remove Tonsil Stones
There are various at-home therapies that can help in the removal of tonsil stones besides the methods indicated above:
Apple Cider Vinegar: Apple cider vinegar gargles can aid in the removal of tonsil stones. Gargle for 30 seconds after adding a spoonful of this vinegar to a glass of warm water.
Garlic: Due to the antibacterial qualities of garlic, tonsil stones can be avoided and bacteria can be killed. Every day, chew garlic clove for some minutes.
Lemon Juice: Tonsil stones may break with the help of lemon juice’s acidic qualities. Gargle for 30 seconds with a glass of warm water mixed with lemon juice (tablespoon).
Essential Oils: Bacteria can be eliminated and breath can be made fresher with the use of essential oils like tea tree, peppermint, and eucalyptus. Gargle for 30 seconds after adding some drops of essential oil to a warm water glass.
How can you Prevent Tonsil Stones?
The top ways to avoid tonsil stones comprise:
- After consuming sugary, processed, or acidic food or beverages, rinse the mouth. Food fragments can get caught in the crevices of the tonsils, but food fragments trapped in the teeth can also encourage bacteria growth.
- To get rid of microorganisms that could lead to tonsil stones, wash your teeth two times a day with a toothbrush having soft bristles.
- Avoid antibacterial or alcohol-based mouthwash since they dry out the mouth and disturb the oral microbiota. Contrary to popular belief, mouthwashes with alcohol in them might increase bacterial development in the tonsils and oral cavity.
- Every day, floss in between the teeth.
- Use natural toothpaste or the toothpaste recommended by the doctor.
- Dental Probiotics consist of helpful bacteria that contribute to optimal oral hygiene and balance the oral microbiome.
- Consume a nutritious diet with low-processed foods and high-nutrient-dense meals. Sugary foods encourage the growth of microorganisms in the oral microbiome.
- Scrape the tongue daily to remove extra bacteria. Avoid using excessive force when scraping your tongue.
- Use mouth tape to prevent mouth breathing at night, especially if you have sleep apnea, persistent snoring, or also teeth grinding. Mouth tape boosts nasal breathing, which is advantageous for tonsils and cardiovascular health.
When to Consult a Doctor?
If the above home remedies fail to remove a tonsil stone, the patient should not force to remove the stone with any sharp object. This may lead to infection and bleeding.
Patients must avoid using sharp implements like pencils, toothpicks, or safety pins, to remove tonsil stones since the area surrounding the tonsils comprise several blood veins.
A person should see a doctor if they have tonsil stones that persist for several weeks or if they witness tonsil stone symptoms. In addition, if a person has a tonsil stone removed but is still in discomfort or has bad breath, they must consult a doctor.
People must seek medical care for tonsil infection signs like:
- Enlarged tonsils
- Difficulty swallowing
- Pain that releases to the ears
- Bleeding in the tonsil part
- White or pus discharge from the tonsils
- Sleep-disordered breathing
The best medicine or treatment course for a kid with tonsil stones or swollen tonsils can be determined by a doctor. A child may choke if its tonsil stone is tried to remove. Patients may also need antibiotics to treat an active infection if any.
Tonsil stones can be avoided with good dental hygiene. Regularly brush, rinse, and floss. Tonsil stones often move on their own and are not evident. However, if they are noticeable, patients can attempt to get rid of them at home. Take an appointment to visit the doctor if these solutions don’t help and if the symptoms are uncomfortable in daily life.