Tonsil Stones: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, And Prevention

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Tonsil Stones Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, And Prevention

You can have tonsil stones without even knowing it. They are not always easy to see because they can be as small as a grain of rice. Although most cases of tonsil stones do not lead to more serious health complications, some can produce an unpleasant odor or become quite large and cause your tonsils to swell. Learn more about the causes of tonsil stones, how to prevent them, symptoms, and when tonsil stones removal may be necessary by reading this article to the end.

What Are Tonsil Stones?

Tonsil stones or tonsillitis occur when debris becomes trapped in the crevices and hollows of the gland-like structures at the back of the throat. Calcification, a process that turns debris into hard white or yellow deposits, creates deposits that can be uncomfortable for some. These clumps of hard material that form in the tonsils can cause bad breath, but it is usually not painful or dangerous. You can usually treat these tonsil stones at home. However, in some cases, surgery may be necessary to remove the tonsil stones.

Tonsil Stones

What causes tonsil stones?

Causes of tonsil stones include:

  • Inflammation of the tonsil
  • Large tonsils which allow greater accumulation in their pockets
  • Sinus problems that increase mucus and lead to buildup
  • Poor oral hygiene that allows bacteria to continually interact with the tonsils

What are the symptoms of tonsil stones?

Tonsil stones can vary in size. It may even not be noticeable to some people. In cases where the tonsil stones are larger, symptoms may include:

  • Swollen or enlarged tonsil glands
  • Painful swallowing
  • Sore throat
  • Bad breath due to bacteria buildup
  • Persistent cough
  • Ear pain

If you experience any of the symptoms above, consult your healthcare provider immediately for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Removal and treatment of tonsil stones

The tonsils are part of your immune system, which protects you against infections. Any bacteria or virus that enters the mouth is easily removed by the tonsils. However, tonsil removal does not affect your immune system. Tosin stones are usually benign and go away on their own. However, when symptoms are more severe, treatment may be necessary. There are a few home remedies your doctor may recommend to relieve tonsil stones symptoms, including:

  • Gargle with a saltwater rinse
  • Cough to loosen stones

It is not recommended to remove tonsil stones at home, as you may risk damaging the tonsil glands and worsening the condition.

Medical procedures for the removal of tonsil stones include:

Antibiotics: Oral bacteria contribute to the growth of tonsil stones and can even lead to infection. Your healthcare professional may prescribe antibiotics to help limit bacteria growth.

  • Laser Tonsil Cryptolysis: A minimally invasive medical procedure that shrinks or removes corners or pockets found in the tonsils to minimize the chance of buildup
  • Coblation Cryptolysis: An alternative to laser surgery, this procedure requires no heat to minimize the recesses of the tonsils
  • Tonsillectomy: Tonsil removal is recommended for patients with large tonsils, chronic stones, and chronic inflammation of the tonsils

How to prevent tonsil stones?

Since tonsil stones are formations of debris and bacteria buildup, you can best remove plaque bacteria and build-up by following a thorough oral hygiene routine.

  • Brush your teeth twice a day or after meals: Use an antibacterial toothpaste to better neutralize dental plaques and limit the spread of oral bacteria in the throat. 
  • Floss at least once a day: Food and plaque get stuck between teeth throughout the day, flossing helps remove this debris from hard-to-reach areas.
  • Clean your tongue regularly: Plaque bacteria can hide anywhere in the mouth, especially on the surface of the tongue. A toothbrush that is well-built to easily clean the tongue is a good recommendation. Most especially electric toothbrush that will clean all accumulated debris from the teeth and tongue
  • Rinse and gargle with salt water or an alcohol-free mouthwash in the morning, evening, and after meals to neutralize bad breath.

Conclusively, visit your dentist at least twice a year for cleanings and examinations. In addition to a comprehensive oral care routine, it is important to drink plenty of water to help prevent tonsil stones. Hydration helps limit buildup and maintain saliva production for a healthy mouth. If your tonsil stones continue to be problematic and painful, see your healthcare professional immediately for treatment.

William John, the chief editor of The Cropsite, is a man with expertise in general medicine who is enthusiastic about helping people from all corners of the world through his content writing. William John covers all the things related to general medicine and is a person who can be described as a walking encyclopedia of general health. His years of knowledge of general medicine have made him a proficient person who is skilled in understanding all aspects of a person’s physical health. With this decade of experience in general medicine, William John greatly contributes to creating content such as articles and product reviews that each reader of The CropSite can depend on for being authentic and backed by research.

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