How to remove tonsil stones
February 22, 2023
Tonsil stones, also known as tonsilloliths, are small, white, or yellowish clusters of calcified masses that form in the crevices of the tonsils. They are not dangerous but can cause unpleasant symptoms like bad breath, sore throat, and difficulty swallowing. If you have tonsil stones, there are several ways to remove them, from simple home remedies to medical treatments.
Signs of tonsil stones
Tonsil stones can cause uncomfortable symptoms, including bad breath, sore throat, difficulty swallowing, and ear pain. If you have tonsil stones, you may also notice white or yellowish lumps at the back of your throat. These lumps are caused by a buildup of bacteria, food particles, and dead skin cells that get trapped in the tonsil crypts. Tonsil stones can be small or large and can develop in one or both tonsils. Some people may experience chronic tonsil stones, while others may only develop them occasionally. In severe cases, tonsil stones can cause infection and inflammation, which may require medical treatment.
Remedies for tonsil stones
1. Gargle with salt water
One of the simplest and most effective ways to remove tonsil stones is by gargling with salt water. Salt water helps to reduce inflammation and fight off bacteria that can contribute to tonsil stone formation. To make a saltwater gargle, simply mix a teaspoon of salt with a cup of warm water and gargle for 30 seconds, then spit out the water. Repeat this process several times a day until the tonsil stones are gone.
2. Use a cotton swab
If you can see tonsil stones in the back of your throat, you can try removing them with a cotton swab. Moisten the swab with water or a saline solution and gently press it against the tonsil stone, then push upwards to dislodge it. Be careful not to apply too much pressure, which can cause the stone to break apart and become lodged deeper in the tonsil.
3. Try a water pick or oral irrigator
A water pick or oral irrigator is a device that uses a stream of water to clean the teeth and gums. It can also be used to remove tonsil stones. To use a water pick, fill the reservoir with warm water and direct the stream of water to the tonsil stone. Start with the lowest pressure setting and gradually increase the pressure until the stone is dislodged. Be sure to aim the stream of water at an angle to avoid hitting the back of your throat.
4. Practice good oral hygiene
One of the best ways to prevent tonsil stones from forming is by practising good oral hygiene. Brush your teeth twice a day, floss daily, and use an antiseptic mouthwash to kill bacteria that can contribute to tonsil stone formation. If you have chronic tonsil stones, consider using a tongue scraper to remove bacteria and debris from your tongue.
5. Use a throat spray
Throat sprays can help to numb the back of your throat and reduce the gag reflex, making it easier to remove tonsil stones.
6. Apple cider vinegar:
Apple cider vinegar has natural antibacterial properties that can help to dissolve tonsil stones. Mix a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with a cup of warm water and gargle for 30 seconds. Repeat several times a day until the tonsil stones are gone.
7. Lemon juice:
Lemon juice is acidic and can help to dissolve tonsil stones. Squeeze the juice of a lemon into a cup of warm water and gargle for 30 seconds. Repeat several times a day until the tonsil stones are gone.
Garlic has natural antibacterial properties that help eliminate bacteria contributing to tonsil stone formation. Crush a clove of garlic and mix it with a cup of warm water. Gargle with the mixture for 30 seconds and repeat several times a day until the tonsil stones are gone.
Yoghurt contains beneficial bacteria that can help eliminate harmful bacteria contributing to tonsil stone formation. Eat a cup of plain, unsweetened yoghurt daily to help keep your mouth and throat healthy.
10. Oil pulling:
Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic practice that involves swishing oil around your mouth to remove harmful bacteria. To do oil pulling, swish a tablespoon of coconut or sesame oil around your mouth for 10-15 minutes, then spit it out. Repeat once a day until the tonsil stones are gone.
How to prevent tonsil stones?
To prevent tonsil stones, there are several steps you can take. Maintaining good oral hygiene is one of the most effective ways to prevent tonsil stones. This includes brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing daily, and using mouthwash to kill bacteria. You should also try to avoid smoking and consuming excessive amounts of alcohol, which can contribute to tonsil stone formation. Additionally, you can try to reduce your intake of dairy products, as they can increase mucus production and contribute to tonsil stone formation. Drinking plenty of water can also help to flush out bacteria and food particles from your mouth and throat. If you have chronic tonsil stones, your doctor may recommend a tonsillectomy, which involves removing your tonsils. However, this procedure is usually only recommended in severe cases, as it can be associated with a high risk of complications. Preventing tonsil stones and maintaining good oral hygiene can reduce your risk of developing this uncomfortable condition.
When to see a doctor?
Consult with an ENT specialist expert incase you are experiencing discomfort in swallowing things or have severe soreness in your throat along with severe pain
Tonsil stones can be uncomfortable, but there are several ways to remove them. Home remedies like salt water gargles, cotton swabs, and oral irrigators can be effective for mild cases, and medical treatments may be necessary for more severe cases. By practising good oral hygiene and staying vigilant for signs of tonsil stones, you can keep your tonsils healthy and free from debris.
People also ask
What is the fastest way to dissolve tonsil stones?
Here are some at-home solutions that can aid in tonsil stone removal:
- Gargling with warm saltwater reduces swelling and discomfort. Even gargling can assist in removing the stones.
- To get rid of a bothersome tonsil stone, use a cotton swab.
- Regular brushing and flossing.
Do tonsil stones go away on their own?
Tonsil stones are typically a harmless buildup that will disappear on its own or with good oral hygiene and at-home treatment. These might, however, indicate a more serious issue, like tonsillitis.
What causes tonsil stones?
Food particles, bacteria, and mucus that gets caught in tiny pockets on your tonsils can lead to tonsil stones. Particles and bacteria may become stuck due to poor dental hygiene or how a person’s tonsils are structured. This trapped material can lead to swelling and pain as it accumulates.
How long does it take for a tonsil stone to remove itself?
Tonsil stones could move or disappear on their own within a short period of time. If bacteria continue to grow on the tonsils as a result of tonsil stones down in the throat, tonsil stones may linger for weeks.