Tonsil stones can be annoying and irritating, as they leave a foul odor and taste in the mouth. They also cause a lot of discomfort. You will understand some ways of how to remove tonsil stones through this article.
Tonsils are two masses of lymphatic tissue present at the back of the throat, one on each side. They help to protect the upper respiratory tract from infection, by fighting the germs entering through the mouth and nose. Thus, they act as a part of the immune system. In some people, tonsil stones, which are small, hard, calcareous white lumps, occur in the crevasses of these organs. These stones get formed due to a buildup of dead skin cells, along with other debris that get washed down through the throat from the nasal cavities and sinuses, and get lodged in the crypts of these tissues. Oral bacteria, overactive salivary glands, and mucus secretions are also known causes of this condition. People suffering from chronic postnasal drip, are usually more prone to this disorder, since there is a regular flow of sinus drainage and mucus via this organ. Before knowing how to remove tonsil stones, let’s understand the symptoms.
For an early treatment, it is important to be wary of the following symptoms.
- Solid white lumps at the back of the throat
- Difficulty while swallowing
- Swelling of the tonsils
- Bad breath or halitosis
- Sore throat
- Ear pain (in some cases)
The symptoms can be so irritating, annoying, and painful, that a person is bound to shout out loud. The following paragraphs will give you some remedies.
- Cotton Swab Method
First, moisten the cotton swab with water. Stand in front of the mirror, and with the help of a small flashlight, look into the back of your throat. Now, with the help of the cotton swab, press against the bottom of the tonsil, and push it upwards. The pressure will help to squeeze out stones. Ensure that you don’t push the stones further into your crypts. After removing the stones, rinse and gargle with an antibacterial mouthwash.
- Waterpik Irrigator Method
Waterpik irrigator is a device, which injects a water jet spray into your mouth. You can use the tongue attachment to direct the spray into the crypt containing the stone. Also, turn the irrigator to its lowest setting. Now, fill the reservoir of the irrigator with lukewarm water. Look into the mirror with your mouth wide open. With the help of a flashlight, locate the stones. Irrigate the crypts with water, as the pulsating water can flush out the stones effectively. After removing these stones, gargle with an antibacterial mouthwash. Sometimes, brushing with a toothbrush may also be effective in removing surfaced tonsilloliths. Also, drink plenty of water, and gargle using salt water.
- Surgery Method
Surgery is done when the symptoms are extreme and the occurrence of the stones is frequent. Doctors may recommend a surgery called laser cryptolysis. In this technique, a scanned carbon dioxide laser is used to vaporize and remove the surface of the tonsils. The edges of the crypts and crevices that collect the debris are flattened out, so there is no collection leading to formation of these stones. The last option which is availed in extreme cases is tonsillectomy, which involves removal of these tissues. Surgery can provide a permanent relief to a person who has been suffering from this problem for a long time. As these organs are an important part of the immune system, removing them should be the last option, and it is generally not recommended for children.
You must use all the above methods with extreme caution. Also, it’s better to consult an ENT specialist.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.