Sometimes hard stones can develop in the tonsils, which can be painful. However, with effective treatment one can get rid of discomforting tonsil stones or tonsilloliths.
Tonsils are a part of our immune system and when any microorganisms, like bacteria or virus try to invade the body, the tonsils absorb these microorganisms to prevent them from entering further inside the body. In some cases, tonsils themselves get infected and a person experiences inflamed tonsils. Here are the symptoms, causes, and treatment of tonsil stones.
Tonsil stones are a rare occurrence but the below causes or a combination of the causes can give a person this condition.
- Oral bacteria
- Dead WBC (white blood cells)
- Secretion of mucus
- Smoking without a filter
- Residual of the enzyme action on retained food
- Overactive salivary glands
A person when suffering from tonsil stones will show the following symptoms.
- Bad breath or halitosis is a prime indicator of tonsilloliths.
- Solid white material lumps at the back of the throat is the most indicative sign.
- Difficulty while swallowing is often experienced, if a patient is suffering from formation of stones on the tonsils.
- Swelling of the tonsils due to infection or the stones itself is another common symptom.
- In some cases ear pain is experienced.
- Sore throat with pain and discomfort in the area where tonsils are infected is another common symptom.
The treatment will depend on how big the tonsillolith is and how much aggravation it is causing the patient. If the tonsil stone is majorly asymptomatic, then it may not need any special treatment.
Salt-water gargling is the answer. Boil 2 glasses of water with 2 tablespoons of table salt, wait till the solution becomes lukewarm and then gargle your throat with it. Repeat this remedy 3 times a day for relieving discomfort. This is an effective remedy for swollen tonsils treatment as well. Many people use swabs or picks to dislodge the stones, though it is advisable to contact your doctor before you opt for this.
In case you are suffering from fever or experiencing difficulty while swallowing, then medical help is required. The doctor will prescribe some antibiotics and anti-inflammatory tablets. The doctor will usually give a 10 days course of the antibiotics, which should be followed completely to get rid of the infection. In extreme cases of inflamed tonsils along with tonsil stones, where swallowing food becomes impossible, a person may be hospitalized and intravenous fluids may be given.
Surgery is done if a person suffers from tonsil stones often in a year’s span, or in case a person is showing extreme symptoms. Tonsilloliths are more common in patients who suffer from tonsillitis often. In such cases, surgery or tonsillectomy is used as a last resort, because removal of the tonsils is like removal of a part of the immune system. The doctor will use a local anesthesia and remove the tonsils with the surgery. Surgery provides a permanent and good relief to a person, who has been suffering from inflamed tonsils for a long time.
People who get tonsillitis more often can observe some preventive measures, like avoiding eating any foodstuffs which can give them a sore throat. Such foodstuffs are sour foodstuffs, cold foodstuffs, and oily/fried foodstuffs. Such people should also treat the nose or throat infections as soon as possible to prevent the tonsils from getting infected. Brushing the mouth and under the tongue properly can also reduce the possibility of bacterial infection. All these prevention measures will definitely reduce the possibility of occurrence of tonsil stones.
These were the treatment options and prevention tips for tonsilloliths . In case you are suffering from mild symptoms of tonsils, use salt water gargling remedy, but seek medical help if you have severe symptoms.