You may have heard about the term tonsillitis. It is a condition when the tonsils themselves become infected and swollen. However, in this article, we will discuss tonsil stones. Tonsil stones are connected with the term called tonsilloliths. The bacteria or debris buildup in the notch and crannies of tonsils and when the mess of bacteria hardens into the stone-like structure. Then these are called tonsil stones or tonsilloliths.
What are tonsil stones?
In the back of each side of your mouth, tonsils are present. These are the lymph nodes, which also play a vital role in improving the immune system. These tonsils protect our body from many types of harmful viruses and bacteria that may enter in our collection and make us ill. As we discussed above, when the bacteria and debris trapped in these tonsils and become harden in the tonsil area, then tonsil stones are made.
Which person has the most chances of getting the tonsil stones?
The person who has tonsillitis in which the tonsils become infected and swollen has more chances of getting the tonsil stones. So, keep this in mind that if you get the disease, again and again, you have increases the chances of getting the tonsil stones or tonsilloliths.
How are these tonsil stones made?
People have more chances of getting tonsil stones when they do not clean their mouths properly by brushing their teeth. These tonsils work as a filter to bacteria and debris in a reasonable condition. But when the smaller particles of debris such as food or dead cells and mucus become trapped in the mouth, they caught up in the crevices of the tonsils. When this match of dead cells, bacteria, and mucus calcifies in a soft gel-like structure, then these are called tonsil stones. Tonsil stones are present on both sides of the mouth, and its size ranges from a grain of rice to a pea. Mostly the people who are between the age of 20 to 60 have more chances of becoming a victim of tonsil stones. Also, the person who gets tonsillitis again and again.
If the size of these is tiny, then sometimes you will not feel a particular symptom of having tonsil stones. In other words, we can say how large they are.
The most common symptom, according to many doctors and experts, is the bad breath, which is also known as halitosis. According to the doctors, the people who have tonsil stones in them have ten times more lousy breath than ordinary people. As discussed earlier, this bad breath is due to the accumulation of bacteria and debris in the tonsil stones. Unfortunately, this bad breath or halitosis is persistent.
Pain while swallowing the food:
You feel pain while swallowing the food.
It is seen that many people having tonsil stones are the victim of ear pain also.
Obstruction in upper Airways:
The patient also feels the difficulty in breathing in upper airways.
Sometimes, they find trouble in speaking and thus having hoarseness.
Feeling bad taste:
Some people think a bad taste in the mouth.
Foreign body sensation:
The people having tonsil stones feel that something from the outside is present on the tonsils, which means the foreign body sensation. So they think that something from outside get stuck in their mouth.
One of the most critical symptoms is a severe sore throat. The patient might feel too much pain in the throat. This pain is due to these tonsil stones, which give you pain or discomfort itself.
Redness in the tonsils
The patient may also feel redness and irritation in the tonsils.
Inflammation in the tonsils:
There are chronic tonsil inflammation and infection on the tonsils.
The patient having tonsil stones may also have the chance of getting the cough. This cough is due to the irritation in your throat, which makes you cough.
White or yellow formation on the tonsils:
There are white or yellow formations on the tonsils which you can quickly see in the mirror, or your doctor can quickly check this. This white formation is due to the white debris which appeared in the back of your throat as a lump of solid white material.
Having Tonsillitis Again and Again:
If tonsillitis occurs, again and again, it is also a common symptom of having tonsil stones.
The patient of tonsil stones does not get enough sleep because of the feeling of irritation in the throat.
Bleeding in the Tonsil Area:
The person having tonsilloliths must have chances of bleeding in the tonsil area.
Are tonsil stones causing your bad breath?
Yes, these tonsil stones, unfortunately, will cause you bad breath, and the worst thing about this is that bad breath is persistent. It is due to the accumulation of bacteria and debris in the tonsils. So, the mucus, bacteria, or debris become trapped in the tonsils and becoming the cause of giving lousy breath. However, if you do brushing or mouthwash, you can prevent bad breath for some time but will not get rid of it.
Do you feel trouble swallowing when having tonsil stones?
Yes, the person who has tonsil stones, unfortunately, feels trouble swallowing this is because the patient feels irritation in the throat because of the inflammation. He might think that something from outside gets stuck in their mouth so so he feels irritated, especially when eating food.
How are tonsil stones diagnosed?
We discussed earlier that these could be easily seen in the mirror as white or yellow enlarged stones on both the tonsils. Also, your doctor can quickly check it with a torch.
Are tonsil stones contagious?
If we talk about that these are contagious or not, then make sure that they are not contagious. However, these are made up of a material called biofilm that is the combination of your mouth bacteria and fungi. These are made when these bacteria and fungi become harden within the tonsils. Make sure that this biofilm is responsible for the making of cavities and other gum diseases in the mouth.
How to prevent the formation of tonsil stones?
If you become the patient of tonsillitis for more than one time, then you must have chances of having these on both sides of the tonsils. However, you can prevent the formation of tonsil stones by taking some preventive measures.
- Keep your mouth clean all the time by practicing good oral hygiene. You should brush your teeth, especially cleaning the bacteria at the back of your tongue.
- Do not smoke as it will trigger the formation of bacteria in the tonsils.
- You must stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water several times a day.
- Do not drink alcohol.
- Do not drink carbonated beverages such as sodas.
- You must limit dairy products to avoid the formation of bacteria near the tonsils.
- If you are feeling sore throat, then you must gargle with salt water regularly to prevent the formation of tonsil stones.
- Non-alcoholic mouthwash also plays a vital role by losing the tonsil stones. When you use mouthwash regularly, then it will also prevent the formation of bacteria in the mouth. When fewer bacteria are present in the mouth, then it will prevent the formation of stones.
- Some people also rinse with apple cider vinegar in diluted form. Apple cider vinegar is useful in a way by breaking down the materials. When you want to gargle with apple cider vinegar, you must mix one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in one cup of warm water and gargle 2 to 3 times a day.
What are the best possible treatments for the removal of tonsil stones?
There are many possible treatments for removal.
If you do not feel any symptoms, even if you have them, you will require no cure for this.
Gargling with Salt Water:
If you gargle vigorously with salt water, you can also get rid of tonsil stones. They will loosen up by continuously gargling with saltwater. Make sure that the water should be warm enough so that these become soft and wipe off. It also depends on the condition of the stones. If these are too hard, then this gargling with salt water does not work on your tonsil stones.
As I also discussed earlier that brushing correctly, especially at the back of your tongue near the tonsils, will also help the removal of the tonsil stones quickly.
Gargling with mouthwash:
You can also get rid of these by rinsing with an effective mouthwash. Make sure that the mouthwash should be alcohol-free as it plays a vital role in the removal of the throat discomfort which people usually feel. The good thing about gargling with mouthwash is that you can also get rid of the bad breath.
Manual removal :
When other procedures do not work correctly, then people should go for manual removal. As I discussed earlier, the removal with a toothbrush, but it usually is not recommended by doctors. We all know that a toothbrush is hard for your tonsils, and it will damage your tonsil tissues. You may get the bleeding when you want to remove them with brushing only.
From my point of view, manual removal of these by yourself is a little risky and can lead to many complications such as bleeding and infection. You must consult your doctor about the removal. I see many people who remove tonsil stones with the help of a cotton swab. Though it is an excellent choice for replacement, still removing the tonsils with a cotton swab is risky. So, it is highly recommended that you must go for minor surgical procedures by the doctors if they become unusually large or cause pain or show persistent symptoms.
Use of Antibiotics:
It varies from case to case when these will be able to manage with the help of antibiotics. The role of antibiotics is that they can lower the formation of bacteria counts in the tonsils. However, these antibiotics show potential side effects on the people who have tonsil stones. But you must not go for long term antibiotics as it will create more complications for you. Also, when you stop use antibiotics, you may have chances to get them again. So, the last option is to remove the tonsil stones.
Surgical Removal of Tonsil Stones:
Tonsillectomy is the last option used by doctors when other methods fail for removal. So, doctors perform the tonsillectomy only in severe and chronic cases. So tonsillectomy is the surgical removal of tonsils. In tonsillectomy, the scalpel, coblation device, and the laser are used.
Laser Tonsil Cryptolysis or LTC:
Laser Tonsil Cryptolysis or LTC is performed by using a laser to eliminate the crypts when tonsil stones persist. The patient is given local anesthesia before starting Laser Tonsil Cryptanalysis or LTC. The good thing about this LTC is that recovery time is less, and the patient will not feel discomfort.
Coblation Tonsil Cryptolysis:
We can say that this Coblation Cryptolysis is similar to Laser Tonsil Cryptolysis in a way that, in both, the tonsils are removed. But no heat is involved in Coblation Tonsil Cryptolysis. In Coblation Cryptolysis, radio waves are used to transform salt solution into charged ions. The patient does not feel the burning sensation which he feels during Laser Tonsil Cryptolysis. The tonsil stones are removed easily with the help of Coblation Cryptolysis. So, different types of risks are minimized, such as burns, retinal damage, or airways fire.
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