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Have you ever heard of tonsil stones or suffered from them? It does sound very scary but it is actually harmless and can be cured easily. So, what are tonsil stones and how to get rid of them? Tonsil stones, also known as tonsilloliths or tonsilliths, result from accumulation of bacteria and debris in the crypts of some people’s tonsils. This is very easily treatable, but first, let us unravel the causes of tonsil stones.
Causes of Tonsil Stones
The tonsils are like guards that protect your lungs from foreign objects. They are also lymph nodes that protect your body from bacteria and viruses, and also produce antibodies and white blood cells to fight against invasions of foreign infections.
Foreign objects like food, dirt and other particles can get stuck on the grooves of the tonsils. These grooves or crypts as they are known, can catch additional remnants like old cells and bacteria.
The white blood cells attack the foreign objects. Once they are done combating foreign particles, there are some particles left behind.
Most people swallow the particles, unmindful of their presence, but the particles which remain embedded in the crypts continue to grow bigger and take the form of stones, also known as tonsil calculi.
Teenagers usually get affected by tonsil stones, and it especially affects people with poor dental hygiene. Are you worried that you might be suffering from the problem of small stones? Check out the symptoms of the same to rule out any possibilities of tonsil stones.
Symptoms of Tonsil Stones
Tonsil stones may look like they’re just within reach, but are actually deeply burrowed in your tonsils. Seen as white, gray or yellow nodes on the tonsils, most patients who suffer from this problem complain to their doctors about irritation in their throats, which has become red and inflamed.
Besides the above, the other symptoms which might affect you are foul odor and a feeling that something is stuck in your throat. The proliferating bacteria can be one of the few reasons that cause bad breath. A recurring sore throat and a bad bout of tonsillitis are the other symptoms which you need to be wary of.
Natural Home Remedies to Get Rid of Tonsil Stones
You can get rid of tonsil stones with these super easy remedies. Though it might take time, you will get relief from painful tonsil stones, if the remedies are followed persistently. The combination of natural herbs and oodles of patience do help get rid of these nasty little tonsil stones. Even if you are going for a conventional treatment, try these at home to speed up your recovery.
Also, take care if you are taking prescription drugs for high blood pressure, they can result in a dry mouth, which in turn leads to tonsil stones. Allergies or sinus problems lead to accumulation of mucus, which is again one of the reasons that you may have tonsil stones. Being aware of all these things is always the first step to help fix the root cause of the problem.
1. Salt Water Gargle
This is one remedy that can stop the over-proliferation of residue materials which cause these tonsil stones. The beginnings of a sore throat are among the first symptoms of an inflamed tonsil, which then gets worse and forms stones. When you start a salt water gargle, the salty water can flush out the amassing debris, reducing the chances of forming stones.
Here is what you can do, boil 2 glasses of water with 3 tsp. of salt for at least 2 minutes. Let it cool down just a little bit and then gargle with it. Repeat this at least 2-3 times a day. Try to follow this method of gargling once before pillow time and once after you wake up!
2. Lime juice
Lime juice is equally effective in getting rid of tonsil stones. This remedy usually helps get rid of the microorganisms which cause these stones. It is an easy and simple method, which you can follow for great results.
The process is really simple! Blend lemon juice with water, and drink it up regularly at least twice or thrice a day to dislodge the stones deeply embedded in the tonsil.
3. Unflavored yogurt
Yogurt is a pretty good probiotic, which balances the gut flora with its abundance of beneficial bacteria. Regular intake of yogurt can eliminate the microorganisms in your tonsil, thus protecting it from getting affected by tonsil stones.
This is quite a delicious way of getting rid of tonsil stones if you are someone who loves yogurt as much as we do. Have a cup of yogurt after breakfast, 1/2 cup of yogurt after lunch and another cup after dinner and you are pretty much good to go! If you are thinking that is way too much of yogurt in one day; well, you won’t complain when you see the results!
The other great remedy that works really well on tonsil stones is garlic. It is the antibacterial properties of garlic that comes in handy over here. It is an easy to follow remedy and you need to follow this at least a few times a day.
Chew on a few pods of garlic several times a day and let the anti-bacterial action start working its magic on the stones.
5. Apple cider vinegar
A kitchen favorite, apple cider vinegar is an answer to most common ailments . So why and how does ACV work? The answer is pretty simple really; it contains acid which works on the stones to disintegrate into smaller stones, till they are gradually eliminated.
Do not consume apple cider vinegar bottoms up, the acid content might be too harsh, and you may experience a burning sensation in your throat. Dilute ACV with water and then gargle with the concoction; you will soon get relief from tonsil stones.
Onions, a close ally to garlic, has similar anti-bacterial properties which help fight microorganisms that cause stones. Also, onions help dispose of the foul smell usually associated with tonsil stones.
Onions and garlic belong to the allium genus family, which have potent properties to stave off chronic diseases. Making them part of your diet will not only protect you from stones but also help prevent them from re-occurring.
All you have to do is include at least three onions to your diet. Raw food also helps assimilate food better and helps in digestion. The raw enzymes are great for your health, so chewing on raw onion shouldn’t be a problem. It creates an environment where it is impossible for bacteria and viruses to thrive, thus keeping your oral health in great shape.
The old adage,” An apple a day keeps the doctor away” still holds true! Apples contain a powerhouse of nutrients and is also acidic in nature, so they help clean the teeth almost like a toothbrush. They clean the gums and keep your oral health in tip-top shape!
This is fairly easy, all you have to do is bite into juicy apples and let their acidic content clean the gum area and keep your mouth scrupulously clean.
Carrots are another way of maintaining your oral hygiene. The beta carotene content which is so good for your eyes also seems to be great for your oral health. The bacteria- terminating quality works wonders here. The flow of saliva with valuable enzymes destroys the tonsil stones and also prevents them from reoccurring.
Unleash the Brer rabbit in you and chomp on juicy carrots. The beneficial enzymes will take care of the rest.
9. Essential oils
Some of the essential oils are really effective in treating tonsil stones because they contain anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. But most of these essential oils cannot be used raw; they need to be combined with a carrier, to help fight the stones.
Some of the essential oils which can be used are as follows: myrrh, lemongrass, and the ives oil. Combine it with your toothpaste, or spray it on the affected part, to get good results.
10. Cotton swab
A fairly mechanical way of getting rid of your tonsil stones is with the help of cotton swabs. You need to be careful when dispelling the stones, do it gently in broad daylight or in front of a light to get a better view of the stones.
Wet the cotton swabs so that they do not hurt you, and you can easily dislodge the stones, scrape them out and then wash your mouth with salt water.
A Few Tips to Treat and Prevent Tonsil Stones
You can have a tough time with tonsil stones as sometimes they can make even swallowing painful! A few tricks can give you ample relief.
- Maintain oral hygiene- The Mouth is undoubtedly the dirtiest part of your body, as there is a lot of bacteria there. Keeping your mouth clean, is one of the first things you should do. Use a good toothpaste and gargle with salt water and so on.
- Eat a well-balanced diet- A well-balanced diet, replete with the right vitamins, minerals and probiotics can help you get rid of tonsil stones. Maintaining a balance of good and bad bacteria is the key to keeping away tonsil stones. So the importance of a well-balanced diet cannot be stressed enough.
- Use of mouthwashes- Just brushing your teeth might not be enough to ward off tonsil stones, you need much more than that, namely, the use of alcohol-free mouthwashes. They dispel the bad bacteria that accumulate in your mouth.
- Flossing is the key- There are some people who keep flossing out from their dental routine, which is a pity, really! Flossing can help get rid of the additional remnants that get blocked in the tonsils. Do flush your mouth well after flossing, to keep it clean.
- Supplement with probiotics- Since maintaining the balance of good and bad bacteria is so important for your body, sometimes consuming probiotics via foods may not be enough, as we may not be able to have enough of them in our daily diet. So add a probiotic supplement to your diet. Choose one which is a combination of a prebiotic and a probiotic, both of which are really beneficial for your health.
- Change your toothbrush frequently- We forget to change our toothbrushes frequently, which do not help with tonsil stones prevention at all. Change it frequently, as new toothbrushes are more successful in dislodging the debris attached to your mouth and hence stop the growth of stones.
- Drink adequate amounts of water- To keep your mouth moist, make sure you drink more and more water. Drinking water not only flushes away the unnecessary stones but also maintains the right balance of the body, where the harmful microorganisms are kept at bay.
- Say no to acidic foods- Foods which are acidic will make your mouth acidic and an acidic environment can increase the proliferation of anaerobic bacteria, which makes it an ideal atmosphere for stones to grow.
- Sugary foods are also a strict no-no- Tonsil stones love the sugary environment, so stones grow more if you consume too many sugary drinks. So, if you are suffering from tonsil stones, make sure you eliminate sugar laden and fizzy drinks from your diet.
- Cut out dairy foods from your diet if you are prone to tonsil stones- Dairy products like milk, cheese, ice cream and so on lead on to the accumulation of mucus that leads to the formation of stones.
If none of the above work, you need to consult your doctor for his/her advice on the next course of action for tonsil stones treatment. He/she will not only help you get rid of stones, but also help you prevent such occurrences.
Also, lifestyle changes are the only way you can combat tonsil stones. So eat right, drink more water and keep your mouth clean, these are the three most important weapons to get rid of tonsil stones.