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Tonsil Stones: Here's How to Get Rid of Them Without Hurting Yourself

Updated on September 30, 2017
Angelo Grant profile image

I struggled with tonsils stones whenever I had a nasal drip. After research, trial, and error, I have learned some easy ways to remove them.

Tonsilloliths or Tonsil Stones

Ever had a foul odor coming from your mouth even though you have been brushing and flossing? If your answer is yes, then you may have what is called Tonsilloliths (Ton-sil-lo-lith) or Tonsil Stones. This can be a gross topic to talk about but the fact is many persons have experienced this issue. Let’s take a look at this ‘pain in the neck’.

The Hidden Bad Breath Culprit

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Signs That You Have Tonsil Stones

Symptoms

  • Bad Breath
  • Sore Throat
  • White/Yellowish Debris
  • Pain Swallowing
  • Tonsil Swelling

What are Tonsil Stones?

These are often a rice grain sized ball of debris white or yellowish in color located within the crevices of the tonsils. Tonsil stones can quite literally be a pain in the neck and could grow to be the size of a marble but they usually remain small and in most cases go unnoticed. Tonsil stones can typically be ejected by gargling and harking up the mucus from the throat. The calcified mixture of mucus, bacteria, and debris can cause a foul odor but rarely causes any major health complications. Take a look at the product below for easily getting rid of stubborn and hard to reach tonsil stones.

Treatment For Tonsil Stones

I would scratch and inflame my throat trying to remove tonsil stones with my finger, looking back I probably could have caused a serious infection in my throat by opening up cuts to the same bacteria that was causing the tonsil stones. Thank goodness I found cheap and easy to use oral irrigators on Amazon. An oral irrigator uses a syringe to jet water through specialized tips, the stream of water can be used to floss your teeth and most notably to flush out tonsil stones as seen in the video below. Some other reliable ways of getting rid tonsil stones that does not risk damaging your health are listed below:

  • Salt water gargle(I get good results with warm salt water).
  • Drinking water regularly- especially after meals to get rid of food that might be stuck in the throat.
  • Using cotton swabs- wet the ends of the swab, using a mirror gently dislodge stones while bringing them towards the mouth. Once loosened gargle with salt water.
  • Use a smooth spoon, push gently against the tonsil - pops them right out!
  • Maintain good oral hygiene- brushing twice daily, and floss frequently.

Be sure to check out the risk factors further down in this article that may be contributing to persistent and recurring tonsil stones but for the really serious stuff see a doctor about:

  • Antibiotics.
  • Tonsillectomy - surgery to partially or completely remove the tonsils.
  • Cryptolysis - involves using a laser to close the pockets in which the tonsil stones developed.

Video of How to Use a Simple Oral Irrigator

How do Tonsil Stones Form?

Tonsil stones are caused by a buildup of odor-producing bacteria and debris deposited in the crevices of the tonsils. The debris may include food particles, fragments from under your nails and other sources, and mucus from postnasal drip. These particles lump up and decay in the back of the throat and deposits in the small crypts within the tonsils.

Risk Factors That Contribute to The Formation of Tonsil Stones

I used to gargle with vodka whenever I had a cold thinking that the alcohol would actually kill any odor-causing bacteria and dislodge any tonsil stones being formed. Two birds with one stone right? But I was surprised to find out from studies that alcohol actually increases the risk of tonsil stones. The following also contributes to the formation of tonsil stones some others:

  • Postnasal drip
  • Medication-related dry mouth
  • Recurrent tonsillitis
  • Overactive salivary glands
  • Sinus and bacterial infections
  • Certain dietary and lifestyle factors (e.g. alcohol use and stress)
  • Hereditary factors such as the size, shape, and depth of the tonsil crevices.

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    • pen promulgates profile image

      Imran Khan 6 months ago from Mumbai, India

      Good insight!

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