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Tonsil stones- causes and prevention

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Tonsil stones can make your life miserable. Even though it is not dangerous, it can create so much of discomfort for you that your life may not be normal any more. However, tonsil stones can be treated easily.

Causes

The tonsils are a part of your body and they can protect you from foreign objects. They stop any such objects from slipping into the lungs. They can filter bacteria and viruses and at the same time produce blood cells and antibodies.

In some cases, food, dirt or other particles can stock in the groves or crypts of the tonsils. If dirt, food, old cells and bacteria are accumulated in the crypts, then they can result in tonsil stones. Most of the time people swallow what is left on the tonsils without even noticing that. But if the particles gets stored in the crypts, they will continue to grow gradually. These growing objects are called as tonsil stones.

In studies it was found that these tonsil stones are actually more alive than actual stones. It’s a living biofilm. Tonsil stones are generally more common in case of people who have large tonsils and it is also common in teens. People who have poor dental hygiene also suffer from tonsil stones.

Symptoms

Tonsil stones may show some symptoms or may not show anything at all. Some people do not show any symptoms even after having tonsil stones. The most common symptoms which are seen are redness or irritation of the tonsils.

In some cases, different symptoms are seen in people suffering from tonsil stones. Bad breath may be one of the most obvious symptoms. This bad breath happens because of the bacteria growing on the tonsil stones, which causes such foul odour. People who suffer from tonsil stones may feel as if something is stuck in the throat. Some other people may show mild sore throat, chronic sore throat and re-occurring tonsillitis.

By standing in front of the mirror, you can easily see the tonsil stones. If you’re tonsils do not seem smooth and rather look like prunes, than you probably have a tonsil stone problem. Generally they are white, yellow or grey in colour. However, they may be of different colours. Sometimes, tonsil stones are not visible to you if they are hiding little deeper in the tonsil.

Treatment

At the initial stages, tonsil stones can be treated by scrapping the tonsil with a tooth brush. Gargling with saltwater may also help you to dislodge the tonsil stones. You can use a cotton swab to dislodge the tonsil stones from the small cavities. The water flossing devices will also help you to wash the debris out of the tonsils.

You may need to go to an ENT specialist to get rid of the tonsil stones in some very specific cases. If you cannot remove them at home and if they are deeply embedded, it is better to see an ENT specialist, who can help you to get rid of the tonsil stones.

Sometimes, in some cases tonsillectomy may be necessary. It is a surgery and it can be painful besides having some other risks. It is important to talk to your doctor about it and find out what options you have before you go for the surgery.

Prevention is very important to completely eliminate the possibility of tonsil stones. Prevention is possible with the help of good dental hygiene. If you brush your teeth and town after food, that will help you to maintain a good dental hygiene.

References

1. Tonsil Stones Remedy Forever
2. Tonsil stones
3. Tonsillolith: not just a stone but a living biofilm.