Those little white bumps that form on your tonsils are not pimples caused by infection as you may think, but are actually small build-ups of calcium called tonsil stones. They are created when particles like food, mucus and dead cells get trapped in the grooves and nooks of your tonsils.
In the same way that an oyster creates a pearl from a gain of sand, the tonsils calcify the foreign matter in order to eject it and make it easier to remove. So even though it may seem your tonsils are doing you a favour here, the stones can have a number of annoying side effects.
There are a number of different ways for getting rid of tonsil stones and I’m going to show you them in this post so that you don’t need to deal with any of these symptoms.
- Gargle Mouthwash
Simply gargling for a couple of minutes will loosen and dislodge the stones. You can use an antibacterial mouthwash found in a supermarket or a solution recommended by your doctor. The act of swirling the mixture around your mouth will help loosen the stones and disinfect your tonsils - which helps you prevent them in the future.
Alternatively, you can try using a salt water solution or apple cider vinegar. They’ll both help disinfect your tonsils but probably won’t be as effective as the mouthwashes. However, they’re still great home remedies.
Although tonsil stones are not formed as a direct result of infection, this and inflammation can aggravate the tonsils resulting in the condition occurring. This, and because the main function of the tonsils is to combat bacteria and viruses that enter the body through the mouth, is why it is always a good idea to assist the tonsils with an antibacterial solution.
Therefore, it may be necessary to gargle at least twice a day for a couple of days in order for all tonsil stones to be removed successfully.
In the same way that coughing expels mucous and other debris in the throat and upper chest, it can help eject tonsil stones. A quick, hard cough will help dislodge the stones and eject them. For a little extra force, you can hold the tongue against the palette of the mouth, pushing it back against the tonsils for this method to be even more effective.
Have a tissue handy to spit out the stones that are expelled into the mouth. Don't be concerned if they have a very foul odour. This is because they are basically rotting food or other particles covered in a thin layer of calcium resulting in the bad smell.
- Cotton Swabs
If you don’t have a particularly sensitive gag reflex then this method will be best for you. To make removal as easy as possible, wet the end of the swab and make sure to use a flashlight and mirror.
It is important to be extremely cautious so as not to damage the thin and sensitive lining of the tonsils. A damaged lining is more likely to result in the tonsils becoming infected.
- Medical Intervention
Now I’m not telling you that you should consider surgery. It is just that the stones can become trapped or grow too big to be removed at home so medical intervention could be ideal. Therefore, you should visit a doctor or medical practitioner if tonsil stones seem to be stubborn or difficult to dislodge.
In most cases, a doctor will manually remove the stones using some specialized tools. Laser technology can also be used to breakdown and remove tonsil stones that have become a problem, although this type of procedure is rarely performed.
Only in extreme cases, especially where the tonsils become inflamed and infected on a regular basis, will a tonsillectomy may actually be recommended.
As the tonsils are not considered to be entirely necessary to the functioning of the body, this procedure is often recommended over and above other medical treatments to treat any conditions involving the tonsils.
Now that you know of these methods, I hope the removal of tonsil stones becomes a lot easier for you.