What Are Tonsil Stones?
Tonsil stones are calcified masses of plaque, food debris, and bacteria that form in the crevices of your tonsils.
How Can I Tell If I Have Tonsil Stones?
You can probably feel them. If you feel like there’s a small lump stuck and the back of your throat, you may have a tonsil stone embedded in one of your tonsil crypts. Tonsil stones also cause severe halitosis, so if you brush, floss, and gargle regularly, but still suffer from bad breath, tonsil stones may be the culprit. In severe cases, where the tonsil stones are large, they may cause infections and inflammation of the tonsils, resulting in a nasty sore throat. These are just a few signs to look out for.
What Can I Do About Them?
Since they cause terrible halitosis, gargling with alcohol-free mouthwash can mitigate that. To dislodge the stones themselves, coughing and a retching movement can help to force the tonsil stones out of the crypts. If that doesn’t work, gently pushing the tonsil stone out with a cotton swab may help, though this should only be performed by a professional. Since tonsil stones are formed by bacteria, over-the-counter antibiotics and natural disinfectants like apple cider vinegar and honey may help kill the bacteria.
Still, the best course of action is prevention. Tonsil stones are formed due to poor oral hygiene which causes food debris, plaque, and bacteria to calcify and lodge themselves into your tonsils. Brushing twice a day, flossing, and gargling regularly will go a long way to prevent the formation of these nasty little stones.
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