If you are like most people then it’s unlikely that you’ve heard of tonsil stones. It’s a pretty uncommon infection for the most part and even when people do contract it, it could go completely unnoticed. Sometimes the stones are too small to see or cause any symptoms.
This would make you think that the infection is nothing to worry about but annoyingly, this is not the case. Tonsil stones can actually cause some very stressing symptoms that can lead to things like social shyness and troubles when eating.
It’s definitely not an infection to be laughed at and I highly recommend you do your best to avoid it.
To do this efficiently though, you really need to know a little more about them…
What actually are they?
Hiding under your tongue and around your tonsils, you have sulfur-producing bacteria roaming around. This bacteria feeds on the dead cells, food particles and debris found within the crypts of your tonsils if not kept under control.
After feeding, the bacteria’s leftovers will begin to calcify to varying sizes. These are your tonsil stones.
Because of their growth, they put a lot of pressure on your gums and tonsils, which is why they can cause swelling and make swallowing more difficult. Not only that but they smell really bad too, partly because of the bacteria that develops them and partly because of what they’re made up of.
These symptoms can be very stressing and the latter can often force people away from social situations. Even though they are relatively small objects, they can put a huge damper on someone’s life.
How to treat them?
Given how inconvenient they can be, I think the best way to treat tonsil stones is not to remove them but to prevent them from ever appearing in the first place. It may take a little effort at first, to make prevention a daily habit, but over the long term, it’ll be totally worth it.
Below I’ve outlined some of the most efficient ways to prevent tonsil stones.
Maintain good oral health
Okay, so this is a pretty obvious one. In order to prevent tonsil stones development, you need to keep bacteria at bay and in order to do that, you need to have good oral health.
This means maintaining a good brushing/flossing regime and sticking to it daily. But like most, you’ve probably been told by dentists to just brush twice per day.
What you probably didn’t know is that that is the absolute bare minimum you should be doing to maintain okay oral health. Your teeth and mouth go through a lot in a day so it takes a little more than that to keep them properly clean.
Instead I recommend you brush and floss 3 times each day – when you wake up, in the afternoon and before bed. This should be enough to fight off bad bacteria and keep them at bay.
Although, if you want to be a little bit more thorough then you can up this to 4x per day – once after every meal and before bed.
If you aren’t drinking enough water, your salvia levels will deplete. This really isn’t good.
Your salvia is what keeps control of all the bad bacteria and fungi within your mouth. Without it, or with a lack of it, this bacteria will be able to roam free and cause infections. One of which being tonsil stones.
So make sure you keep yourself hydrated. The exact amount that should be drank each day is different for everyone but a good rule of thumb is 8 glasses each day. To find out how you yourself should be drinking, check out this article.
Gargle apple cider vinegar
ACV has been shown to have many health benefits which can help aid a tonsil stone infection. Particularly, its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
This not only means it helps fight off bad bacteria but it can also help reduce the swelling around your tonsils. So it’s a great remedy for those wanting to prevent tonsil stones and for those that already have them.
What I recommend you do is mix 1 tablespoon of ACV with 1 glass of clean water and gargle this daily (not all at once, take small sips). Make sure you gargle 15 seconds at a time and do so with your head tilted back, this makes sure the mixture reaches your tonsils.
Just once a day should be fine but if your symptoms are causing a lot of trouble, or if you really don’t want tonsil stones, then you can gargle it 2-3 more times.
So now that you know what a tonsil stone is and how it develops, I hope that you never have to go through an experience with them. Given the problems they cause, a little bit of work to prevent them is totally worth it!
However, if you have been unfortunate enough to have already gotten tonsil stones, then I recommend you check out here.