Tonsils are the soft, fleshy structures that are located in the throat. They are comprised of specific tissues, made up of lymphocytes, which are cells in the body and helps in boosting the immune system by fighting and preventing infections.In most of the cases, tonsils work day and night and protect us from invading bacteria and viruses. However, there are reasons which make these tonsil stones not to perform its function and thus tonsil stones are formed.
People suffering from tonsil stones commonly don’t realize they have them. Tonsil stones are not clearly visible and they range from rice to pea-sized. Tonsil stones rarely lead to larger health complications. However, sometimes they grow into larger tonsilloliths that cause swelling in the tonsils. Learn how you can get rid of Tonsil Stones naturally.
What are Tonsil Stones? Reasons Behind Tonsilloliths:
Well, tonsils are made up of tunnels, crevices, and tonsil crypts. Different types of debris such as mucus, dead cells, saliva and food particles get trapped and deposited to form pockets. Fungi and bacteria feed on these build-ups and leads to contribute to a distinctly unpleasant odor. Over the time, this debris calcifies to various degrees of hardness. This leads to the formation of tonsil stones. Some people have just one tonsil stone whereas others have many smaller formations.
Whitish and yellowish irregularly shaped stones that are often found in the crypts of the tonsils are known as tonsil stones or tonsillitis. They may not be as harmful or dangerous for your health as you think, but these stones can cause bad breath in some cases. Tonsil stones, mostly formed in the back of the mouth behind your wisdom teeth and lower molars. Sometimes, these calcified stones also gather on the roof of the mouth and even in the back of the mouth. Though these stones mainly found in the tonsils.
How are Tonsils Formed?
Tonsillitis or tonsils is an inflammation that affects a large number of children and adults every year. Though the vast majority of cases occur in children between the age of 5 and 15. Not many people know this, but the tonsils consist of nooks and crannies, where bacteria and other materials like dead cells and mucous easily get trapped. This is when the debris becomes concentrated in white formations that occur in the pocket. When this debris gets trapped and calcifies, this leads to the formation of tonsils.
One of the major reasons behind the tonsil stone formation is the sulfur forming bacteria that get accumulated and also the debris that we have talked about gets lodged in the tonsils. This debris includes not just the food particles, but also the mucus from the postnatal drip. This matter decays in the back of the throat regions and remains collected in the small crevices present on the surface of the tonsils. This affected area further attracts additional debris after which calcifications of the debris starts. This might lead to the formation of a large single tonsil stone or formation of multiple tonsils in small size.
How Can Tonsil Stones be Treated?
Tonsil stones develop in your tonsils due to the accumulation of dead skin cells, bacteria, and food particles that get lodged in the crevices of the tonsils and then the salts from the saliva cause the deposits to calcify. Usually, tonsilloliths, as tonsil stones are also called, are harmless and do not require treatment. However, if you have bad breath or experience pain and discomfort, it is best to consult a doctor.
Treatment for Tonsil Stones:
There are several treatment protocols for tonsil stones, right from home remedies to medical procedures. Depending on the severity of the symptoms that tonsil stones cause, you can opt for one of the following treatments:
Tonsil stones can lead to a sore throat and inflamed tonsils. You can get relief from the pain and discomfort by gargling with salt water. If you gargle vigorously, you may succeed in dislodging the stones as well. Make the water, lukewarm and add half a teaspoon of salt. Dissolve the salt and gargle with the water. Do not swallow the salt water while gargling.
Laser Tonsil Cryptolysis:
This is a noninvasive laser treatment that gets rid of the pockets and crevices where the tonsil stones are lodged. You needn’t worry as it causes minimal pain. Anyway, the doctor will use local anesthesia to ensure you enjoy a pain-free treatment session. The downtime after the treatment is minimal.
In this medical procedure, the ENT uses radio waves to change a simple salt solution into charged ions, which adhere to the tonsil tissue and then cut through it. This procedure reduces crevices and pockets on the tonsils and also eliminates tonsil stones. Compared to laser tonsil cryptolysis, coblation cryptolysis does not cause a burning sensation on the tonsils.
Sometimes, the ENT specialist may prescribe antibiotics to treat the infection. Usually, this mode of treatment gets rid of bacteria, which healthcare professionals believe has a major role in the formation and growth of tonsil stones.
Your doctor will never recommend tonsillectomy as a method to treat tonsil stones. However, when all other treatment procedures fail to get rid of the severe symptoms that you are experiencing, the ENT specialist will have no other alternative but to surgically remove your tonsils. This removal can be done with the help of a scalpel or laser. Sometimes, even a coblation medical device can be used.
As you can see there are several ways to treat tonsil stones. If you are not keen on visiting a doctor, you can opt for salt water gargle to ease the symptoms and slowly get rid of the tonsil stones. However, if you have severe symptoms, you should not waste time getting treated by a qualified ENT specialist. Always remember that timely treatment is very important, so make sure you consult the specialist timely to prevent the complications and suffering in future. You can also go for natural ways to treat the problem as there are many natural remedies available to treat the problem completely.