If you ever see small, white lumps on the tonsils in the back of your throat, you can be sure that you’ve got tonsilloliths, otherwise known as tonsil stones. Whilst looking pretty nasty, these can also be a major cause of bad breath so should be dealt with as soon as possible. Knowing how to get rid of tonsil stones isn’t common knowledge. Here are a few ideas that can really work.
So just what are tonsilloliths? They are actually small clusters of material that settle in the tonsil crevices. This accumulation contains sulphur compounds, mucus from post-nasal drip and calcium amongst other pleasant substances! They have the appearance of a small white ball or stone lodged in throat area and are easy to spot with a mirror.
Now although they are not actually harmful or even painful, many people want to know how to get rid of tonsil stones because they can cause horrible halitosis, which is not nice for those around you nor any good for self-esteem. This is a direct result of the sulphur compounds combining with the anaerobic bacteria present in the mouth, particularly under the tongue.
There are a few options for treatment, ranging from the straightforward to actual surgery. The best starting point is to use an oral irrigator, the equivalent of a fireman’s hose for your mouth. This device, which is also great for removing plaque and food debris from between teeth, is a good start in knowing how to get rid of tonsil stones. If you have never used one of these, it is important to start at a low pressure in order to avoid damaging the tonsils themselves. They often attach directly to the sink tap, making them easy to use for anybody.
If this doesn’t do the trick, scraping them away (known in medical circles as curettage) is also possible. Some people even do this at home with a Q-tip (or your tongue if you can avoid the gag reflex), but this is not always a good idea. Getting a doctor to have a look is wise if you’re interested in this method.
With both of these two tricks, it is important to make sure that oral hygiene is respected. Washing the mouth out with a saline solution after attempting to remove stones can be a good idea for example.
A more modern treatment would be laser removal. This procedure is obviously a more radical solution given that it involves a local anaesthetic. The laser flattens the surface of the tonsils and particularly the edges of the tonsil crypts, which should prevent debris from settling and eventually forming into stones.
Whilst tonsilloliths are hardly a life-threatening condition, they can be unsightly and make life less than pleasant for the sufferer. Nobody likes to have bad breath and unless you know how to get rid of tonsil stones, halitosis is a likely result. Working through these steps from home measures to surgery if necessary should ensure that this problem can be treated as quickly as possible.