Tonsil StonesThe complete guide to their causes, symptoms, and how to prevent and get rid of them for good.
What are tonsil stones (tonsilloliths) and what causes them?
A tonsil stone, or tonsillolith, is very similar to a kidney stone, except they form in the nooks and crannies of your tonsils located in the back of your throat.
Having tonsil stones is actually quite common. The Mayo clinic estimates that there may be more than 3 million individuals suffering with the embarrassing and painful condition in the US alone.
Like any other stone in your body they can form, be expelled, and re-form again if you do not take the precautions to eliminate them and the environment in your body that encourages their growth.
As with other “stones” that develop in your body these growths can be painful and produce a range of unpleasant side-effects, including bad breath or halitosis, an extremely sore throat, ear pain and more. If you don’t know what one looks like you can click here to see tonsil stones pictures.
So exactly what causes tonsil stones and how are they formed?
Basically they are formed by a buildup of mucous, food particles, germs and debris that get stuck in your tonsils. Normally, these bits and pieces are constantly washed away through the normal acts of drinking, chewing and swallowing food, and the gallons of saliva that move through your mouth on a daily basis.
But, if there are irregularities in your tonsils, sometimes these little bits and pieces get stuck, and then over time more and more accumulate forming the hard little balls that can wreak havoc on your body and social life.
What are tonsil stones symptoms?
There are a number of symptoms and ways to tell if you are suffering from these nasty little buildups.
1. Dragon Breath (Halitosis) – One of the most socially difficult symptoms is having just awful breath that no amount of brushing or gum chewing is going to fix.
Unfortunately, you have a little ball of putrefying food particles and mucous literally stuck in your throat. Every time you take a breath, the noxious odor of that cesspool is being expressed out of your mouth, and anyone within a five foot radius will instantly know and want to get away.
Because they are literally stuck in your throat, you can’t just brush your teeth, chew gum, or suck on a mint to get rid of the nasty smell. Let’s be honest, even after you go to the bathroom and spray that room deodorizer, everyone still knows you just went to the bathroom. That’s what’s happening with your breath. You have to get rid of the source of the problem in order to truly fix the problem.
2. Sore Throat – You have a grotesque buildup of rotting “stuff” stuck in your throat that may even be infected. You can bet that is going to be an irritation and every time you eat, drink or even breath you are going to inflame it even more. Having a sore throat is very common for those with tonsil stones.
3. Difficulty Swallowing – Again, that buildup that is located in your throat is going to agitate your delicate tonsils and your throat every time you swallow. Anytime there is inflammation you are going to feel it, and it is not pretty.
4. Ear Pain – Your tonsils and your ears share certain nerve pathways. So, if your tonsils are inflamed and causing pain, likely your brain is going to send a signal that the entire area is in pain, including your ears.
5. Swelling of the Tonsils – When the nasty little white balls of infected material get lodged in your tonsils, they are going to cause an inflammation resulting in enlarged or swelling of the tonsils.
How to get rid of tonsil stones.
Obviously, these are some nasty symptoms that need to be treated so that you can regain your health, and the ability to speak to another human without a sense of shame and embarrassment.
There are several methods of tonsil stone removal, some of them extremely drastic methods, and some of them more gentle and long lasting. Which one you choose to use will depend on many personal factors.
Surgical Removal – The most drastic and expensive way of removing tonsil stones is to simply remove the environment in which they form completely. This can be done through an expensive and painful procedure known as a tonsillectomy.
While this will eliminate the issue completely, resulting in a lifetime free of the problem, it will set you back $6-10,000 for the surgery alone. Additionally, you can count on at least 3 weeks of eating pudding and ice cream (which may not be too bad if you think about it). You will also need to stay in the hospital for several days, and may not be able to work for several more.
Additionally, the pain will be excruciating while the wounds caused by the surgery heal. Remember, the tonsils are in your throat, every time you breathe, eat or swallow you will be agitating the area.
Antibiotics – Another tonsil stone removal method would include the use of prescription antibiotics. While this will help the infection that a stone may cause, it does not treat the underlying condition. You will more than likely suffer re-occurrences of the underlying infection, and be forced to take multiple rounds of these drugs for the rest of your life. Additionally, antibiotics have their own set of side-effects that can cause other problems at the same time.
Salt Water Gargle – An additional tonsil stones removal technique is using a salt water gargle. Simply take an amount of warm water, a cup or so should do, and add regular table salt to it so that it tastes like ocean water in your mouth while leaning your head back. With the water in your mouth gargle but do not swallow for a couple of minutes.
While the salt water gargle may help alleviate some of the discomfort, it too does not treat the underlying problem of the stones themselves. It is simply a way to reduce some of the symptoms.
At Home Removal – In some instances you can use a pick or q-tip to actually dislodge the stones from the tonsils and you simply spit or pick them out.
While this is one way how to remove tonsil stones, it comes with some caveats. First, it is sometimes very difficult to do because of our natural gag reflexes. Go ahead and try to stick a q-tip down your throat and see how easy it is to not gag, it is definitely not easy.
Additionally, it like many of the other remedies, does not help the underlying issue. You may be able to get the current problem dealt with, but unless you make some other modifications, those little stinky balls of gunk are going to return and you’re going to have to treat them again.
The best way to remove tonsil stones for good.
If you are looking for a tonsil stones treatment that would be considered the best method for removing them, it would be one that got rid of the stones that you currently have that is super easy, pain free, and fast as well as providing you with a method of how to prevent tonsil stones in the future.
Because my wife had tonsil stones, I did all the research and finally found a solution that did just that. In just a couple of days following the advice of this medical researcher, she was able to get rid of the tonsil stones she had, get rid of the bad breath that they caused (there wasn’t a ton of making out when she had them 🙂 that’s for sure), and the best part with a few modifications she hasn’t had a stone since.
The best part is the fix was super easy, super cheap and didn’t require any weird or painful voodoo to do. Click here and check out this little e-book that is a short read, but can help you fix your problem in as little as 3 days.