At the back of your throat, there are two pockets; one on the right side, and the other on the left. These pockets home Tonsils, which are gland-like in structure. If you open your mouth wide, in front of a mirror or any other reflecting surface, you will see these pockets. Though meant is to trap bacteria, virus or other harmful materials as they pass through the throat, people with their tonsils have reportedly not suffered more virus and bacteria infections than those with theirs intact.
Tonsil stones, medically known as tonsilloliths, occurs when bits of food, dead cells, bacteria produced under the tongue, mucus and other materials get lodged in the crater of tonsils, and on the roof of the mouth. The debris hardens into a yellow or a white formation. Another cause is the accumulation of calcium salts in tonsil pockets (calcification). The stones are experienced more frequently in adults than in children. They are also common to people with deep tonsil craters and those suffering from chronic inflammation.
Tonsil stones are a nuisance. They produce a foreign object sensation at the back of the throat which results to a difficulty or pain when swallowing foods and liquids. They also cause a severe bad breath (halitosis) with a metallic taste produced when highly sulfur- concentrated bacteria acts on the debris. A sore throat, pain and discomfort may be experienced in the areas they are lodged. Though they may be dislodged by the tip of the tongue when eating and during coughing, there are other methods that can be used to get rid of these tonsil stones.
Gargling is the easiest way of getting rid of tonsil stones. You can either gargle with slightly warm, salty water or a mouthwash. To gargle, dissolve a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water. Gargle vigorously with your head titled back. Salty water helps to dislodge bits of food from the crater of tonsils and also helps to soothe any discomfort feeling. Gargling should be done every morning. You can also gargle with mouth wash, which is done immediately after a meal. Gargling with carbonated drinks can also help remove the tonsil stones.
An oral irrigator is another way of ridding the tonsil stones. However, proceed with caution. If you direct a strong stream of water, you might tear the tonsil, exposing it to infection. To remove the stone tonsil, place the irrigator on your mouth (but not touching the tonsil stone), and switch the irrigator starting with the lowest setting. Direct a steady stream of water on the tonsil stone until it is dislodged. A stream of water should be discontinued if it causes pain. You
can take oxycodone or hydrocone to ease the pain.
Tonsil stones can also be removed by scooping the out using sterilized picks and swabs. To remove them, open your mouth in front of a reflecting surface and push the tonsil stones from the crater of the tonsil by tightening the muscles at back of the throat. Then, using a sterilized pick of your choice, gently scoop the tonsil stones. The scooping should be done gently, with care and without scrapping, so as to avoid bleeding. Also ensure that your hands are clean.
Regular blushing of teeth helps to remove bits of food in the mouth. Brushing the teeth after every meal helps remove the food debris which acts as breeding grounds for tonsil stones. Once you brush your teeth, remove the bacteria that may have accumulated at the back of the tongue. The best way to do this is by scrapping the back of your tongue with a scrapper. Keeping your mouth always moisturized is essential in getting rid or even preventing tonsil stones. Drink a lot of water to keep your mouth moisturized.
Medically, tonsil stones can be removed by taking antibiotics or by surgical removal (tonsillectomy). While antibiotics have side effects, exceedingly large stones requires surgical removal. This is done by using a locally available numbing agent. The method involves entire removal of tonsil tissues, hence preventing the formation of tonsil stones. Patients that undergo tonsillectomy may experience a difficulty when swallowing, but this occurs for few days. Surgical removal a sure way of removing tonsil stones in people suffering from chronic tonsillitis.