Do Tonsil Stones Ever Go Away?
Tonsil stones are not something that just go away on their own. If left untreated, they can lead to serious complications. If you kid has tonsil stones, it is recommended to have them removed as soon as you can.
Gain a better understanding of what tonsil stones are, what causes them, how to prevent them, and what to do to get rid of them.
Causes and Symptoms of Tonsil Stones
Tonsil stones are calcified deposits of debris that got stuck in the folds and pockets of the tonsils. The debris includes dead cells, mucus, bacteria, and food particles that were compacted to form small white- or yellow-colored stones. Individuals who are susceptible to forming tonsil stones are those with large tonsils and/or tonsils with lots of pockets and folds.
If your child develops tonsil stones, it may result in various complications.
The most common symptoms of tonsils stones are the following:
- Foul-smelling breath
- Weird, metallic taste in the mouth
- Swollen tonsils
- Sore throat
- Difficulty swallowing
- Severe, uncontrolled coughing
- Pain radiating to the area of the ear/s
Prevention and Treatment of Tonsil Stones
When it comes to tonsil stones, the cliche “prevention is better than cure” applies. The easiest way to treat tonsil stones is to prevent them from developing in the first place. Much like any other oral health problems, this can be done through proper diet and good oral hygiene.
Here are some tips to try out to prevent tonsil stones:
- Brush and floss your teeth twice a day. Getting rid of food particles and other debris in the mouth should effectively prevent stone formation.
- Brush or scrape your tongue after brushing and flossing.Cleaning your kid’s tongue is also a must. The rough surface of the tongue makes it an ideal place for bacteria to collect, hide, and spread to the tonsils.
- Drink lots of waterA dry environment allows bacteria to thrive, and promotes faster calcification to the debris. By increasing your fluid intake, not only are the bacteria washed away, but calcification is also halted by the moist environment.
- Gargle with warm saline solution after eating. Doing this will wash away food particles, mucus, and bacteria that may have lodged in the tonsils.
- Gargle with diluted extract of grapefruit seeds. Doing this at regular intervals will help fight the bacteria that causes tonsil stones.
- Use nasal drops to relieve post-nasal drips. Relief of post-nasal drips reduces the amount of bacteria and mucus. When picking your nasal drops, avoid those with alcohol, saccharine, and sodium laureth sulfate. These compounds can dry out the mouth.
- Have your tonsils removed surgically. If your kid’s tonsil stones don’t go away or always recur, your dentist might suggest removing the tonsils permanently.
Getting Rid of Tonsil Stones
If your kid is already with tonsil stones, you can try to get rid of them by:
- Gargling with diluted extract of grapefruit seeds.This helps loosen any existing tonsil stones.
- Manually removing tonsil stones. This is not recommended, as you risk poking and injuring your kid’s throat. However, if you really want to try it out, gently lift out the stones using the end of a toothbrush or a cotton swab.
- Bringing your kid to the dentist. Large tonsil stones that can’t be removed using the aforementioned methods necessitates surgical removal by a dentist.
Looking for a dentist who can help with tonsil stones? Find a Kool Smiles partner dentist near you!