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  • Writer's pictureJackie Morrill-Faucher

Ever get a foul unpleasant smell in your mouth or feel like you have something stuck in your throat?

If the answer is yes you could be experiencing Tonsil Stones. Tonsil stones are common and most of the time fall out on their own or before you notice them, but in other cases they linger and cause pain, swelling, or a foul-smelling sulfide odor. Tonsil Stones are formed when debris; food, bacteria, and other particles get trapped in the pockets of your tonsils. They are most commonly found in the Palatine tonsils located on the right and left sides at the back of your throat.

The particles that cause these stones are often trapped from improper oral hygiene. Most people do not even know when they have tonsil stones, but for those who do, some of the symptoms may be; a foul smell due to bacteria, the feeling like you have something stuck in the back of your throat, or a pressure or pain in your ears. Stones are generally white or yellowish colors that vary in size. Some appear as little flakes and others look like rocks that are large enough to see. In most cases they can be removed by some simple at home remedies, other times the stones need to be removed; if they become too painful, or get to big they cause difficulty breathing or swallowing.

At home treatment and prevention:

1. Try to use a cotton swap to gently press on the tissue surrounding the stone. Make sure you place the cotton swap behind the stone and gently push forward to make sure the stone comes toward the front of your mouth and not into the back of your throat. * do not use anything sharp or pointy. You may also want to use a Chloraseptic mouth spray to help with gag reflex.

2. Try using your waterPik to flush them out- ONLY USE ON A LOW SETTING (1 or 2) - anything higher could cause the tonsil to rupture.

3. Dilute apple cider vinegar or any vinegar with water and gargle- The acid content helps break down stones.

4. Gargle with warm salt water- helps heal oral wounds.

5. Eating yogurt that contains probiotics- counter acts bacteria causing tonsil stones.

6. Eat Apples- The acid content may help combat bacteria in a tonsil stone.

7. Eat Carrots and Onions- Helps reduce or eliminate tonsil stones.

It use to be common for people who were sick often to have their tonsils removed but now they try not to unless absolutely necessary. Because of this tonsil stones have become more common. They no longer remove the tonsils because they are important. Tonsils are the body’s first defense against infection. They are responsible for trapping bacteria, viruses and other foreign particles allowing your body’s immune system to learn how to fight these germs. The same bacteria that causes tonsil stones is also responsible for tooth decay, gum disease, and oral infections. Having good oral hygiene and gargling daily can help prevent tonsil stones and keep your oral cavity healthy. If these at home suggestions are not working then discuss with your dentist for further recommendations.


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