5 Natural Ways To Treat Tonsil Stones
Even if you’ve never heard of tonsil stones, it’s not unlikely that you’ve had them before without knowing it or that you even have them at this very moment. It’s true, tonsil stones are extremely common. How do you get tonsil stones? What is a tonsil stone? Anyone with tonsils can get tonsil stones. Simply put, a tonsil stone is a build up of debris that gets lodged in the tonsil and becomes hard. Some experts say they are “kind of like acne of the tonsils.” (1)
Tonsil stones are typically harmless, but they can sometimes cause discomfort. They can also cause some really unwanted symptoms like bad breath. At least one scientific study has revealed that tonsil stones are actually quite similar to the dental plaque responsible for cavities and gum disease. (2) Left to their own devices, tonsil stone can continue to grow larger and are a haven for bacteria. So, while tonsil stones may not be dangerous, they’re not desirable either. Sometimes, they can be a sign of poor oral hygiene.
If you’ve ever knowingly had a tonsil stone, you may also already know that tonsil stones smell unpleasant — sometimes outright disgusting! You can thank their sulphur content for that gross aroma. I just mentioned bad oral hygiene — do you brush and floss regularly and are wondering “why do I get tonsil stones?” I’m about to tell you what causes these odd little oral formations. I also want to tell you how to prevent tonsil stones in the first place and how to remove tonsil stones safely using natural methods.
What are Tonsil Stones?
First off, do you know what and where your tonsils are? In the back of your throat are two small masses of soft tissue that are a part of the infection-fighting lymphatic system. These gland-like structures are your tonsils. They contain lymphocytes, which are white blood cells that ward off and fight infections in your body. Your tonsils are a first line defense of the immune system since everything that goes into your mouth must pass by them before entering your body. The tonsils can actually catch and trap invading particles like bacteria when they pass through your throat.
Tonsil stones — also called tonsilloliths, tonsil calculi or tonsillar crypts — occur when bacteria and debris gather in the tonsils and harden forming calcified lumps. Food, dead cells, bacteria, mucus and other debris can collect in the grooves or crypts on the surface of your tonsils. When this various material gets stuck on your tonsils, your body’s infection-fighting white blood cells go to work trying to get rid of what doesn’t belong. When the white blood cells finish their job, they leave behind calcified bits on the tonsils. Usually, and unknowingly, these get swallowed. But, if these calcified particles get stuck in the tonsils, then they continue to grow and bacteria will feed on them. These are tonsil stones. They are hard, white or yellowish formations on the tonsil. They can be visible to the naked eye.
Below are some of the natural ways you can use to get rid of those tonsil stones;
Chewing on some raw garlic can help to kill the bacteria within a tonsil stone. This will help to discourage its growth and decrease unwanted symptoms, like bad breath. Recent research from University of Copenhagen confirms that garlic can effectively kill off the “hardiest bacterial strains.” If you have a tonsil stone, consuming a clove of garlic daily will help to kill off that foul odor-producing bacteria of a tonsil stone. (9) Let sliced or crushed raw garlic sit for 10 minutes before consuming it to increase its allicin content. Allicin is one of the active components of garlic that possesses powerful antimicrobial abilities.
2. Good Oral Hygiene
If you want to prevent tonsil stones, consistent good oral hygiene is key. Since tonsil stones can form from undigested food particles and other debris, it’s absolutely essential to keep your mouth thoroughly clean by brushing and flossing regularly (ideally, after every meal). If you make sure to not leave any food remnants in your mouth, then this decreases available material for tonsil stone formation.
3. Salt Water
Gargling with salt water regularly is one of the best ways to prevent tonsil stones. It’s also one of the best ways to get rid of them. Simply, combine a half teaspoon of salt with eight ounces of warm water and gargle daily, or even a few times each day. By gargling with salt water, you help to detoxify your mouth and get rid of any stray debris that could end up forming a tonsil stone. By gargling vigorously, it also helps to loosen any tonsil stones stuck in your tonsils.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar, aka ACV, is a natural remedy for such a wide variety of ailments. Now you can add tonsil stones to the list! For natural tonsil stone removal, simply add one tablespoon of ACV to eight ounces of warm water. Gargle one to three times daily. The ACV can help to break down the stones. The act of gargling can help to dislodge the stones from their unapproved resting place(s)
5. Be Patient and Cough
If you’re looking to get rid of tonsil stones, much of the time all you need to do is wait, especially when tonsil stones aren’t symptomatic. Very often, it takes coughing up tonsil stones to even know that you had them in the first place! If you cough up a tonsil stone, spit it out and gargle to cleanse your mouth of any residual bacteria. Also, if you know you have a tonsil stone, “energetic” (but not too aggressive) coughing can help to loosen up a stuck tonsil stone.