Have you noticed soreness in your throat, difficulty swallowing, or chronic bad breath? These symptoms could mean you have a tonsil stone, a calcified formation in the nodes at the back of your mouth and throat.
Though annoying, a tonsil stone will rarely create larger oral health problems for you. But to relieve any discomfort, you might want to know how to avoid them.
Stubborn or massive tonsil stones might need attention from your dentist. But your dentist can also offer advice to prevent their development. You can also read on to learn more about the formation, treatment, and prevention of tonsil stones thanks to your dentist in New Philadelphia, OH.
What Causes Tonsil Stones?
Your tonsils filter germs and harmful particles that can attempt to enter your body via the throat. They trap them within crevices known as tonsillar crypts. But mucus, food particles, and more can get stuck there, where they can calcify and become stones.
The hard materials do not necessarily cause pain or severely disrupt your daily life. But tonsil stones can give you bad breath and put you at a greater risk of infections like strep throat. You can sometimes see these stones at the back of your throat, or you might feel like something is stuck in your throat if you have them.
How Do I Get Rid of Tonsil Stones?
Many cases of tonsil stones will dislodge on their own, but you can make at-home efforts to get rid of them too. Try gargling with salt water to remove these stones. Or you can rinse your mouth and throat with apple cider vinegar, which can break down the stone, making it easier to eradicate.
A dentist can diagnose tonsil stones through a visual exam or a dental x-ray. They can help you get rid of large or stubborn stones gently with a cotton swab or pick.
Persistent stones might need surgical removal from a doctor. And those with recurring stones or frequent infections might want to consider a tonsillectomy.
Can I Prevent Tonsil Stones?
Good oral hygiene can help you lower your chances of forming tonsil stones. This at-home regimen keeps your mouth clean, eliminating harmful residues that might otherwise end up in your tonsillar crypts to create stones. Your routine should include brushing your teeth at least twice per day and flossing on a daily basis.
Drink plenty of water too in order to flush out your mouth and tonsils, especially after eating. If you have a history of forming tonsil stones, you might want to gargle after meals too for improved preventative measures. Stop tobacco usage to avoid adding extra toxins to your mouth and throat that could also form tonsil stones.
To maximize oral cleanliness, you should not skip your routine dentist appointments. They clean your teeth thoroughly and also examine your entire mouth for signs of problems. Call your dentist for more advice about preventative dentistry that will suit your specific dental needs.