Affecting approximately 75% of tonsillitis patients, tonsillitis, or tonsil stones, are incredibly common, however, most Americans aren’t even aware of their existence! These stones are caused when debris within the mouth becomes lodged in the tonsil and hardens with time. While largely harmless, the most common symptom is highly undesirable – Bad Breath!
A 2009 study set out to better understand the actual makeup, creation, and impact of tonsil stones. It concluded that the chemical makeup of the stones could be compared to that of dental plaque responsible for gum disease and cavities. Starting off relatively small, if left untreated they can continue to grow over time, and can become an ideal location for bacteria to grow and thrive.
The only proven way to prevent the condition is the complete removal of the tonsils through surgery, eliminating the tissues where the debris can collect. While doctors may recommend this surgery for some patients, such as those who experience repeated causes of infection and inflammation in the tonsil area, it isn’t the answer for everyone. Knowing the symptoms, and how to treat it, will allow you to be prepared to manage the condition should it arise.
Bad breath isn’t the only symptom of tonsillitis. Also, watch for pain or discomfort in the throat, difficulty swallowing, ear pain, inflammation of the tonsils and the presence of a white debris. While some abnormally large tonsil stones may require medical intervention and surgery, most cases of tonsillitis can be treated naturally at home.
Try These 6 All Natural Treatment Options for Tonsil Stones:
- Cotton Swab: Wet the end of a cotton swab then use it to gently loosen any visible tonsil stones by pressing directly around them. Do your best to push the stone forward so that you can spit it out, rather than allowing it to go down the throat. Be sure to rinse with water afterward to remove any remnants of the stone.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: Mix one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with 8 ounces of warm water. Gargle this solution 1-3 times daily to break down the debris that causes the stones.
- Coughing: A simple, energetic cough can work to loosen the tonsil stone. In fact, before any signs or symptoms are presented many people discover they have tonsil stones by coughing one up.
- Oil Pulling: Swish a tablespoon of oil (coconut oil, sesame oil or olive oil) around the mouth for approximately 10 to 20 minutes, spitting it out afterward to fight bacteria and loosen any tonsil stones.
- Garlic: Garlic possesses antibacterial properties that will work to fight the bacteria within the tonsil stones. Consuming a single glove of garlic daily will help to fight the bad breath caused by tonsillitis.
- Salt Water: Gargling with salt water is one of the best-recognized ways to treat tonsil stones. Mix half a teaspoon of salt with 8 ounces of warm water and gargle multiple times each day.
Image courtesy of The Independent.