Tonsil Stones: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment
Tonsils are small egg-shaped structures that have a similar surface pattern to a golf ball, with small dimples, according to Dr. Cable. As children grow and experience common upper respiratory infections, the tonsils grow in size and can develop pockets as the dimples deepen, he says.
What are Tonsillar Crypts?
If the pockets become deep enough to collect debris, they are called tonsillar crypts, which can trap food particles, debris and bacteria in the mouth and throat. “When this debris collects, it can harden into what we call a tonsil stone,” says Dr. Cable.
Risks of Untreated Tonsil Stones
“Untreated tonsil stones are most frequently a nuisance, although significant numbers of stones can increase bacterial colonization and serve as a source of infection,” says Dr. Cable. Most frequently, however, tonsil stones are mainly an irritant and can be a source of bad breath or a foul taste in the mouth, he adds.
Tonsil stones may lead to sore throat, difficulty swallowing (dysphagia) and/or a feeling like something is stuck in the throat. In some cases, tonsil stones are mostly asymptomatic, although bad breath is likely, due to the build up of bacteria.
Treatment Options for Tonsil Stones
The most effective treatment for tonsil stones is to remove them. This can be done in several ways:
A doctor or dentist can manually remove the tonsil stone using a cotton swab or a specialized tool. This is a quick and relatively painless procedure.
A laser tonsillectomy is a procedure that uses a laser to remove the tonsil stones. This procedure is usually done under local anesthesia and is done on an outpatient basis.
If you have chronic tonsil stones, you may need to have your tonsils removed. A tonsillectomy is a surgical procedure that is done under general anesthesia. It involves the removal of the tonsils, which eliminates the tonsil stones.
Preventing Tonsil Stones
There are several things you can do to prevent tonsil stones:
- Practice good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing your teeth regularly.
- Gargle with salt water or a mouthwash to help remove bacteria and debris.
- Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, which can irritate the throat and tonsils.
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
Tonsil stones are a common condition that can be both irritating and embarrassing. Fortunately, there are several treatment options available to remove tonsil stones and prevent them from recurring. If you are experiencing symptoms of tonsil stones, speak to your doctor or dentist for advice and guidance.
- Tonsil Stones Removal
- Tonsil Stones Symptoms
- Tonsil Stones Causes
- Tonsil Stones Prevention
- Tonsil Stones Diagnosis
News Source : Rachel MacPherson
Source Link :What Are Tonsil Stones? Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment And Prevention – Forbes Health/