Tonsil stones can make you feel like a prisoner in your own home. They are unsightly, smell awful, and have the power to completely ruin your social life. However, they need not be a life sentence. There are many ways in which to go about tonsil stones removal, both at home and through a doctor.
Manual Removal at Home
It’s possible to remove small tonsil stones without having to make a doctor’s appointment. All you need is a mirror, some spare time, and a relatively high tolerance for discomfort. But don’t worry – the temporary pain is well worth the result.
One of the easier – and cheaper – methods of manual removal is through the use an instrument. Popular tools are clean ear buds, toothpicks and bobby pins. Simply lift the flap of the tonsil crypt, and slide the stone from its casing. This is a relatively simple procedure for the most part, but be gentle! This is because high concentrations of blood vessels in the tonsils make them prone to bleeding.
If you have small tonsil stones, another effective tool is the end of a water dropper. Place the open end of the tube over one of the stones, and squeeze rubber suction part to draw it out. This is one of the less painful methods of physical removal.If you’ve got too sensitive a gag reflex, it might be best to simulate one or two deep coughs into a tissue. This coughing motion can loosen the stones and dislodge them after a few attempts.
You can also scrape the stones from their crypts by chewing on, and swallowing, fibre-rich vegetables like carrots, celery and cucumber. These crunchy foods will extricate the stones, where they are then excreted through the digestive system.
Also try dissolving the stones through gargling. Saltwater gargles are particularly effective, and can also kill the bacteria that cause the stones to appear in the first place. Vinegar gargles actually dissolve the calcium that comprises tonsil stones. Both washes should be made up of lukewarm water, and used three to four times a day.
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If none of these methods work, and if your tonsil stones are particularly large and painful, then it might be a better idea to consult with a medical professional. Most Ear, Nose and Throat therapists are qualified to execute a range of tonsil stone removal procedures, all of them relatively simple.
A popular method is laser resurfacing – also known as a laser tonsillectomy. This procedure is carried out by administering a local anaesthetic to the tonsil area. A carbon dioxide laser will then scan the surface of the tonsils, vaporizing the surface of the tissue and shrinking any large crypts where stones may be embedded. This flattening of the crevices will not only remove the stones, but ensure that none develop for an extended period of time.
However, if your tonsil stones keep coming back, then it might be a good idea to consider a complete tonsillectomy – the removal of the tonsils. This is when the tonsils become more of a hindrance than a help to the body. Indeed, a tonsillectomy will ensure permanent relief from recurring stones.
These are a few of the strategies you can employ in the removal of your tonsil stones. Once they’re gone, then adopt – and stick to – a sound oral hygiene regimen. This will safeguard your mouth from any stone-causing substances and bacteria.