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What Tonsil Stones Are, and What Causes Them

If you’ve ever spotted yourself swallowing hard or spitting yellowish-white stony structures from your mouth, you may have tonsil stones. These are not harmful to your health but can be unpleasant since they can cause bad breath. 5-Minute Crafts has prepared a simple guide that will teach you the basics about this common tonsil issue.

❗Important: This article was created for informative purposes only, and it isn’t recommended as professional advice. Consult with your doctor for more information on this topic.

What tonsils are

Tonsils are a pair of soft tissue masses that are located at the back of the mouth. They look like fleshy lumps and can be seen when the mouth is wide open. Each tonsil has tonsillar crypts or holes that help the immune system form an early idea of what food the person is digesting by mouth.

What tonsil stones or tonsilloliths are

Tonsil stones are yellowish bits of bacteria and debris that form hard stones in the nooks of the tonsils. These stones can grow and vary in size, from tiny and soft to sometimes bigger. Their color might vary from yellow to white. They are not a danger to your health, but, in some cases, they can cause infection in the tonsils, which may lead to a need for surgical removal.

Some symptoms of tonsil stones are:

  • Trouble swallowing
  • White or yellow debris on the tonsils
  • Bad breath
  • Ear pain

How to prevent them

Method 1: Get a tonsillectomy.

A tonsillectomy is a procedure that includes the surgical removal of the tonsils. If the tonsil stones are a long-term problem, this might be an option. According to some studies, people who have their tonsils removed are no more likely to get bacterial infections than people with tonsils.

Method 2: Brush your teeth and floss regularly.

Having good dental hygiene can prevent the formation of tonsil stones. Make sure to brush and floss your teeth after every meal, as well as in the mornings and before bed if you want to remove the bacteria and food that get stuck to your tonsils.

Method 3: Do a salt water gargle.

Practice salt water gargles after brushing your teeth. Put 1/2 a teaspoon of salt into a cup of warm water. Take a sip and gargle the liquid for 15 seconds. Gargling after eating can prevent food buildup.

Method 4: Use a non-alcoholic mouthwash.

Start using non-alcoholic mouthwash regularly. Swishing the antibacterial mouthwash around the mouth will reduce the number of bacteria in the mouth, which can help prevent the tonsil stones from forming.

5-Minute Crafts/Health/What Tonsil Stones Are, and What Causes Them
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