About Me

Dental Health and Food: Learning to Eat Better

My intense love for candy, cakes, and everything in between started as a child. I simply couldn't go one day without something sweet to eat. But my love for all things sweet took a toll on my teeth. My dentist diagnosed me with seven cavities, each one a different size and depth. After sitting through four long dental appointments, I decided to make a change. I now monitor my diet and only eat things that benefit my oral health. I'm here to help you take better care of your teeth. My blog offers tips on how to improve your diet, maintain good oral hygiene, and many other topics. Hopefully, you can learn to overcome your bad habits just as I did. Good luck with your future dental health.


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Dental Health and Food: Learning to Eat Better

All About Tonsil Stones

by Eric Bailey

If you have had bad breath, white debris seemingly randomly appearing in your mouth or a sore throat that won't go away, you might have tonsil stones. Read on to learn about tonsil stones, their causes and effects and what you can do about them.

What Are Tonsil Stones?

A tonsil stone is a calcified cluster of material that forms in pockets in your tonsils. Other names for tonsil stones include tonsilloliths, and they are also referred tonsillar calculi. Tonsil stones are formed when large concentrations of bacteria, mucus, and dead cells from your mouth become trapped in your tonsils and harden into white, calcified stones.

The reason that certain people get tonsil stones, while others can go their whole lives without ever being effected by them, is not really known. However, people who have chronic tonsillitis, and infection of the tonsils, do seem to be more prone to tonsil stones than others. This is indicative that tonsil stones may be formed when tonsils are not fully healthy and unable to flush bacteria.

Why are Tonsil Stones Bad?

Tonsil stones negatively impact your body in a few ways. Some of the negative symptoms that are born from tonsil stones include bad breath, difficulty swallowing food or drink, as well as a sore throat. Tonsil stones are one of the leading causes of bad breath, also known as halitosis. Tonsil stones cause bad breath due to the fact that they are made out of bacteria and dead cells, which emits a foul odor.  Tonsil stones cause difficulty swallowing when they start to get bigger, closing up an already small area in your throat. A sore throat might be caused by tonsil stones themselves, or if your tonsil stone is caused by tonsillitis, that could be the culprit of the sore throat. If you have gone to the doctor and you don't have tonsillitis, it is a good idea to visit your dental care professional to have him examine you for tonsil stones. The dentist or someone like Kevin J Owoc may be able to identify or remove tonsil stones, or you can try to remove them yourself.

How Can I Remove Them?

Often no treatment is necessary for tonsil stones if there are no negative symptoms present. However, if you have negative symptoms, then you can use an oral irrigator, gargle with salt water, or drink carbonated drinks in an attempt to dislodge the stones. Serious stones that are larger or lodged further in the tonsils may require laser or surgical removal by your dentist.

Gargling with warm salt water will help to alleviate many of the symptoms associated with tonsil stones, but it will most likely not dislodge the stones from your tonsils. There are a few home remedies than can be used to remove tonsil stones if they are not serious. You can use a flashlight to try and illuminate your tonsils, and then gently push on your tonsils with a Q-tip to try and dislodge the stone.

Irrigators are a good tool to use to remove tonsil stones, partly due to their ability to easily reach the back of your mouth. Irrigators which connect to the faucet are especially helpful in removing tonsil stones as they can be adjusted to a high pressure which aids in removing stubborn, difficult tonsil stones.

How Can I Prevent Them From Returning?

Unfortunately, it is rather difficult to completely prevent tonsil stones if you are prone to developing them. The only 100% fool-proof method of tonsil stone prevention is to have your tonsil stones removed. If you are prone to chronic tonsillitis, keeping that infection at bay and properly treating it once it occurs will aid in preventing tonsils stones. Gargling with salt water, ensuring that the mixture reaches the back of your mouth where the tonsils are, can help flush trapped bacteria and cells so that the tonsils do not have any material to form tonsil stones from.