• 23 MAR 18
    • 0

    What is a Tonsil Stone?

    Tonsil stone

    Tonsils have many nooks and crannies bacteria can use to thrive and cause tonsil stones. Tonsil stone? Never heard of it? You aren’t alone. Many don’t know about them until they are faced with one. Increasing mouth bacteria can become lodged in the little, hard to reach areas of your mouth, allowing mucous and dead cells to linger and form tonsil stones (also called a tonsillolith) in the pockets of the tonsils. The stones can lead to chronic inflammation and discomfort. So, what can be done about them? Read on!

    Understanding Tonsil Stones

    Although the tonsils are easily visible in the back of of the throat, there is much that we don’t notice about them. These gland-like structures sit in the back of your throat and both have a pocket on each side. Your tonsils are also lymph nodes that filter for bacteria and viruses while producing white blood cells and antibodies, according to the Mayo Clinic.Tonsils are comprised of tissue that contains lymphocytes — cells in fight against infections. Tonsils contribute to your immune system by serving as a type of net, trapping bacteria and virus particles that travel through your throat.

    Identifying Tonsil Stones

    Tonsil stones are hard white or yellow formations that are located on or within the tonsils.  Often, people with tonsil stones don’t even realize they have them–they can be hard to see and vary in size, from rice-sized to grape-sized. Tonsil stones rarely cause larger health complications, but can grow into larger formations that trigger your tonsils to swell. Bad breath is often a common symptom of tonsil stones.

    Treating Tonsil Stones

    Treatment of tonsil stones depends on their size and location. If you have mild or moderate tonsil stones, no medical treatment is necessary since they can typically be easily removed. Toothbrushes, cotton swabs, a water flosser, gargling with warm salt water, are all ways to dislodge a tonsil stone.

    Larger tonsil stones can present more of a challenge for removal by yourself.  Some can even require surgery, particularly if they occur along with tonsillitis. Recurring tonsil stones and/or inflammation of the tonsil glands may necessitate a tonsillectomy to prevent further issues. Dr. Evanson can diagnosis a tonsil stone and help you remove it if necessary.

    Preventing Tonsil Stones

    The best way to prevent tonsil stones from forming is to practice a good, daily oral hygiene regimen, according to the Mayo Clinic.  Reduce the amount of bacteria in your mouth by brushing in the morning, after meals and in the evening. Don’t forget to brush your tongue as well–bacteria loves to cling to this often forgotten oral structure. Floss your teeth daily to remove debris that lodges between your teeth where your toothbrush can’t reach. Mouthwash can also help to kill bacteria in your mouth and prevent the creation of tonsil stones.

    Call for a Tonsil Stone Consultation

    Dealing with tonsil stones? Let us help answer some questions about how to deal with the condition and restore your oral health. The team at Evanson DDS has many years of training and real-world experience with all different kinds of oral issues. When you meet with Dr. Evanson, she will answer any questions you may have.  

    Dr. Evanson is a family dentist in Parker, Colorado, with convenient access to the communities of Highlands Ranch, Aurora, Castle Rock and Lone Tree.  Evanson DDS offers state-of-the-art family dentistry and cosmetic dentistry. Call (720) 409-0008 to schedule your appointment today!

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