What are tonsil stones?
Tonsil stones can be annoying and smelly, but not everyone that has them feels bothered. However, if you feel conscious about tonsil stones and want them removed, here’s more information you can take note of.
Stones in your tonsils?
To understand better, let’s start with the tonsils first.
Tonsils are glands found at the back of the mouth. When you open your mouth in front of the mirror, you’ll see them. They are covered with mucus and serve as protection against viruses or bacteria that may enter the body through the mouth.
Tonsils are also filled with grooves and pits where food debris or particles may get stuck. When the debris hardens, it can turn into stones.
These stones found in the tonsils are a breeding ground for bacteria, which then causes the mouth to smell. They can also feel irritating.
Some people try to remove tonsil stones themselves, using their tongue or cotton swabs. But these stones can be stubborn and hard to remove.
So, can your dentist take a look at them instead and do the removal for you?
What Can Your Dentist Do?
Dentists don’t usually remove or treat tonsil stones. They’re most likely to refer you to a specialist should they discover that you have them. However, they can recommend ways on how you can deal with the discomfort.
They may suggest a saltwater gargle so reduce irritation. If the stones are not that solidified yet, they may also try to remove them using a swab. Your dentist may also recommend taking antibiotics to help strengthen your immune system.
Your dentist can also help you with oral-health related issues connected to the tonsil stones. For example, since tonsil stones may cause halitosis or bad breath, they can offer professional advice on how to avoid the unpleasant smell.
According to a study, tonsil stones are very uncommon and usually are too small to be seen by the naked eye. If the tonsil stones are large, a specialist may be able to remove them surgically through a procedure called a tonsillectomy.
How to Avoid Tonsil Stones
You can keep stones from appearing by maintaining good oral hygiene habits.
- Brush properly at least twice a day.
- Clean your tongue regularly.
- Gargle with an antibacterial mouthwash.
- Drink water regularly.
The key is to prevent bacteria from building up in your mouth.
Talk to Your Dentist Today
While a person can still live without tonsils, nobody wants to undergo any type of major surgery when it can be avoided. If you can keep your tonsils healthy, it’ll also be beneficial for your immune system.
If you feel you may have stones in your tonsils, don’t be afraid to talk to your dentist about it.