Even though tonsil stones are not very common, they can be quite troublesome for people suffering from it. The best way to deal with any clinical condition is to prevent it in the first place. This Buzzle article shares information about measures that can help in the prevention of tonsil stones.
Brushing, flossing, and tongue cleaning on a daily basis is the first step towards preventing tonsil stones.
Clinically termed as tonsilloliths, tonsil stones are calcified structures that develop in the tonsils. Tonsils are situated at the back of an individual’s throat. There are two tonsils in the human body which are placed in pocket-like structures. The crevasses in these tonsils are places where stones develop. Bacteria, food material, mucous, and dead cells get trapped in the nooks of tonsils and eventually harden which upon calcification, appear as white stones. Tonsil stones commonly occur in individuals suffering from chronic tonsillitis or frequent bouts of tonsil inflammation. Like any medical condition, these affect the well-being of individuals. Bad breath, sore throat, tonsil inflammation, and difficulty in swallowing are associated with this condition which can hamper daily activities to a great extent. Next section of this article deals with measures to prevent tonsil stones from developing in the oral cavity.
Prevention of Tonsil Stones or Tonsilloliths
✔ It is extremely important to maintain good oral hygiene to prevent the formation of tonsil stones.
✔ Brushing teeth twice daily and if possible, after every meal, helps in the removal of clogged food particles and other debris that get accumulated in the teeth crevices. This also prevents the growth of bacteria in the mouth which is responsible for producing bad breath associated with tonsil stones.
✔ Generally, brushing is not sufficient to remove plaque deposited in and around the teeth. To achieve complete plaque removal, flossing daily or at regular intervals is also necessary.
✔ After brushing, scraping of tongue must be done to remove sulfur-producing anaerobic bacteria that reside beneath the tongue surface. These bacteria produce volatile sulfur compounds which, along with accumulated debris in the tonsils, result in tonsilloliths.
✔ Gargling four times daily can help in keeping the mouth bacteria-free all through the day and prevent bad breath. An alcohol-free mouthwash or a simple salt-water gargle can serve the purpose.
✔ Oxygenating toothpaste and mouthwash can help individuals who have recovered from tonsil stones by controlling excessive bad breath which they develop due to this problem.
✔ Increasing the intake of water is necessary for preventing tonsil stones, as drinking water frequently keeps the mouth moist and flushes out trapped food particles.
✔ Consumption of beverages having significant sugar content like tea, coffee, and aerated drinks must be reduced as they contribute in bacterial growth which can cause tonsil stones.
✔ Alcoholic beverages must be avoided, first, because they are not good for overall health of an individual and second, because they cause excessive drying of mouth which may either cause bad breath or increase its severity in individuals already suffering from tonsil stones.
✔ Smoking is injurious to health and can increase the chances of developing diseases in the oral cavity. Therefore, it is better to quit smoking to avoid these dangers and have fresh breath.
✔ Food must not be consumed at least one hour before sleeping at night, as food particles can get trapped in the nooks of tonsil and lead to stones.
✔ Dairy products hasten the formation of tonsil stones as they are high in calcium content and promote mucous formation, these two being major components of these stones. Limiting the intake of milk and milk products is therefore a solution to this problem.
People who are highly susceptible to tonsil stones, like those suffering from tonsillitis, may still develop this problem. Small stones are usually removed using a Waterpik water jet or a blunt object along with a cotton swab. This has to be done very carefully and gently so that no harm is caused to the tonsils. A dental irrigator is also a safe and easy way to get rid of this problem. Besides these, doctors prescribe specific mouthwashes that have the ability of dissolving such stones. When none of these methods work, surgical removal of tonsil stones becomes necessary. Consultation with a physician is necessary when taking up any of these preventive measures, as he is capable of analyzing what is fit for an individual. These preventive measures greatly reduce the chances of tonsil stone formation and the unnecessary suffering that comes along with it.