Tonsil stone remedies can help treat or prevent the formation of tonsil stones. Tonsil stones, or tonsilloliths, are the small, yellowish-white formations that can occur when mucus, dead cells, food debris and bacteria accumulate in the folds of the tonsils. These stones can cause halitosis, sore throat, difficulty swallowing, and ear pain. Tonsil stone remedies generally include salt water gargles, antibiotics or acidophilus supplements, or removal of tonsil stones at home. Surgical removal of the tonsils, or tonsillectomy, is believed to be the only effective means of permanently preventing tonsil stones.
The human tonsils are on either side of the back of the throat. These lymph glands are believed to be responsible for preventing bacteria and viruses from entering the body through the throat. Most physicians believe, however, that the tonsils don't play a large or important role in human immunity. Tonsillectomy, or surgical excision of the tonsils, has long been used to treat problems with the tonsils, such as tonsillitis. While experts believe that tonsillectomy does not lower a patient's immunity, the procedure has become less common than it once was, and some physicians believe this has led to an increase in the occurrence of tonsil stones.
People who suffer from frequent throat infections or recurrent tonsillitis may be at increased risk for tonsil stones, since these conditions can often increase the number of bacteria and the amount of mucus in the throat. Tonsil stones typically form when bacteria, food debris, mucus, and miscellaneous dead cells accumulate in the folds of the tonsils. Tonsil stones are normally very small, often so small that they cause no symptoms. When tonsil stones grow large enough to become uncomfortable, they typically cause sore throat, pain in the ears, halitosis, and difficulty swallowing. Large tonsil stones can often be seen with the naked eye, and appear as white or yellowish-white discolorations on the surface of the tonsils.
The best tonsil stone remedies are generally preventative measures. Tonsil stones are considered most likely in those who suffer often from tonsillitis or throat infections, so the best way to prevent tonsil stones may be to prevent these. Appropriate treatment for these conditions when they occur can help prevent tonsil stones.
Tonsil stone remedies may be used to help treat tonsil stones once they occur. Salt water gargling can help minimize the discomfort of tonsil stones. Some experts believe that using acidophilus supplements can help stabilize the natural flora in the back of the throat, leading to fewer tonsil stones. Antibiotics may be prescribed to help break up tonsil stones.
Self-removal of tonsil stones at home may be one of the simplest tonsil stone remedies. Many people are able to safely express tonsil stones by applying pressure to the tonsils with a cotton swab. Tonsillectomy, or complete surgical removal of the tonsils, is believed to be the only permanent remedy for tonsil stones.