3 Things To Know About Tonsil Stones
Do you ever see spots on your tonsils that look like white balls of food or gunk? If so, these white balls are most likely tonsil stones. Tonsil stones are quite common and are usually harmless; however, they can be a nuisance. If you are not sure if that is what you have or if there is a problem with your tonsils, you should visit a dentist and talk to him or her about it. Here are a few things you should understand about tonsil stones.
What they are
Tonsil stones are always white in color and can be smaller than a pea or much larger. They are made up of dead skin, mucous, fungi, and bacteria. It is not completely clear why or how they form, but they always end up trapped inside the pockets of the tonsils. Tonsils have many pockets and rivets in them, and these stones can be visible or be trapped deep inside the pockets.
The problems they cause
In most cases, having tonsil stones will not lead to any major health problems. The main problem they can lead to is bad breath though. These small stones are packed full of bacteria and are very smelly. If you have ever had one come loose, you may have squeezed it and smelled it. If so, you know the distinct odor these have, and they can affect the way your breath smells.
How to get rid of them
You really do not have to worry about getting rid of the stones you have unless they are bothering you, and there are several ways you can do this. One option is to gargle with warm salt water. This will help loosen them up, and they may come out after doing this a few times.
Another option is to use a cotton swab or dental pick to remove the stones. If you do this, you must be very careful and be gentle. Your tonsils are delicate and can be damaged relatively easily. If you cannot remove the stones on your own, you may want to talk to your dentist about removing them for you. Your dentist may suggest improving your daily oral care habits in order to reduce the amount of bacteria in your mouth. This is one good step to take that may help you prevent these from forming.
Tonsil stones are smelly and annoying, but they are also very common. If you have these and would like to learn more about how to get rid of them and prevent them, contact a dentist like Mainwaring John D DDS.