Tonsil stones, which are also called tonsilloliths, lodge themselves into the deep crypts of the tonsils toward the back of the throat. They are composed of dead white blood cells, bacteria, keratin and trapped food particles. Tonsil stones become larger with time and create many unpleasant symptoms.
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The symptoms of tonsil stones include severe bad breath, sore throat, coughing and difficulty swallowing. In many cases, a physician is called upon to remove tonsil stones. However, if caught early enough, there are free home remedies to get rid of tonsilloliths.
It is important to discover tonsil stones at the very earliest stages of their formation. When they are relatively small in size, they are less resistant to removal. In their early stages, gargling with warm, salty water can dislodge them. Also, adding 1 or 2 drops of grapefruit seed extract to an antiseptic mouthwash and gargling twice a day can be effective when tonsil stones are small. The effects of gargling may not be immediate and may take 2 weeks or more to remove them.
Probing And Scraping
According to Alan Greene, M.D., clinical professor of pediatrics at the Stanford University School Of Medicine, sometimes tonsil stones can be removed by brushing or scraping them with a toothbrush. However, care must be taken to avoid activating a severe gag reflex when using this method.
As the tonsilloliths increase in size and become more visible, probing with a cotton swab can dislodge them. The key is to use a mirror to locate the stones. Place the cotton swab under the back of the stone and gently push upward. After removing the tonsil stone, rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash to cleanse the area where the stone was located.
A medicine dropper with a curved tip can remove smaller tonsil stones. The first step is to apply a saline solution to the stone to help bring it to the surface. When the stone surfaces, it may be possible to suck it up with the medicine dropper. This is another method that may activate the gag reflex.
In some cases, particularly when tonsil stones are small, intense coughing may dislodge them. A similar process is to extend the head backward, place the tongue at the roof of the mouth and swallow.