Tonsil stones treatment
Tonsil stones are no walk in the park for anyone who has dealt with them in the past. Tonsilloliths are relativity harmless, but they can cause quite a few problems, ranging from bad breath to sore throats. If you think you have tonsil stones, here’s what to look out for.
Tonsil stones are little white blobs that get caught in the pockets of your tonsils. They’re not hard, like real stones, and they can give off quite the powerful odor. They’re formed when dead cells, mucus and other debris get trapped inside tonsil pockets. Bacteria then feeds on this compacted matter, giving them their trademark bad breath smell. Until recently, there wasn’t a lot of information available for concerned patients.
It is still unknown what causes tonsilloliths, and they’re really quite an annoyance. Some people may have no symptoms, while others will suffer from repeated bouts of tonsillitis, sore ears and throats, tonsil swelling and difficulty swallowing. However, one of the worst side effects of tonsil stones is bad breath, which can make anyone nervous and embarrassed even if they don’t have any other symptoms. Treatment options vary between cases.
There is no prevention for tonsilloliths, and they have often been misdiagnosed. An appointment with an ear, nose and throat specialist will confirm whether or not you have them. In milder cases, no treatment is necessary. You can remove stones at home with salt water gargles, a Waterpik or a q-tip. Since there are no proactive methods of preventing tonsil stones, medical and surgical methods might be necessary treatment options.
Antibiotics can be used to reduce the symptoms associated with tonsilloliths, but they do not address cause of them. Using antibiotic medications might be helpful, but taking antibiotics comes with the risk of negative side effects. Your doctor may recommend a method of tonsillolith removal or a tonsillectomy. Tonsillectomies are the only way to get rid of tonsilloliths, and this is an appropriate treatment for many severe and ongoing cases.
When discussing a tonsillolith treatment method such as a tonsillectomy, discuss any concerns with your doctor. Since many more adults than children have a tonsillectomy to manage tonsilloliths, you should be aware of the risks associated with your age and medical history. It takes adults longer to heal from a tonsillectomy than children, averaging about two weeks to recover, and you should be aware of risks such as bleeding and infection.
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When it comes to all medical issues you should see professional advice from your primary care physician. If you have any questions that your doctor cannot answer about tonsilloliths, ask for a referral to a nose, ear and throat specialist, who will answer all of your questions about tonsilloliths.