Often under diagnosed, tonsil stones are a common health problem that remains relatively obscure although more and more Americans are affected every year. Patients seeking an effective tonsil stones treatment approach can opt to remove their tonsils completely or choose a less invasive approach that manages their condition holistically.
According to international studies, tonsil stones and the accompanying bad breath symptoms are found in 75 percent of patients suffering from recurring tonsillitis. Patients that are predisposed to this condition or have parents who suffer from tonsil stones find that calcified material builds up in their tonsils regularly. This problem can become extremely uncomfortable triggering swelling, ear aches, sore throats and foul breath. Patients suffering from tonsil stones are frequently faced with the decision to remove their tonsils completely or create a tonsil stones treatment plan that involves regular maintenance and the periodic removal of the calcified material.
What are Tonsil Stones?
First, it’s important to remember that tonsil stones are not a sign of poor hygiene or poor oral health practices. Tonsilloliths or tonsil stones are formed when dead cells, mucus and debris become sequestered and compacted inside the tonsil crypts, small pockets on the surface of your tonsils. These hardened yellow or white globules can aggravate the surrounding tissue, trigger inflammation, attract odor-causing bacteria and lead to pain and discomfort in the surrounding area. Occasionally, concretions and calcified deposits accumulate on the roof of the mouth and in the back of the throat as well, although they are more typically found in the tonsils, which are located in the back of the mouth directly behind your lower molars or wisdom teeth.
Symptoms of Tonsil Stones
Small tonsil stones often produce subtle symptoms, which allow them to go unnoticed for years. Despite the prevalence of tonsil stones, many doctors have difficulty diagnosing this condition. When white or yellow matter is present on the surface of the tonsils, tonsilloliths are fairly easy to detect. However, masses hidden under the surface and skin folds that cover the tonsils are typically diagnosed after X-rays or CAT scans. Many patients discover they have tonsil stones after a CT scan or X-ray is ordered for a different condition. Persistent bad breath is one of the most prevalent symptoms of tonsil stones. Painful swallowing, metallic tastes, ear pain affecting local nerve paths, coughing, choking, visible debris, and sensations that the throat is restricted or closing are all common symptoms linked to tonsil stones.
Tonsil Stone Causes
Despite years of research, scientists have yet to pinpoint the root cause behind the growth of tonsil stones. Studies have linked tonsil stones to post-nasal drip, dry mouth caused by medications and cases of chronic or recurrent purulent tonsillitis. Genetic factors, such as the size, shape and depth of the tonsil crypts, may also contribute to a patient’s likelihood of developing tonsil stones. The matter that creates tonsil stones is also known to attract bacteria and fungi that exacerbate the condition and cause severe bad breath and physical discomfort, which make the condition more apparent.
Tonsil Stones Treatment Methods
Tonsil stones or tonsilloliths affect one in every 10 Americans, and the numbers are projected to grow as fewer children and adults have their tonsils removed. Many people who suffer from tonsil stones have been dealing with the problem for years. Adults, teens and in some cases children can all suffer from tonsil stones.
Larger tonsil stones are easier to detect and more difficult to remove. Traditionally, the presence of white or yellowish spots near the back of the throat has been regarded as a hallmark symptom of tonsil stones. However, many more patients have tonsil stones that are not visible because the tissue folds and the structure of the tonsils covers the calcified material. Doctors have removed tonsil stones ranging from one-tenth of an ounce all the way up to one-and-a-half ounces. Larger, older tonsil stones are typically harder and more difficult to remove. In these cases, a dentist or oral surgeon can typically excise them with a gouge-like tool while the patient is anesthetized with a local numbing agent.
However, an effective, non-invasive way to eliminate most tonsil stones is oxygenation. The anaerobic sulfur-producing bacteria and debris that cause tonsil stones will be destroyed when subjected to sufficient levels of oxygen.
The combination of TheraBreath Aktiv-Oxigen Serum with TheraBreath PLUS Nasal-Sinus Drops can effectively eliminate tonsil stones without tonsil surgery. In addition, the use of TheraBreath Throat Spray will neutralize anaerobic sulfur-producing bacteria on contact.
Tonsil Stone Prevention Strategies
To prevent bad breath and tonsil stones from coming back, you should use oxygenating toothpaste and mouthwash and a tongue cleaner to effectively neutralize anaerobic bacteria on the back of the tongue. A twice daily regimen of oxygenating toothpaste and mouthwash will prevent tonsil stones from forming again.
Patients today have many options when it comes to selecting a treatment method or management strategy that fits their lifestyle. For many patients, oxygenation and regular monitoring combined create an effective management solution. If at-home strategies aren’t enough, you may be a good candidate for minimally invasive laser resurfacing or a complete tonsillectomy. As a tonsil stone sufferer, understanding and monitoring your condition are two of the most important elements for developing an effective strategy or selecting a treatment method that fits your lifestyle.