Tonsil stones are ugly, smelly, and can kill your social life. The good news, however, is that they can easily be removed at home. Here are some of the most effective strategies you can use to get rid of tonsil stones – and prevent them after you do!
It makes the most sense to try and remove these stones by hand. This can work, if you’ve got a fair bit of time to spare, and a relatively high threshold for pain. Popular instruments include clean Q-tips and toothpicks. Simply lift the flap of the tonsil crevice in which the stone is embedded and swipe it away.
If you’re a bit too squeamish for that, try and simulate one or two deep coughs. The rattling of the cough should loosen the stones, making it easier for you to dislodge them.
Many people have reported good results with oral irrigation, through use of a Waterpik or other device. The strength of the water stream should be enough to release the stone from the tonsil and wash it away, down the throat. It is important, however, to start this process on a relatively gentle water stream, as a stronger one may cause bleeding.
Stir together a half cup of lukewarm water with one teaspoon of regular salt. This will make a good saline solution. Gargle with it three to four times a day. Not only will the gargle loosen the stones from the throat, but it will soothe any pain associated with larger, harder stones. Salt is also a good antiseptic, and will wash away any stone-causing forms of bacteria.
You can also try a vinegar gargle. Tonsil stones are made up of compacted bacteria and another key component, calcium. Vinegar actually dissolves calcium, making it an effective ingredient in the eradication of stones. Just mix a quarter cup of warm water with one tablespoon of vinegar and gargle regularly. Indeed, gargling with a vinegar solution daily will help prevent the build-up of substances that form tonsil stones.
Tonsil stones also form as a result of post-nasal drip. Therefore, a thorough clean-out of the nasal passages will wash away tonsil stones too. If you feel like you’re up for the task, irrigate your nasal passages with salt solution. If that doesn’t sound like your thing, pick up a good nasal spray from your local pharmacy. The consistent maintenance of nasal hygiene will also ensure that you never develop tonsil stones again.
Eat Raw Foods
Not only are raw vegetables and fruits good for your general well-being, they are good at physically removing tonsil stones. Crunch on carrots, celery or cucumber. These veggies will scrape at the linings of the throat and tonsils, removing tonsil stones as they do. This is because these crunchy vegetables are high in fibre, a tough substance that is designed to clean the digestive system as it is consumed.
Compliment these raw foods with probiotic yogurt. It’s rich in the “good” bacteria that counteract the smelly, “bad” bacteria that make up stones. Make sure that you go for the sugar-free variety, as bad bacteria thrive on sugars and glucose.
Try all of these home remedies with care and see which one works for you. Remember, however, that if your tonsil stones are particularly large and painful, it’s better to consult with a doctor and have them removed manually.