Tonsils are two masses of tissues located at the back of your throat that help in filtering germs and producing antibodies to fight bacterias. But sometimes, they get filled with an excess of microorganisms and result in a condition called tonsillitis that can be very painful and sometimes stinky. Keep reading to know everything about tonsils stones and how you can get rid of them.
What causes tonsillitis (Tonsil Stones)?
Most of the time, tonsils are caused due to bacterial or viral infection. These can include a variety of bacterias and viruses, most of the time it being streptococci bacteria that causes strep throat. Other microbes include Adenoviruses, Epstein-Barr virus, Enteroviruses, etc.
What are some symptoms?
Different stages of tonsillitis show various symptoms, the most common ones being severely swollen tonsils that can sometimes even make it hard for you to breathe. Some other symptoms for this infection in adults include:
- Sore throat
- Throat pain
- Painful swallowing
- Ulcers or blisters on the throat
- Bad breath
- Fever and chills
- Ear pain
- Loss of appetite
- Scratchy- sounding voice
Tonsils are more common in infants and children of all ages, especially when they have a cold, cough, or runny nose. Their symptoms might include:
- Stomach pain
- Loss of appetite
How to prevent tonsillitis?
Tonsils are contagious; that means they spread with direct contact. It is crucial for you to keep these things in mind to avoid catching tonsil infection:
- Cleaning your hands regularly is extremely vital, especially before having your meals.
- Do not touch your nose and lips too often. Avoid touching them with dirty hands.
- Get a new toothbrush after every three months and store that in a hygienic cap
- Do not share your food, utensils, water bottle, or towels with an infected person or with someone who’s suffering from cold and cough.
- Gargle your mouth after every meal to get rid of food build up around the tonsils.
- Take care of your oral health. Brush and floss your teeth regularly to prevent food from sticking inside them.
- Avoid traveling through public transport when you have a cold or cough, as it can increase your chances of exposure to tonsillitis.
What are the treatments for tonsillitis?
If you have mild tonsils, then your throat probably doesn’t need any treatment. However, if the condition is severe, these treatments can help you get rid of them.
Tonsillectomy (Tonsil Extraction)
It is a surgical procedure to remove infected tonsils. If you’ve had this infection at least seven times in the last year, your doctor might probably suggest you get your tonsils removed. If you are preparing for a tonsillectomy, it is advisable that you quit consuming anti-inflammatory medicines, at least two weeks before the operation. Two of the most common methods for tonsillectomy include ‘cold knife dissection’ where your tonsils are removed with the help of a scalpel and ultrasonic vibrations. Although tonsillectomy is a prevalent surgery, it can result in several complications like bleeding, infection, and swelling.
Crypts on tonsils can act as biotopes for bacterial growth. These bacteria produce a film on the crypts that get calcified into tonsils. Cryptanalysis is a method for removing tissues of tonsils with the help of laser, radiofrequency application, or coblation. It is not as effective as tonsillectomy, but it is much cheaper than this surgery. In this method, the epithelium layer of tonsil crypts is deteriorated while carefully preserving the surrounding tonsil tissues.
As mentioned above, tonsillitis is caused due to a bacterial infection that can be treated with antibiotics. The most common antibiotic used for this purpose is penicillium. Antibiotics, however, are not effective against viruses. Therefore, you might require a different treatment if you are suffering from a viral infection in the tonsils. It is crucial that you complete all parts of the course of antibiotic medicine for tonsils as not leaving it midway results in severe conditions like rheumatic fever or even the tonsil spreading to a larger area. Mild tonsils can also be treated with over-the-counter painkillers. These medicines act by suppressing the symptoms of tonsillitis.
There are several natural remedies that you can try to dissolve tonsil stones at home. A few of these are listed below.
- Due to its antibacterial properties, hydrogen peroxide is used extensively to treat tonsils. All you need to do is to mix equal quantities of hydrogen peroxide and water and use this solution to gargle at least thrice a day.
- Yogurt contains natural probiotics that may help fight away the infection-causing bacteria. Therefore, you must include yogurt in your diet when suffering from tonsils.
- Apples are acidic in nature. Consuming apples or gargling with a diluted solution of apple cider vinegar can help to dissolve tonsil stones.
- Garlic, again due to its antibacterial properties, can be used to break down the bacteria in tonsil stones.