While there are several causes of bad breath, one that is often overlooked and rarely talked about is tonsil stones. Never heard of them? You’re not alone. Whenever I mention tonsil stones people usually look back with a blank stare. The more research I do, the more it seems these smelly stones are fairly commonplace, but many people don’t even know they exist.
What are tonsil stones?
Tonsil Stones (tonsilloliths) are lumps of calcified material that form in the tonsils. Tonsil stones weigh between 0.3g and 42g. They are created when the nooks and crannies in the tonsils trap debris including bacteria, dead cells and mucus. This debris then forms white blobs which get clogged in the tonsils and cause bad breath. They are more common in children and people who have suffered chronic inflammation in their tonsils or have had repeated bouts of tonsil stones.
How can I treat tonsil stones naturally?
Unfortunately, sometimes due to size and location, surgery or medical intervention are necessary. However, in many cases tonsils stones can be removed at home and measures can be taken to help avoid their return.
~Q-tip removal: You can remove many tonsil stones using cotton swabs at home. Wet both ends of the Q-tip to be sure it will be gentle and not irritate the tonsil. Then, using a flashlight, you can use the cotton swab to press against the tonsil near the crater holding the tonsil stone. This should dislodge the stone, allowing you to spit it out or wipe it out with the cotton swab. Be sure to gargle and spit immediately after to remove any remaining bacteria.
~Salt water gargle: Salt water is a simple yet effective way to reduce bacteria and mucous in the throat and help avoid tonsil stones. A daily gargle with warm salt water will help flush out the debris that can become lodged and form tonsil stones.
~Lemon or lime juice gargle: These citrus juices are high in vitamin c which is very effective in treating/removing tonsil stones. Mix 3 TBSP of juice with warm water, gargle and spit to help eliminate debris.
~Raw garlic or onions: Both of these are natural antibiotics. Eating them raw can help to significantly reduce the amount of bacteria in the tonsils, keeping tonsil stones at bay. Eating a raw clove of garlic or some onion a couple times a day will keep the bacteria away!
~Good oral hygiene: Properly brushing teeth twice a day and flossing once a day is important in managing the bacteria levels in your mouth. If you’re not taking care of your oral health, you will be more prone to cavities, other dental issues and tonsil stones.
As with any condition, prevention is always preferred over treating! Eating a health balanced diet low in processed or fried foods, taking care of your oral health and using the above techniques can help avoid tonsil stones or at least treat them naturally.
DISCLAIMER: The information contained on this site is not provided by medical professionals and is provided for informational purposes only. The information on this site is not meant to substitute consulting with your podiatrist, doctor or other health care professional. The information available on or through this site is in no way intended to diagnose, influence treatment or cure any foot or other health problems nor is it a substitute for the services or advice of a podiatrist, physician, or health professional. You should always consult a physician licensed in your state in all matters relating to your health.