Tonsil stones are white nodules that appear in the grooves of the tonsils. Tonsil stones form when food particles get trapped in these grooves and bacteria start eating them, turning them into unpleasant-smelling nodules. This condition is usually experienced by people with deep grooves of the tonsils. Although tonsil stones usually fall off on their own when you cough and eat, and if needed, through medical intervention or at home methods, there are ways to get rid of these nodules and prevent them from forming again.
Method 1 of 4: Removing Tonsil Stones with a Cotton Bud
Step 1. Prepare the required tools
Look for cotton buds and other supplies as follows:
- cotton bud
- Flashlight, flashlight app, or directional light
- Water flow
Step 2. Point the flashlight down the throat
Open your mouth and shine a light into it. Do it in front of a mirror so you can find the location of the tonsil stones.
Step 3. Flex the tonsils
Close or flex your throat muscles while sticking out your tongue. Say "Ah" and tighten the muscles at the back of your throat. Hold your breath, almost as if you were gargling. This will push the tonsils forward so they are easier to see.
Step 4. Prepare a cotton bud
Open the tap and moisten a cotton swab to make it softer and less irritating to the throat. Do not place it carelessly after it is wet because there is a risk of contamination. Minimize contact between cotton buds and surfaces that may carry germs, including your hands. If you have tonsil stones stuck to the cotton buds, shake them toward the sink without touching any surfaces, or wipe them with a clean tissue.
If the cotton swab comes into contact with the sink or counter, replace it with a new one
Step 5. Gently prick the tonsil stones using a cotton bud
Press or puncture the tonsil stones until they come off and stick to the cotton bud. Then, take it out of your mouth.
- Slowly because bleeding may occur. While it's normal to bleed a little, try to minimize the risk. Wounds can become infected with the same bacteria that cause tonsil stones.
- Wash your mouth if it bleeds, then brush your teeth and tongue once the bleeding stops.
Step 6. Rinse mouth with water and repeat
After removing one tonsil stone, rinse your mouth and continue with another stone. It is very important to wash your mouth if your saliva feels sticky. When sticky saliva starts to form, drink it to thin it out.
Step 7. Check for hidden stones
Once all visible stones are removed, place your thumb against the neck, under the jaw, and insert a clean index finger into the mouth just beside the tonsil and squeeze the remaining stone toward the opening (like squeezing toothpaste). If no stones appear, don't assume they're all gone. There is a groove so deep that the hidden stone cannot be pushed out.
Step 8. Carefully remove hard-to-eject stones
Stones that cannot be removed with a cotton swab are usually very deep. Don't force it because it might bleed. Use the back of the toothbrush to nudge it loose, then lift it with a cotton bud or toothbrush.
- If it still doesn't come off, you can rinse your mouth with mouthwash for a few days and try again.
- If it still doesn't work, try using an oral irrigator. If that doesn't work, increase the flow.
- Remember that some people vomit easily and can't tolerate a foreign object getting into the throat.
Method 2 of 4: Using an Oral Irrigator
Step 1. Purchase an oral irrigator
An oral irrigator can be used to push stones from the curve of the tonsils.
Test first before buying. If the spray is too strong and painful, do not use it to remove tonsil stones
Step 2. Use the lowest setting
Insert the irrigator into your mouth on the lowest setting, but don't touch the stone. Direct the flow of water to the visible rock, keeping it steady until the rock is released.
Step 3. Help remove it with a cotton bud or toothbrush
If the irrigator can only loosen the stone, not removing it, continue with a cotton swab or the back of a toothbrush.
Repeat these steps for all visible tonsil stones. Remember to spray water slowly
Method 3 of 4: Gargling to Remove and Prevent Tonsil Stones
Step 1. Gargle with mouthwash after eating
Since tonsil stones usually form when food debris gets trapped in the grooves of the tonsils, you need to rinse your mouth after eating. Mouthwash is not only good for healthy teeth and gums, but also helps remove food debris before it becomes food for bacteria that form tonsil stones.
Make sure you use an alcohol-free mouthwash
Step 2. Try gargling with warm water and salt
Mix 1 tsp. salt with 200 ml of water, stir until smooth. Use the solution to rinse your mouth with your head up. Salt water can release food debris from the curve of the tonsils, and also reduce the discomfort caused by tonsillitis that usually accompanies tonsil stones.
Step 3. Purchase an oxidizing mouthwash
This type of mouthwash contains chlorine dioxide and natural zinc compounds. Oxygen itself blocks the growth of bacteria so an oxidizing mouthwash can help treat and prevent tonsil stones.
However, oxidizing mouthwashes are so strong that they should only be used once or twice a week to avoid overusing them. Use an oxidizing mouthwash in addition to a natural mouthwash
Method 4 of 4: Seeking Medical Intervention
Step 1. Talk to your doctor about removing the tonsils
Tonsil removal is a relatively simple and effective procedure. The risk is relatively low and the recovery is also short. The most common problems are just a sore throat and light bleeding.
- If your doctor is concerned about your medical history, age, or other factors, you are advised to choose another option.
- Remember that removal of the tonsils will only be recommended for cases of recurrent tonsil stones, difficult to remove, or there are complications.
- You can also ask your doctor to remove the tonsil stones. Doctors can do this with special irrigation equipment.
Step 2. Consider antibiotics for persistent or severe tonsil stones
Several types of antibiotics, such as penicillin or erythromycin, can be used to treat tonsil stones. However, these antibiotics can't fix the cause, which is food debris trapped in the tonsils. Tonsil stones can still come back, and antibiotics also have side effects. Most antibiotics kill beneficial bacteria in the mouth and intestines, which actually help fight off problematic bacteria.
Step 3. Ask about laser treatment
The tissue that forms the tonsil sac can be removed via a laser. The laser smoothes the surface of the tonsils so that they are no longer marshy and crooked. However, this procedure is not without risks.