Removing Tonsil Stones: Try An Oral Irrigator
Tonsil stones (also called tonsilloliths), those tiny but frustrating globs of mucus, discarded cells, anaerobic bacteria and other oral debris that collect in pockets in the tonsils, often drive the afflicted to the edge of desperation. It’s not just the fact that they cause the unpleasant sensation of having something trapped in the back of the oral cavity, they also produce remarkably offensive bad breath.
While there are therapies for treating tonsil stones that have proven effective in hindering the formation of new stones, getting rid of existing stones is the first concern of most people who have them. Given this, how does one proceed?
Most people address the problem by coughing or massaging the part of the throat beneath the lower jaw and near the back part of the oral cavity. This approach can frequently dislodge tonsil stones. Remember though, if the pockets in your tonsils are simply too deep for this approach to work, you might want to try displacing the stones using your finger (wash your hands thoroughly), a toothbrush or cotton swab. Use these to massage the tonsils and work the stone out of the tonsil pocket.
If you have a particularly strong gag reflex, placing a toothbrush or swab so far in the rear of mouth may be unpleasant. An option in this case is to use an oral irrigator. An oral irrigator ejects a thin, pulse-like jet of H2O that can be used to stimulate the gums, remove food particles from between the teeth (an alternative to flossing), or to rinse the tonsil pockets and dislodge your tonsil stones.
Oral irrigators can eject a jet-like stream of water that is under considerable pressure, so be sure to start on the weakest setting and work up from there as necessary if you plan to succeed in dislodging your tonsil stones.
Oral irrigators can be purchased in drug stores or Big Box stores like Wal-Mart. Popular brands like Waterpik and QuickBreeze are also available from Amazon and other prominent online retailers.
If push comes to shove, you may not be able to dislodge your existing tonsil stones without seeing a healthcare professional. In this case, consider a visit to your dentist or an ENT – an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist.