While tonsil stones might sound scary, it’s actually a common occurrence. In a recent study of 1,000 kids, about 16 percent of kids reported having swallowed a tonsil stone.
While tonsil stones are common and usually harmless, they can sometimes cause symptoms like:
It’s important to see your pediatrician if you have any of these symptoms. They can usually determine if you’re having a tonsil stone.
What causes a tonsil stone?
Tonsil stones typically form as a result of a viral infection. The tonsils are part of the immune system, and it’s possible for viruses and bacteria to pass through your tonsils and into your mouth.
If you have persistent tonsil inflammation, you may be more prone to developing tonsil stones. This is because tonsil inflammation can result in swelling and irritation of the tonsils.
Tonsil stones can also come from a bacterial infection. You may experience tonsil stones if your tonsil’s infection is caused by:
- H. Pylori, which is a bacteria that can cause stomach ulcers and even result in bleeding
- Bacteria from the Epstein-Barr virus
- Other bacteria
Tonsil stones can also occur as a result of an allergic reaction. In this case, the tonsil stone is actually made of food particles that get stuck in the tonsil and become embedded in the tonsil wall.
How is a tonsil stone diagnosed?
If you think you have a tonsil stone, it’s important to visit your doctor. They’ll want to get a proper diagnosis.
Your doctor will conduct a physical exam of your throat to look for signs of a tonsil stone. They’ll want to see if there are any abnormal growths or lumps in your throat.
Your doctor may also order a tonsil swab test. In this test, your doctor will place a small cotton swab into your mouth. If there are tonsil stones in your throat, it will stick to the cotton swab.
Your doctor will then send the swab to a lab for analysis. If there are tonsil stones in your throat, there will be a strong and distinct chemical reaction to the cotton swab.
Tonsil stone symptoms
Common symptoms of tonsil stones include:
- Swollen and red tonsils
- Difficulty swallowing
If you have signs of a tonsil stone, you should see your doctor. They may be able to determine what’s causing your symptoms.
Tonsil stone treatment
There’s no specific treatment for tonsil stones. Treatment depends on the type and severity of your symptoms.
If your tonsil stones are caused by an infection, your doctor may suggest that you take antibiotics to treat the infection.
If you have a tonsil stone from an allergic reaction, your doctor may recommend that you take an antihistamine to help reduce swelling and swelling.
If your tonsil stone is caused by a bacterial infection, your doctor may prescribe a type of antibiotic that’s designed to treat tonsil infections.
If your tonsil stone is caused by a virus, your doctor may recommend that you take a prescription medication to help reduce your symptoms.
Tonsil stone prevention
If you have a tonsil stone, there are several things that you can do to help prevent it from occurring again:
- Drink plenty of fluids to help flush out the tonsil stones
- Follow an anti-inflammatory diet to reduce swelling
- Avoid consuming foods that are high in fat and salt, which can increase swelling
Can a tonsil stone grow larger?
In rare cases, tonsil stones can grow in size. This can occur if:
- There’s a blockage in your throat
- You get tonsil stones from a bacterial infection
- You’re using antibiotics and other medications that can cause tonsil stones
You should see your doctor if you have signs of a tonsil stone and you think you may have a larger or more serious stone.
What’s the outlook for tonsil stones?
Tonsil stones aren’t dangerous. If you have a tonsil stone, it should go away on its own. It’s important that you see your doctor if you have any symptoms of a tonsil stone.
If your tonsil stone is caused by an infection, the infection will go away on its own.
If your tonsi stone is caused by an allergic reaction, you may be able to reduce your symptoms by taking an antihistamine.
If your tonsi stone is caused by a bacterial infection, it should go away on its’ own. In some cases, it may require a prescription medication to help reduce your symptoms.
How can I prevent tonsil stones?
The best way to prevent tonsil stones is to keep your throat as healthy as possible. You can do this by:
- Drinking plenty of fluids
- Eating a diet high in non-starchy vegetables, fruits, and low in sugar
- Avoiding foods that are high in fat and salt
How can I treat tonsil stones?
Tonsil stones can be treated using over-the-counter or prescription medications. If you’re experiencing severe symptoms, your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic.
If you’re experiencing tonsil stone-related symptoms, you should see your doctor. They can determine if you’re having a tonsil stone and treat it accordingly.
If your tonsils are severely inflamed, they may need to be drained.
What is the outlook for a tonsil stone?
If you’re experiencing symptoms of a tonsil stone, make an appointment with your doctor. They can determine if you’re having a tonsil stone and treat it accordingly.
If you’re experiencing severe symptoms of a tonsil stone, it may require surgery to remove the stone.
If you’re experiencing symptoms that are severe and don’t resolve on their own, it may be an indication that you need to see your doctor.
Can it be prevented?
There are several things that you can do to help prevent tonsil stones from occurring in the first place or from growing larger.
Drinking plenty of fluids, eating a non-starchy vegetable, low-sodium diet, and avoiding foods that are high in fat and salt may help prevent tonsil stones.
How can I find help?
If you’re having difficulty managing your symptoms, there are several people that you can turn to for support.
You can talk to your doctor or other healthcare professionals for additional advice.
The bottom line
Tonsil stones are a condition that occurs if you get tonsil inflammation and swelling. This can cause tonsil stones to develop.
Tonsil stones are a painful condition that can cause symptoms such as a sore throat, fever, and chills.
You should see your doctor if you notice any signs of a tonsil stone, such as a sore throat, swollen or red tonsils, or a fever. There’s no specific treatment for tonsil stones, but treatment depends on the type and severity of your symptoms.
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