Tonsil Stones – What are they?

What are tonsil stones?

Tonsil stones are small, white or yellowish calcifications that form in the crevices of your tonsils. They can be as small as a grain of rice or as large as a marble.

What causes them?

  • Poor dental hygiene
  • Chronic mouth breathing (during the day or at night)
  • Deep crevices (crypts) in the tonsils (where food particles can become lodged)
  • Large tonsils
  • Chronic tonsillitis (inflammation of the tonsils)
  • Hormonal changes (like during pregnancy)
  • Too much calcium in the blood without enough vitamins K2 and D3

What are the symptoms?

Tonsil stones can make it feel like you constantly have to swallow or cause nasty halitosis (bad breath). They can also cause sore throat, swollen tonsils, ear pain, and persistent cough. While mild cases may go completely unnoticed and will likely resolve on their own.

How do you get rid of them?

Most commonly, tonsil stones dislodge themselves, but, if they’re uncomfortable you may be able to remove them on your own.

Use extreme caution when removing your tonsil stones at home.

For safe at home removal, try the following home remedies:

  • Vigorously gargle with warm salt water.
  • Use an oral irrigator (water flosser) to gently spray water to dislodge the calcified stone.
  • Very gently nudge tonsil stones with a clean cotton swab.
  • Make yourself cough.

Seek medical attention from your dentist or doctor if you experience:

  • Tonsils of different sizes
  • Blood in your saliva
  • Problems with swallowing, speaking, or breathing
  • Pain, swelling, or lumps in the neck
  • Severe pain in your mouth or throat

If that doesn’t work:

Some stubborn cases may require removal by a dental professional. If gargling, coughing, and other manual remedies don’t work, you may need to see a healthcare provider about surgical removal.

Call our office today to book your next appointment!

Dental Anxiety – How we can help

The Fear Stops Here: Techniques for Coping with Dental Anxiety

Every day, your dentist welcomes patients into their practice that are dealing with dental anxiety. While there are many degrees, the fear and anxiety associated with dental visits can sometimes prevent patients from seeking the dental care they need, resulting in more significant problems in the future.

As your partner in oral health, your dentist wants you to know that they’ll always do their best to put you at ease during visits. Here are a few ways that you can work to overcome dental anxiety and feel more comfortable during your time with your dentist.

Communication is key

One of the most effective ways to overcome dental anxiety is to communicate your fears and concerns with your dental office. They’ll help you understand the treatments you’ll undergo, the level of discomfort you can expect, and how they’ll help make the experience more comfortable for you.

Try relaxation techniques

Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, and visuali[z]ation can help reduce anxiety and make dental visits less stressful. Before your appointment, take a few minutes to practice deep breathing exercises or visuali[z]ation techniques to help calm your nerves. During your appointment, try to focus on your breathing or visuali[z]e a calming scene to help reduce your anxiety.

Choose a distraction

Distraction techniques such as listening to music, watching TV, or reading a book can help take your mind off of the treatment.

Bring a friend or family member

Having a friend or family member with you during your visit can help provide comfort and support. Your companion can help distract you and provide reassurance throughout the visit.

Consider sedation

For patients with severe dental anxiety, sedation can be an effective option to help them relax during their dental procedure. There are different levels of sedation, from mild sedation (such as laughing gas) to deep sedation (such as general anesthesia). Your dentist is happy to offer sedation options in the practice–call them to learn more.

If you are experiencing dental anxiety, your dentist will work with you to develop a plan that allows you to feel more comfortable and confident during your time with them!