A sore throat can be a symptom for many infections and diseases. But did you know that a sore throat could also be a symptom of tonsil stones?
If you’re experiencing discomfort because of a sore throat and think that it might be related to tonsil stones, then just keep on reading! Are tonsil stones a cause of sore throats? In this article, we’ll take a look into what causes tonsil stones, sore throats, how the two are connected, and much more.
So, what are these tonsil stones things?
Basically, in the back of your throat are your tonsils, these structures similar to glands that are made with lymphocytes.
Lymphocytes are these cool cells that help fight bacterial and viral infections. Many experts think that the tonsils are part of the immune system and help trap bacteria and viruses that come into your body through your mouth and/or nose.
Your tonsil have many different nooks and crevices in them, which are called crypts. Bacteria and other debris, such as dead cells, mucous, and bits of food, can get stuck in these crypts. Everything then becomes calcified into these lumps, aka tonsil stones.
Tonsils stones are white and yellow in color, so if you see something that color in the back of your throat that’s hard, it’s probably a tonsil stone. Same goes if you’ve ever coughed up a hard pebble in that coloring.
Symptoms of Tonsil Stones
Not only are sore throats a symptom of having tonsils stones, but also bad breath, trouble swallowing, and much more!
There’s what we’ve discussed already – white and yellow stone-shaped objects on your tonsils. Sometimes, the folds on your tonsils will block the stone from your view, but there are plenty of other symptoms.
Bad breath, not shockingly, is another symptom. Tonsil stones are composed of sulfur compounds, causing bad breath. Your tonsils, in response to the bacteria, also might create some sort of liquid that coats your throat, which also can cause bad breath.
If you’re having trouble swallowing, that also is another sign of tonsil stones. Typically speaking, tonsil stones are pebble sized, but if they grow excessively in size (the largest tonsil stone was around an inch in diameter), they can block food, so to speak, as you swallow.
The stones are caused by a sulfur-producing bacteria, as we discussed concerning bad breath. However, that bacteria can cause tonsil swelling as the tonsils try to fight off all that bad stuff, which leads to discomfort from the inflammation.
Because your tonsils share the same nerve channels as your ears, you might be experiencing some ear pain. Your ears and tonsils are actually more connected than you might think; a lot of ear pain can be attributed to something going on in your mouth/throat.
Lastly, a sore throat may be a symptom of tonsil stones.
The Connection Between Tonsil Stones and Sore Throats
You see, when all that bacteria builds up in these stones on your tonsils, it irritates the back of your throat and causes the soreness.
The stones themselves can become rather large (as we’ve mentioned before), which can cause the soreness as they rub against the back of your throat.
It’s also probable that post-nasal drip plays a part, as mucus drips down your throat, gets in your tonsils, and causes both the stones and the sore throat.
So yes, tonsil stones can cause a sore throat.
Natural Remedies to Cure Tonsil Stones and Sore Throats
There are several liquids with natural healing properties you can drink to help heal your sore throat and keep bad bacteria at bay.
- Water. Personally, I believe that drinking a glass after every meal will help clear your mouth of food particles that are kicking around.
- Orange Juice. It’s rich in vitamin C, which helps clear the bacteria and soothe a sore throat.
- Turmeric and Ginger Tea. Turmeric is an herb with strong antibacterial properties that you can add to warm water and drink as tea. I would recommend adding ginger and honey for taste and additional healing properties.
There are several ways to remove tonsil stones. You can use a cotton swab or q-tip, use your tongue, a toothbrush, or even a spoon.
Simply dampen the cotton swab/q-tip, reach back in your mouth, and gently poke the stone out. I would recommend doing this in front of a mirror with good lighting. If you have a long tongue, you might be able to reach back with it and prod the stone loose. Or you could use the back of your toothbrush or the end of a spoon to scrap the stone out. Of course, whatever method you chose, be careful and gentle with yourself. You don’t want to cause additional damage to your tonsils and throat.
Gurgling can also heal sore throats while dislodging tonsil stones.
- Salt water can dislodge tonsil stones and start the healing process of a sore throat.
- Baking soda and apple cider vinegar is basically like those volcanic science experiments we all did in second grade, just in your mouth. So it’s fun and good for your oral health!
- Hydrogen peroxide diluted with water is good at cleaning your mouth out of any bad bacteria, as well as only wounds you may have in your mouth.
It seems rather counter-intuitive, but eating a clove of raw garlic really can kill a lot of the bacteria that causes tonsil stones. Of course, you’ll have some strong spicy breath for the next day, so we’ll just call it one of those ironies of life
But overall, the best thing to prevent bad breath, tonsil stones, and sore throats is to practice good oral health. Your mouth will thank you (and your friends too!)
Non-Holistic Tools That You Can Also Use…
If you’re not like me and find the idea of using herbs and plants medicinally revolting, check out this kit from TheraBreath.
It has all the things you need to combat tonsil stones and the sore throats that come with them.
The throat spray can be used to get those pesky stones, with an extended nozzle to effectively get rid of everything. Sinus drops and lozenges will help with the soreness, as well as any dry mouth issues. Plus, the ingredients are clinically-proven to fight off all that bad bacteria in your mouth. It’s also totally affordable at only $36.
And, of course, if you have any questions, doubts, or concerns, it’s always good to contact your dentist or oral hygienist for additional information on how to move forward with treating tonsil stones and/or sore throats.