Tonsil stones and strep throat can both cause sore throats. But how do you tell the difference when the two seem so similar?
If you’re trying to figure out if you have tonsil stones or strep throat, then look no further. All the information you need to combat your discomfort and concern is right here.
In this article, we’ll look at tonsil stones and strep throat and learn their similarities and differences.
Strep Throat: A Bacterial Infection
Strep throat actually isn’t a common ailment for adults. It’s most common among kids ages 5-15, so if you’re above that age range, then chances are – it probably isn’t strep throat
Since adults can catch strep throat, it’s always good to have information on what it is, the symptoms, and how to treat it. And it’s good to have the knowledge in case you are a parent, teacher, or caretaker of kids.
The first symptom of strep throat is a sore throat. The thing is, most sore throats are caused by viruses. But strep throat is caused by a bacterial infection. According to WebMD:
“Bacteria called group Astreptococcus, also known as Streptococcus pyogenes. cause it. They live in the nose and throat.”SOURCE
Like other viral infections, strep throat is caused through close contact. If somebody with strep throat coughs or sneezes, droplets enter the air. These droplets contain the bacteria. So if you breathe these droplets in or come in contact with them, you have a higher chance of catching the infection.
The most obvious sign of strep throat is a sore throat that feels raw and hurts to swallow. This isn’t the only symptom; a sore throat is a symptom of many viral infections, so we need more to self-diagnose ourselves with strep throat.
The other main symptoms are:
- A fever of 101 or higher
- Red and swollen tonsil, along with white patches and/or pus
- Tiny red spots on the roof of the mouth
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Swollen lymph nodes in the front of the neck
If you think you or your kids have strep throat, the best thing to do is go to your doctor. They will give a rapid strep test or take a throat culture to determine if it’s strep throat. If the test is positive, your doctor will be able to prescribe antibiotics to take care of the infection.
Explaining Tonsil Stones
Your tonsils are these gland-like things in the back of your throat. It’s generally believed that they help your immune system trap bad bacteria before it can enter your throat.
Within your tonsil are nooks and crannies, where are these bacteria hang out. Basically, the bad bacteria combined with bits of food, dead cells, and mucus can build up into these tonsil stones thingies.
So if you can see something that’s hard, yellow or white, and kinda roundish on your tonsils, it’s probably a tonsil stone.
Some symptoms of tonsil stones are:
- Bad breath. Tonsil stones are made up of sulfur compounds, which causes an unpleasant smell.
- Difficulty swallowing. Most tonsil stones are teeny tiny – but if they get big, they can somewhat block your throat, making it hard to swallow.
- Tonsil swelling. As your tonsils try to fight off all that bad bacteria, your tonsils will swell up and become inflamed.
- Ear pain. Your tonsils and ears are on the same nerve channel. So if you feel ear pain, you may be able to lead it back to an issue in your mouth.
There are several ways to remove tonsil stones. Just take a damp cotton swab or q-tip, find a mirror with good lighting, and nudge the stone around until it comes out.
Other options include using the back of your toothbrush or a spoon. Just be careful and be gentle. You don’t want to cause additional damage to your tonsils and causing more problems than you already have.
Strep VS. Stones: What’s The Same
So we’ve come to the conclusion that tonsil stones and strep throat are two different things, but with similar symptoms.
Both have to do with your tonsils, to some extent. And white stuff in your mouth.
One of the symptoms of both strep throat and tonsil stones are red, swollen tonsils. However, the white bacteria of strep throat should look patchier and cover more area than the small pebbly tonsil stones
Some of the treatment for strep throat is similar to treatment for tonsil stones. To help relieve strep throat, is has been recommend to gargle salt water. You can do the same for tonsil stones.
But there are plenty of differences in the similarities. First off, the white tonsil stones are easy to dislodge and remove. However, strep throat won’t move and isn’t as hard as a tonsil stone.
So, what are some obvious differences between strep throat and tonsil stones?
Usually, the first symptom of strep throat is a sore throat from that bad bacteria. However, the first symptom of tonsil stones is bad breath, which comes from the sulfur compounds within the bacteria.
Strep throat can come with a rash and a fever, which aren’t typically symptoms of tonsil stones. Tonsil stones tend to come more with bad breath, as mentioned before.
Generally speaking, strep throat is a more serious issue than tonsil stones. It’s advisable to get antibiotics to treat strep throat; tonsil stones are usually easily treatable at home.
In The End
Both tonsil stones and strep throat are ailments, with varying degrees of seriousness. Learning the differences between the two, as well as similarities, will hopefully help you as you learn more about your oral health.
Tonsil stones aren’t as prevalent as strep throat, but still as important to take care of. And strep throat is important to learn to identify, especially if you work with children.
Strep throat and tonsil stones can feel like the end of the world – but it isn’t. Keep that in mind as you take further steps as you learn about these issues.
Need To Get Rid Of Your Tonsil Stones Quickly?
Bad breath is our game, and helping others is our aim. So while there isn’t much that we can point to about Strep Throat, we can give you some advice on Tonsil Stones.
Fast Tonsil Stones Cure is a program that gives you the much need-to-know information on how to quickly get rid of Tonsil stones, and have them never return.
The program not only provides advice for getting rid of your Tonsil Stones, but also on issues that may arise if you don’t do anything, foods to avoid, and many other things.
They also provide a 60-day money back guarantee. So if you don’t get the results that you need, you’ll easily get back what you paid. It’s one of the best programs we recommend for getting rid of Tonsil Stones quickly.