Your tonsils are meant to help trap bacteria in your throat and keep you from getting sick. Sometimes bacteria and other debris get trapped in the small pockets of the tonsils, getting packed together and forming "tonsil stones."
If you suffer from chronic tonsillitis, these stones can make matters even worse. Getting the stones out of your tonsils will help alleviate the soreness. Here are 6 ways you can help remove your tonsil stones.
1. Salt water gargles. WebMD recommends a salt water gargle to help alleviate the discomfort tonsil stones cause. Combine 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of salt with 8 ounces of warm water.
2. Toothpick or cotton swab. Another recommendation by WebMD is to use a toothpick or cotton swab to help push the stone out of the tonsil. You may want to use an oral analgesic first to numb the back of your throat and keep from gagging before trying this. You want to place the swab at the base of the tonsil and push upward.
3. Toothbrush. SteadyHealth says you may be able to dislodge the stones by gently brushing the tonsils with a soft-bristle tooth brush.
4. Swallowing. Another technique you can try, according to SteadyHealth, is to put your tongue on the roof of your mouth and hold it there while swallowing. This motion may jostle the stones loose.
5. Carbonated Beverage. A tasty option is drinking something carbonated. SteadyHealth says that the carbonation tends to knock the stones loose.
6. Oral irrigator. For stones where other remedies aren't working, the Mayo Clinic recommends getting an oral irrigator to try to get the stones out.
If you suffer from chronic tonsil stones that keep your throat inflamed, be sure to see your physician. For the occasional stone, however, one of these remedies may be all you need to alleviate the discomfort.