Knowing what a tonsil stone, or tonsillolith, looks like enables you to diagnose and treat them naturally. These white or cream-colored bumps on the tonsils may or may not cause severe discomfort, depending on how large and numerous the stones become. Before the tonsil stones become inflamed or infected, there are a few ways to remove them at home.
Gargle with Mouthwash or Salt Water
Mix approximately 1 tablespoon of salt with 4 to 6 ounces of warm water. Gargle thoroughly so the mixture reaches your tonsils to loosen the stones. Alternatively, a store-bought mouthwash also works as a gargle. As the tonsil stone loosens, use care not to swallow them. A few days of gargling should loosen the stones without further intervention, but other methods may be required if the stone does not come out.
Pushing against the tonsil with your finger is the easiest and least expensive way to remove tonsil stones. While this may cause a gag reflex in some people, it is effective in loosening and removing the tonsil stones. Do not scrape the stones too hard or you may cause bleeding on the tonsil, causing infection. If bleeding does occur, gargle with salt water to clean the area and stop the bleeding.
Medicine Dropper or Cotton Swab
Medicine droppers use suction to pull the tonsil stones from the tonsil. This works best with smaller or partially dislodged stones. Cotton swabs rubbed against the tonsil stones help gently remove them. This may take more than one try for securely lodged stones. Also, do not forcibly pull or poke at the stone to remove it. Take your time to work the tonsil stone loose from the tonsil. Use more than one method if the medicine dropper or cotton swab causes pain.
A somewhat less invasive way to remove the tonsil stones is to use a water flosser to shoot water toward your tonsils. Spray your tonsils from a distance with the water flosser to remove the stones. Do not spray too close as you may hurt your tonsils, requiring medical care. The gentle water flow should remove the tonsil stones without pain or invasive tools. Using natural methods to remove tonsil stones reduces the need for medical intervention.
These are all short term solutions for getting rid of tonsil stones. For a permanent solution, check the resources section.
References and ResourcesWebMD: Tonsil Stones (Tonsilloliths)
BreathMD: Tonsil Stones
Tonsil Stones Cure: Removing Tonsil Stones