How to Know if I have Tonsil Stones and How to Treat Them
Tonsil stones, which look like plaques or plates in your throat, are a symptom of tonsillitis and are caused mostly by bacterial infections such as streptococcus pyogenes - the one behind strep throat - although it may also be caused by other microorganisms. In some cases, pus plates are accompanied by acute pharyngitis, which is an inflammation of the lining of the pharynx.
Tonsil stones cause pain and can lead to difficulty swallowing, earache, headache and high fever, among other symptoms. Here in this OneHowTo article we'll show in detail how to know if you have tonsil stones - if you do have them, go to the doctor and start appropriate treatment.
The first thing you'll notice if you have tonsil stones is constant pain and difficulty swallowing. The pain can be severe and is usually more evident when swallowing; it may start as a slight itch that increases to become a major nuisance that hinders actions like eating, drinking or swallowing saliva, for example.
Tonsil stones are often accompanied by earache, headache and pain in the jaw. In case of a viral infection antibiotics are useless, so before medicating it is important to consult a doctor.
Typically, the pus plates in the throat are associated with tonsillitis or pharyngitis. If it is a viral infection, the stones are scarcer and there is less pain and discomfort. In the case of a bacterial infection, though, the plates are very numerous and the pain is more penetrating; you will need to follow an antibiotic treatment as prescribed by the doctor.
Both causes are accompanied by fever, which in the case of bacterial infection is quite high and in viral infections depends on the type of causative virus.
To find out if you have tonsil stones, try opening your mouth in front of a mirror. Lower the tongue and watch your tonsils. You can use a flashlight for better viewing. The most common thing is to detect reddened and swollen tonsils with white marks around them. These dots are pus plates.
These plates are nothing but a response from your body to an external aggression in the form of virus or bacteria. Do not remove the plates with cotton swabs or other contraptions, as it is harmful to your health and would make the infection worse.
In the case of high fever, it is important that you control it with over the counter antipyreticssuch as paracetamol, which does not usually cause stomach upset if taken in the right doses. It usually takes about 60 minutes on average to make its effect, and the benefits are used up in about 4 hours.
Ibuprofen is another widely used drug for feverish conditions involving inflammation. It is more aggressive to the stomach, so it is advisable to use gastric protectors if consumed daily. Its effects are noticeable at approximately 30 minutes and they usually last up to 6 hours; it is more effective than Paracetamol in cases of inflammation. In any case, it's best to follow the instructions given by the doctor.
When it comes to eating and drinking, avoid foods or drinks with extreme temperatures, that is, too hot or too cool. Wrap your throat with a scarf to prevent it from getting cold. As far as possible, take some time to rest, especially if you have a fever. Avoid drafts and sudden temperature changes, do not expose yourself directly to the air conditioners and, if at home, check and clean the AC filter to prevent bacteria or fungi from proliferating.
Your doctor can prescribe several drugs to treat tonsillitis and pharyngitis; over all, do not self-medicate. However, there are also some natural remedies that will prove quite effective, as shown below:
- Gargle with a preparation made from freshly squeezed lemon, honey and sodium bicarbonate. Make sure it's not too hot or too cold and use it two or three times a day, depending on the severity of the case, preferably after eating. This is a powerful natural disinfectant and antibacterial that can remove pus plates in tonsil stones in one day if the infection is not very serious.
- Drink thyme herbal teas. Take two or three per day, but it is recommended that the last one is before you go to sleep. Thyme is a disinfectant and an anti-microbial agent, and it's often used to treat colds.
Discover other similar treatments in our article on natural home remedies for tonsillitis.
This is how to know if you have tonsil stones and how to treat them; if you notice them, don't hesitate to go to the doctor.
This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.
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