Can You Use A Waterpik For Tonsil Stones?
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The best way to protect yourself from tonsil stones is to remove tonsils. However, this isn’t the primary thing you will want to do. Luckily, there are several different methods you can use to avoid this issue. The main problem begins once tonsil stones reach larger sizes. In those cases, a treatment may be needed. On the other side, researches proved that a Waterpik for tonsil stones is definitely useful.
What are Tonsil Stones?
Tonsils are tissue pads which act like filters, by reducing and possibly eliminating the number of viruses and bacteria which get into your body. They are located at the back of a throat on each side. In essence, they are lymph nodes that act as the elements of the immune system. The main problem occurs when substances stay in the crevices of the tonsils. They create the issue in question, commonly known as tonsil stones or tonsillitis.
Tonsil stones are more common in people whose tonsils have ‘’craters’’ or irregularities on their surface. These are the places where organic and nonorganic substances are logged and eventually where they form tonsil stones.
What are the Symptoms of Tonsil Stones?
Tonsil stones usually don’t cause any symptoms. As a matter of fact, smaller ones never cause a single issue and even some, large tonsil stones can stay undetected, simply due to the fact they won’t cause a single symptom. Most of them can be only detected by CT scans or X-rays. However, in some cases, large tonsil stones can cause a variety of symptoms. They are:
- Bad breath – A bad breath or better known as halitosis is usually the first symptom of tonsil stones. A research conducted on patients suffering from bad breath discovered that 75% of all participant’s had higher levels of volatile sulfur in their breath, which is the main cause for bad breath. It is also believed that people who suffer from bad breath when there is no other explanation, tonsil stones are the best probability.
- A sore throat – This is another symptom of the issue in question. It may be difficult to tell is a sore throat caused by the tonsil stones or tonsillitis itself, but in most cases, the tonsil stones do have a side effect. They cause pain in the area of tonsils where stones are located. If the pain isn’t present, discomfort will.
- Debris – It may be possible to see the tonsil stones with a naked eye on tonsils. However, this is a rare possibility. In almost all cases, tonsil stones are hidden in the holes, craters or folds of the tonsils, so they can be only visible via FT scan or X-rays. Still, the visual inspection is the first thing that should be done.
- Issues with swallowing – When a tonsil stone or stones are too big, they will cause discomfort swallowing. Furthermore, they will cause pain when you try to swallow liquid or food.
- Pain in the ear – Maybe it sounds confusing, but tonsil stones can actually cause ear pain. The explanation lies in the fact they share nerve pathways, so when a tonsil starts to swell, the pain can be indirectly felt in an ear. Obviously, a tonsil stone won’t even touch an ear.
- Swelling – Swelling is another issue which is commonly caused by the tonsil stones. Once a stone is formed and it reaches a critical size, and inflammation begins (it doesn’t happen always) tonsils will start to swell, therefore make swallowing painful or problematic. Inflammations are caused by infections and they can make the current symptom even more complicated.
These are all the symptoms tonsil stones may cause. Don’t forget that they can cause a mixture of them or further complications of each symptom.
How are Tonsil Stones Typically Treated?
Tonsil stones usually don’t require any treatment, due to the fact they don’t cause any symptoms. However, if they cause discomfort, bad breath or any other of the symptoms we mentioned, removal may be required. Relatively, all ways are simple and painless. The most common ways to remove tonsil stones are:
- Dislodging tonsil stones – Using a toothpick at home, you can remove tonsil stones. This method is usually used in a case stones are small.
- Antibiotics – Certain individuals may want to use antibiotics to remove the tonsil stones. There may be side effects which antibiotics can cause! In addition, they won’t prevent forming of new tonsil stones.
- Gargling with salty water – Frequent gargling with warm and salty water can reduce the symptoms and at the same time eliminate smaller tonsil stones.
- Removing tonsils – In a case you suffer from chronic tonsil stones forming, your tonsils will have to be surgically removed. A surgeon will use a local numbing agent and the procedure doesn’t require hospitalization. In more severe procedures, where a complete tonsil tissue is removed a general anesthesia is mandatory.
Treating tonsil stones is generally simple and easy. However, preventing them isn’t. The only safe and 100% safe way to eliminate them from your life is by removing tonsils. It is treated as a generally simple procedure which is done under general anesthesia. For a few days, patients will experience discomfort swallowing.
How can a Water Flosser Help With Tonsil Stones?
A water flosser can help people who suffer from tonsil stones in two ways. The first one is improving the oral hygiene, therefore reducing the effect of the bacteria have on tonsil stone forming. Water flossers are very effecting in treating these issues, and they are one of the best ways to get above the average hygiene of your teeth and mouth in general. But, they are not the only way that should be used here! Mouthwashes without alcohol and regular teeth flossing are mandatory as well.
In a case tonsil stones are already formed, water flosser can still assist you. Simply turn it on and direct it at the tonsils and massage the local area. First of all, if you have a sensitive gag reflex, use soft setting, which is gentle. This will still remove tonsil stones, but you will need more time. In other cases, you can use higher intensity setting, which will remove the tonsil stones much quicker. If you have smaller tonsil stones, lower intensity setting would be perfectly satisfactory. On the other hand, if you suffer from larger tonsil stones, a high-intensity setting is recommended.
Sometimes, tonsil stones are very difficult to remove using water flossers! The explanation is in their connection with the tonsils themselves. If this is a situation in your case, use salty water. Gargling warm and salty water for a few minutes before using water flosser is highly beneficial. Gargling process will lose the tonsil stones and therefore make them easier to remove with a pressure of water later on.
Read more about How to Use a Waterpik in our article.
Searching for the best Waterpik for the specific application in question isn’t an easy task. You will have to find a unit which must meet several requirements. Luckily for you, we have already found the best one. It is the Waterpik Aquarius Water Flosser, WP-660. There are several reasons why this Waterpik is the best for removing tonsil stones.
Let’s begin with the available intensity settings. It has 10 of them, meaning that you can always choose the one which is the most suitable for your condition. As such, it is also perfect for individuals who have pronounced gag reflex. In addition, lower intensity settings are usually sufficient for removing smaller tonsil stones.
The water capacity of 90 seconds is another reason why we believe this is the best unit for the job. A large tank allows you to use the unit for a longer period of time, without stopping the process. As such, you have higher chances to completely remove the tonsil stones, simply due to the fact they will be exposed to a pressure for a longer period of time.
7 additional tips are definitely useful, so are the two modes this unit has. The first one will floss your teeth. It is useful and needed a method for tonsil stone removal! However, the unit also features massage mode, which is useful in rare cases for removing the tonsil stones. The best thing you can do is to try both modes, just until you determine which one works perfectly for you.
If you are interested in discovering something more about this product, you should know that it is fully approved by the American Dental Association or ADA. It comes with their seal of acceptance and it is highly recommended by dentists from all over the world. WP-660 is convenient as well, offers space for the tips while occupying a very little of space in your bathroom. In general, it is the best choice for multiple applications and it is one of the most effective products of this kind you can possibly find today.
- A water tank offers 90 seconds of running time
- 7 tips are included in the package
- 10 different intensity modes
- Approved by the American Dental Association
- On/off switch is complicated to use with a single hand
- Loud while operating
For any repair needs of your water flosser go to our How to repair a Waterpik article.
Tonsil stones can be prevented, but only if you focus your attention on the right techniques. The Waterpik for tonsil stones we mentioned above is simply the best and the most efficient method you can use today. Overall, it will keep your teeth healthy at all times and prevent tonsil stones from occurring. Even if they do, you will be able to remove them as simply as possible in the comfort of your home. Inspect your tonsils today and check them for stones. If there are a few of them, start using the Waterpik we mentioned. Tonsil stones will be completely removed within a matter of days.