Notes on Tonsiliths

See also Revenge of the Tonsilith.

None of the following is medical advice. If you follow it and get hurt, don’t sue me.

The past few days I’ve been using a monoject syringe to flush out the particular tonsil crypt that’s been causing me trouble. Dentists give them out sometimes if you need to irrigate/flush something in your mouth with antibacterial wash or salt water.

Mine looks something like this:

The curved tip is ideal because I can gently (gently) poke it into the tonsil crypt and flush it out with warm salt water. (Or, sometimes, if I feel I can take the gagging, a peroxide-water mixture. That tastes quite horrible.) The advantages of a monoject syringe over a Waterpik or similar are:

  • Cheapness. Sometimes the ultimate cheapness, because a dentist can sometimes give them out for free.
  • Ease of use. The dentist can explain, but its usage should be fairly obvious. No need for manuals.
  • Control of a low-pressure stream that won’t cause your tonsils to bleed (like Waterpiks often do) and yet is strong enough to flush out tonsil stones.
  • Ease of storage. It’s much easier to store than most Waterpik-style dental tools.

Of course, I still have a Waterpik. Better than flossing, less good for my tender tonsils. And for some reason the syringe doesn’t irritate my gag reflex, but I may simply be getting used to fishing out tonsil stones. *shudder*

Note: this method may result in swallowing tonsil stones. Try… not to think about it. It happens all the time with smaller debris anyways, and happens in people all the time. Your stomach will also torture the tonsil stone to death in its very acidic environment, and that’s always nice to know.

I gargle with peroxide-and-water twice every day as well, and keep things as clean as possible in my mouth. Tongue scraping is bleagh but necessary.

Another note: cheesy poofs are the food of demons if you are susceptible to tonsiliths. Any kind of cheesy poof. They combine the worst irritants that can cause tonsil stones (apart from mucus from post-nasal drip): dairy and wheat. Cheesy poofs are even worse because both the dairy and the wheat end up fluffy and will break into tiny pieces that find their way into any pockets in your mouth whatsoever. Like tonsil crypts.

I have concluded this because ever since I’ve started flushing my tonsil crypt twice a day (morning on waking, night before bed), the only time I’ve had tonsil stones form (and then wash out) is when I ate cheesy poofs. And they formed quickly (in the course of several hours), and bacteria apparently love them, and the next thing you know your body is trying to cover the things in layers of mucus, and UGH.

Popcorn seems to also make tonsil stones worse for me, and result in honking huge ones. So for me at least, it’s probably tiny pieces of food that creates tonsil stones. :-/ I guess it’s chips… or maybe not.

For the diet, I’m staying away from “thick” dairy (as it turns out, I already know I like rice milk, and vanilla rice milk actually makes for a good milk replacement in strawberry oatmeal shakes). Which means giving up cheese alongside milk, but I’m fine with this, as cheesecake or cheese turns into tonsil stones for me. I’m snacking more on fruits and veggies; I like strawberries and pineapple mostly right now, and look forwards to clementines and applesauce (homemade) later in the year. For normal snacking I sometimes like celery and peanut butter, but mostly I like sugar snap peas. No more cheesy poofs or popcorn…

Another note: very sugary drinks also turn into tonsil stones for me, especially combined with cheese (and especially with cheesy poofs, and probably with popcorn). I sometimes need the salt-and-sugar, though, so I just flush my tonsils out extra. It kind of tickles pleasantly….

Sigh. Definitely no more cheesy poofs or popcorn, ever. But that’s probably for the best. The former sometimes made me sick (and isn’t great for health) and the latter always got stuck between my teeth.