Can you Use Water Flosser for Tonsil Stones

by Tim Gordon

A water flosser is a handheld oral device used to care for the teeth. Otherwise known as an oral irrigator, a water flosser cleans the gum and teeth. It removes food debris, plaque and bacteria lodged within the teeth. It is a perfect device to aid your daily oral care routine.

People ask, "Can a water flosser be used for tonsil stones?” Keep reading to gain all you need.

What are Tonsil Stones?

Tonsil stones are also known as tonsilloliths. They are tricky bits of bacteria and debris stuck in the tonsils' nooks. Tonsils are gland-like structures in the back of the throat located on each side of the mouth. They are tissue with cells that fight and prevent infections. Tonsils are part of the body’s immune system. They aid the body in fighting infections. They work like nets to trap bacteria and viruses that attempt to enter the body through the throat.

Bacteria and other food debris in the mouth often lodge in the tiny gaps and crevices of the teeth. The accumulation of this debris and bacteria lead to tonsil stones. The tonsils sometimes get swollen and infected while trying to keep the viruses and bacteria out of the body.

Tonsil stones are common. Individuals with more tonsillar crypts are liable to more tonsil stones than others. About 6 to 10 percent of adults aged 20 to 40 have tonsil stones. Tonsil stones are also common in children. They can happen once in a while. Also, they can be a recurring occurrence, coming back repeatedly.

Tonsil stones are not harmful. And their presence does not constitute a substantial medical scare. These stones are not a death sentence, and they hardly ever cause any real problems. Most of the time, people don’t even know they have them. Others who have large tonsil stones might experience more discomfort than usual.

Tonsil Stones Causes and Symptoms

Tonsils have several nooks and crannies filled with bacteria and other debris. The debris might include dead cells and mucus. All these foreign materials and debris bond together. Minerals like calcium, food debris, and bacteria or fungi are often trapped in the tonsils.

Tonsil stones form when the debris hardens and calcifies. The stones often occur in people with long-term tonsil inflammation. People dealing with repeated tonsillitis cases are also at risk of tonsil stones. Some of the symptoms of tonsil stones include;

  • Bad breath

    Bad breath is one of the most significant signs of tonsil stones. It is also known as halitosis. This condition results from the stones, which are nothing more than a collection of bacteria. Tonsil stones occur due to failure to brush your teeth. The bacteria buildup on the tongue and teeth gives off an odor and causes bad breath. If the bad breath persists even after regular teeth brushing and tongue cleaning, it might be a sign of tonsil stones.

  • White lumps

    The tonsil stone can appear at the back of the throat as a lump of solid white material. Tonsil stones are not always visible because they are often small. But, some tonsil stones can be big enough to be noticed by the naked eye at the back of the mouth. The white lumps are one of the most evident signs of tonsil stones. Yet, not all tonsil stones are big enough to be visible by the naked eye.

  • Sore throat

    Tonsil stones can lead to sore throats. It can be hard to figure out what is causing pain in the throat. The tonsil stone itself can result in pain and discomfort. Tonsil stones can potentially irritate the throat and result in a sore throat. It is not always easy to tell whether the sore throat is because of an infection or tonsil stones.

  • Swallowing Discomfort
  • The tonsil stone's location and size can result in difficulties swallowing. Individuals with tonsil stones might feel like something is obstructing the throat. And this makes eating and drinking difficult.
  • Swelling

    As the stone forms, it can result in reactions and changes in some people. And this can lead to inflammation or infections, which might result in your tonsil swelling.

  • Ear pain

    Tonsil stones can develop anywhere in the tonsil. Due to the shared nerve pathways, the tonsil stone pressing on a nerve can result in ear pain. Ear pain can occur even if the stone is not touching the ear. And this indicates that the tonsil stone is touching or blocking specific nerves that connect the ear and mouth.

  • Can You Remove Tonsil Stones with Water Flosser?

    A water flosser is specifically designed to help clean the teeth. Its primary purpose is to clean between the teeth and below the gum line, removing food debris and plaque. However, it can also serve another purpose well. A water flosser is also helpful in removing tonsil stones.

    With a Tuski Water Flosser, you can flush tonsil stones from your mouth. The water flosser will help prevent the development of tonsil stones. Using water picks for tonsil stones is a great way to get rid of the tonsil stones without going to the doctor.

    How to Remove Tonsil Stones with a Water Flosser?

    A water flosser uses a thin water pressure stream to remove debris and plaque from the teeth and gums. The tonsil crypts resemble the spaces between the gum and the teeth where the debris gets lodged. Just as a water flosser rids the teeth of this debris, it can also dislodge a tonsil stone. Using a water irrigator for tonsil stones is an excellent way of maintaining oral hygiene.

    Here is a helpful step-by-step method to use a water flosser for tonsil stones;

    1. First, set up a light and a mirror. A well-lit mirror makes it easier to see what you are doing. You will also get a clear view of the tonsil stone you are trying to dislodge.

    2. Fill up the water tank with lukewarm water. Some encourage adding one or two teaspoons of salt. Don't use salt because it can damage the water flosser. Avoid cold water because it is harsher on the softer tonsil tissue.

    3. Keep the water flosser on at the lowest pressure. When dealing with tonsil stones, starting at the lowest pressure possible is advisable. You can work your way up to a suitable pressure setting.

    4. Don’t turn it on right next to the tonsil. Instead, start from other mouth parts and move closer until the pressure is intense. Begin cleaning your tonsils by moving the water flosser up and down the affected area.

    5. Don’t aim directly onto the tonsil stone as this will push it back in. Try to move from the side. Stop flossing immediately if it hurts.

    6. Use the water flosser for about 10 to 30 seconds. The warm water will help loosen the bacteria in the crypts first. The pressure from the water flosser will nudge the tonsil stone outwards and push it out.

    7. Lean forward when it starts to come loose. That way, the tonsil stone won’t fall towards the back of the throat and cause a cough.

    8. Once the tonsil stones come off, gargle using a mouthwash. Gargling will help cleanse the mouth and remove the remaining dirt and bacteria lodged in the mouth.

    Other Tonsil Stones Treatment Options

    Using water flossers on tonsil stones is an excellent home remedy. Other treatment options can help deal with tonsil stones. These methods include;

  • Laser Tonsil Cryptolysis: A laser removes the crypts where the stones form. Laser tonsil cryptolysis releases the stones by smoothing the surface of the tonsil.

  • Coblation Tonsil Cryptolysis: This is another method of removing tonsil stones. It works by smoothening the surface of the tonsils. Instead of lasers, the smoothening process takes place by coblation. Charged ions get rid of the tonsil stones.

  • Tonsillectomy: This is the most invasive procedure to remove tonsil stones. It can also be considered the only way to cure tonsil stones completely.

  • Medication: Antibiotics can also help in removing tonsil stones. But you need to talk about this method with your dentist before use. Your dentist might prescribe a one-time injection or pills to take for several days. You must use all your medications to get rid of the tonsil stones.

  • Tim Gordon


    Jul 12, 2022

    Tim Gordon is a Chicago-based content writer and editor with 10+ years of experience in technical writing. Tim works closely with both B2C and B2B businesses to help them produce high-quality yet easy-to-digest professional content that provides value to users and educates them. Throughout his career, Tim has crafted blog posts, help guides, white papers, and user manuals in personal care, dental hygiene, wellness, patient education, and more.