Tonsils don’t get enough credit that they deserve. Even as one of the body’s first barrier against bacterial and viral infections, they seldom get the spotlight. These low-profile clusters of tissues reside on both sides of your throat, at the back of your tongue, and behind your nose. They work 24/7 while staying behind the scenes to shield you from nasty germs.
Sure, your tonsils can do well on their own, but this organ also suffers a painful irony–they can still get infected when exposed to contagion or upon contact with Streptococcal bacteria. Want to take extra precautions and be proactive in your health? Read on to discover simple ways to safeguard your tonsils.
Water is, indeed, life. But in this case, drinking plenty of fluids keeps your mouth moist, thus preventing bacteria from living in your oral cavity. A dry mouth is a place where bacteria thrive. The lack of saliva allows microbes to take shelter in plaque build-up and decaying teeth. Drinking your prescribed water intake maintains salivary flow. With enough saliva, acids produced by bacteria become neutralized, and bacterial growth is effectively hampered.
Proper oral hygiene
Your tonsils will have a harder time keeping the germs and bacteria at bay if your mouth is the ground zero of bacterial formation. To improve your mouth’s defenses against filthy microorganisms, a combination of flossing, mouthwash, and thorough brushing is highly recommended.
When brushing, aim your toothbrush bristles at a 45 degree angle to your gum line and make gentle circular strokes. You might be wondering, “What does brushing have to do with my tonsils?” Remember the tasty snack you had a while ago? Some of its remnants are still in the crevices of your teeth. Without flossing and frequent brushing, the scrumptious sandwich you had an hour ago might be the new headquarters of bacteria. Also, choosing an excellent anti-bacterial mouthwash goes a long way to helping keep your entire mouth clean.
Say no to Nicotine
If the repercussions of smoking to your lungs are not enough, maybe knowing the effects of tobacco on your tonsils might sway you. Cinamon, Goldfarb, and Marom of the International Archives of Otorhinolaryngology concluded that heavy smokers are more prone to chronic or recurrent tonsillitis plus the added risks of developing Peritonsillar abscesses or pus-filled tonsils.
Aside from making your teeth prone to bacterial build-up, tooth loss and discoloration, smoking irritates your tonsils–not just the two Palatine tonsils at the side of your throat. Pharyngeal tonsils (adenoids), located behind your nose, and lingual tonsils, situated behind your tongue, are equally affected when smoking. Your body’s immune system weakens as your lymphoid tissues making you more susceptible to bacterial infection. Think about your precious tonsils. Don’t make their job harder than it already is.
Book dental cleanings at least 2 a year
When was the last time you’ve booked a dental cleaning appointment? If you haven’t visited your family dentist for a thorough cleaning, your tonsils might be in grave danger. Brushing alone is not enough to shield your teeth from plaque build-up. Bacteria could be hiding in plain sight. In between your teeth, microbes could already be destroying your teeth while they take shelter in your cavities. As explained earlier, the more plaque and bacteria-riddled your teeth and mouth are, the greater risk you put your tonsils in.
Remember that while it’s simple to take care of your tonsils; brush, floss and gargle regularly, developing complications are equally easy. You’re not just doing this for your tonsils. The benefits of the habits mentioned let you have holistic oral health and a healthier life.