Tonsil stones are an embarrassing problem. They can cause tons of discomfort, and they are hard to get rid of. It’s also difficult to find tonsil stones treatments that will actually work for everyone.
Probiotics are taking center stage with so many strains of bacteria becoming antibiotic-resistant. It helps your immunity and protects your mouth from harmful bacteria that may cause a biofilm, such as tonsil stones.
And now that the availability of probiotics has grown, tonsil stones have been a focus among several medical studies with some new data that suggest they may help reduce tonsil stones.
Here are the 5 best probiotics for tonsil stones that actually work:
- Lactobacillus reuteri
- Lactobacillus salivarius
- Streptococcus salivarius K12
- Streptococcus salivarius M18
- Lactobacillus paracasei
These probiotics improve oral health and inhibit anaerobic bacteria responsible for tonsil stones and halitosis. Keep reading as I explore all of these probiotics, known and proven for their effects on maintaining oral health and inhibiting the bacteria that cause tonsil stones.
How Do Probiotics Affect Tonsil Stone Formation?
Probiotics play an important role in eliminating tonsil stone formation. By increasing the presence of beneficial bacteria, probiotic supplements help to crowd out tonsillolith-forming pathogens and reduce biofilm buildups on your tonsils that can lead to tonsil stones.
Tonsil stones are not a static mass but are instead a living biofilm, modern clinical studies have found. An imbalance in your oral microbial community may lead to the development of an oral disease that results from pathogenic biofilms such as those found in tonsil stones.
Harmful bacteria may adhere to your tonsils and form a complex community with a protective layer that protects the bacteria from your natural defenses as well as antibiotic medications. Such pathogenic bacteria include:
- Streptococcus mutans
- Schaalia odontolyticus
- Staphylococcus hominis
- Enterobacter cloacae.
Probiotics benefit your oral microbiota and aid them in fighting potential diseases and tonsil stones. These living microorganisms help protect your body from potentially harmful pathogenic organisms that enter the body through the nose, mouth, or throat.
Thus oral probiotics form the first line of defense for bacteria that enter the mouth or throat.
Can Probiotics Help Tonsil Stones?
Research is still in its early stages, but there are tonsil stones studies that show the effectiveness of oral probiotics for treating tonsil stone symptoms, such as bad breath.
In the water treatment industry, certain types of bacteria are used in wastewater to eliminate anaerobic bacteria – and the same concept can be applied to tonsil stones.
Probiotics compete with and resist harmful bacteria in the mouth associated with several serious health problems in the human body. These microorganisms protect your oral health and prevent pathogenic biofilms such as tonsil stones.
Primarily, they improve the body to produce natural defenses in the oral cavity to prevent pathogenic microorganisms.
Probiotics achieve this by:
- The secretion of antimicrobial substances such as hydrogen peroxide and organic acids
- Competing with harmful bacteria for adhesion to the mucus membranes in the mouth
- Improving oral health and regulating pH and oxidation-reduction potential, making it difficult for harmful bacteria to establish themselves
- Improving immunity and immune response of the host
So let’s take a look at the 5 probiotics that can help tonsil stones and tonsilloliths.
1. Lactobacillus Reuteri
Lactobacillus reuteri (L. reuteri) is a lactic acid bacteria with antimicrobial properties. L. reuteri produces organic acids, ethanol, and reuterin that inhibits pathological microbes from colonizing the oral cavity. This beneficial probiotic changes the microbiome of the human mouth and improves host immunological functions.
By inhibiting pathogenic bacteria from thriving in the mouth, L. reuteri reduces the incidence of harmful bacteria causing tonsil stone formation and improves general oral health. One usually finds the L. reuteri in combinations with other probiotics in over-the-counter probiotic treatments.
Otherwise, you can introduce more of this beneficial probiotic through:
- Cheeses such as cheddar Gruyére and Grana Padano
- Fermented foods
2. Lactobacillus Salivarius
Lactobacillus salivarius (L. salivarius) is a type of bacteria found in your saliva which metabolizes carbohydrates to produce organic acids such as acetic and lactic acid. These acids function to inhibit pathogenic bacterial growth and other disease-causing microorganisms. L. salivarius also produces antimicrobial substances such as hydrogen peroxide, which kills off harmful bacteria in the mouth.
Although L. salivarius generally takes supplement form, you may access the probiotic in the following food:
- Fermented fruit and vegetables
3. Streptococcus Salivarius K12
Streptococcus salivarius K12 (S. salivarius) is an oral probiotic strain that inhibits bacterial biofilm development in the human mouth. It mainly inhibits Stattacchocus mutans, which causes oral ill-health and bacteria that cause upper respiratory tract diseases. S. salivarius K12 also produces antimicrobial peptides that aid in treating tonsillar infections and prevent halitosis.
In a clinical study, researchers found that K12 effectively reduces bacterial growth associated with halitosis, a typical side effect of tonsil stones. By decreasing the volatile sulfur compounds produced by bacterial action, K12 improves breath malodor. S.salivarius also has certain anti-fungal qualities.
You find the K12 in supplement form of access it naturally in food such as:
- Fermented fruits and vegetables
4. Streptococcus Salivarius M18
Streptococcus salivarius M18 (S.M18) is a bacterium found in the typical human oral microflora, mainly on the teeth and tongue. S.M18 binds to the tongue’s surface and releases antibacterial products into the saliva called bacteriocins that inhibit colonizing pathogens.
S.M18 works to recolonize your mouth with good bacteria to crowd out pathogenic bacteria and inhibit colonization. When tonsil stones are in early formation, they adhere to the tonsil cavity and invite bacterial biofilm formation. Probiotics such as M18 improve your mouth and tonsil defenses against such bacterial invasions.
You can get these oral probiotic supplements by Naturewise, which are available on Amazon and contain these specific strains.
5. Lactobacillus Paracasei
Lactobacillus paracasei (L. paracasei) is a gram-positive lactic acid bacteria typically found in fermented dairy and probiotic cultures. This probiotic shows an inhibitory action on Streptococcus mutans which is responsible for oral ill-health such as tooth decay. Studies have linked the L. paracasei with the production of paracasein SD1, which is a protein with antimicrobial benefits.
You may find L. paracasei in foods such as:
- Naturally fermented vegetables
It has never been a better time to start thinking about a probiotic supplement for your oral health with so many drug-resistant bacteria emerging each day. When used alone or in multi-strain combinations, probiotics can help your body protect itself from pathogenic bacteria. If your oral biome is balanced, you are less likely to suffer from health conditions such as tonsil stones.
Tonsil stones occur due to many different factors, including poor oral hygiene and lifestyle habits such as smoking and drinking. Thankfully, probiotics can help to improve your immunity and thus prevent tonsil stones.