What Are The Causes Of Tonsil Infection?

The tonsils are lymph nodes that are located at the back of the throat. Their primary function is to combat infection causing bacteria and viruses that enter the body through the mouth. This very function is what makes tonsils so vulnerable to infection.

Most often, an infection is the result of a virus. Common viruses that result in tonsillitis (the medical term for a tonsil infection) include:

  • The Influenza virus or flu virus.
  • Parainfluenza viruses.
  • Adenoviruses or Rhinovirus which also causes the common cold.
  • Herpes Simplex Virus that often results in cold sores or fever blisters.
  • Enteroviruses.
  • Epstein-Barr Virus.
  • Synctial Virus.
  • Coronavirus more commonly known as the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) virus.

Bacterial causes of tonsillitis inlcude:

  • Streptococcus Pyogenes which is the same bacteria that causes strep throat and is the most common bacterial cause of tonsil infection. Strep throat is often accompanied by tonsillitis and vise versa.
  • Staphylococcus aureus is common cause of different types of infection in the body.
  • Mycoplasma Pneumonia and Chlamydia Pneumonia which are common causes of upper and lower respiratory tract infections as well as pneumonia.
  • Bordetella pertussis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Fusobacterium.

Whether an infection is viral or bacterial, the body is normally able to eliminate tonsillitis within a few days (normally the condition resolves on it’s own within 10 days). Although the condition is rarely serious, an infection can become severe or endure and may require treatment.

These aren’t necessarily the causes for all tonsil infections. For example, poor oral hygiene, smoking and not drinking enough water are what causes tonsil stones.


It is easier to treat and eliminate a bacterial infection with a course of antibiotics than it is to combat a viral infection. Antiviral medications as well as symptomatic treatment for pain and inflammation are often prescribed for the treatment of viral tonsillitis.

Home remedies such as gargling apple cider vinegar, chewing on garlic and drinking chamomile tea are good treatments for tonsil stones. They may not be as effective as medically prescribed medications but they are well worth taking.

Strengthening the body’s own immune system can go a long way towards preventing tonsil stones and tonsillitis. Antibacterial mouthwash, sprays or lozenges can also help reduce the likelihood of contracting tonsillitis as well as assisting in recovery.

The condition may also be caused by a secondary infection such as sinusitis or rhinitis which results in the tonsils becoming inflamed and sensitive to infection. Allergies like hay fever can also irritate the tonsils making them more prone to infection.

Tonsillitis resulting from a virus or bacteria is highly contagious. This means that it is transmittable from one person to another and this is the most likely way that tonsillitis is spread.


In severe cases or where infection is recurring, removal of the tonsils may be recommended. This procedure is called a tonsillectomy and is normally performed after 7 cases of tonsillitis. Due to strep throat being such a common side effect or cause of tonsil infections, 5 cases may also be sufficient cause for a tonsillectomy.

It is important to note that although tonsils are the first line of defense against bacteria and viruses entering the body, they are not entirely necessary. Therefore, when tonsils get infected regularly or severely, it is often considered to be of greater benefit to have them removed.

One of the primary risks of a tonsillectomy is extreme bleeding. Inflammation and infection of the tonsils increases this risk. It is therefore often necessary to undergo treatment to eliminate an infection before a tonsillectomy can be performed. Most often, healthy tonsils are removed through surgery, cauterization, laser removal or sound waves.


Recurring tonsil stones or tonsillitis can cause strain on the immune system. An extreme infection can result in difficulty swallowing and breathing. These are definitive indicators that the tonsils need to be removed.

In rare cases, one extreme infection may be reason enough to have the tonsils removed as soon as possible. It is important to visit a doctor for recurring tonsil infections or where tonsillitis does not resolve on its own within a few days.

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How You Can Treat Gingivitis At Home

Gingivitis is something that you need to treat as soon as possible because of the major problems that it can create. Fortunately, there are a number of different ways that you can treat gingivitis at home without the use of expensive products.

Of course, it is important to note that not all treatments will work for you and you should try a number of them or see your dentist if the treatment does not work.

Using Salt Water

One of the oldest treatments for gingivitis is to use salt water. This is actually very good at treating gingivitis and a study done in 2016 showed this. The study found that the use of salt water heals the gums and reduces the inflammation caused by gingivitis. This is due to the fact that salt water is a natural disinfectant.

Salt water has also been proven to help ease the pain of gingivitis and help to reduce the bacteria in the mouth. Salt water will also help to remove particles of food from the mouth. Bad breath has also been found to be reduced when salt water is used.

In order to create an effective sale water rinse, you will need to mix around half a teaspoon of salt with a glass of lukewarm water. You should then take a mouthful of the solution and swish it around the mouth for approximately 30 seconds.

You then need to spit the solution out and never swallow this. This rinse should be repeated 2 to 3 times a day to effectively treat gingivitis. It can also be used to treat tonsil infections as well!

When using salt water, it is important to note that using it too often or too long will have negative effects on the enamel of your teeth. Long-term salt water use will cause the teeth to erode the teeth because of the acidity. The removal of all the bacteria in the mouth is also not very beneficial to the mouth and you need to consider this.

Lemongrass Oil Mouthwash

Another mouthwash that is very helpful in treating gingivitis is a lemongrass oil mouthwash. A study done in 2015 found that this mouthwash is actually better than traditional mouthwashes at reducing plaque and gingivitis.

This mouthwash can easily be made at home.

To make this mouthwash, you will need to dilute 2 to 3 drops of lemongrass essential oil in a glass of water. You should then tap a mouthful of this solution and rinse your mouth for 30 seconds.

The solution should then be spit out and the rinse repeated 2 to 3 time per day to treat gingivitis.

It is important to note that lemongrass oil is considered safe to use. However, it is a potent essential oil and will always need t be diluted before use. The level of dilution will vary depending on your tolerance, but you should never use more than 3 drops per cup of water.

Aloe Vera Mouthwash

A study done in 2016 found that an aloe vera mouthwash was just as effective in treating gingivitis as traditional chlorhexidine mouthwash. The aloe vera mouthwash showed significant reductions in the symptoms of gingivitis.

One of the benefits of the aloe vera mouthwash is the fact that aloe vera juice does not need to be diluted. However, you will need to ensure that the juice you use is 100% natural and pure.

To use this mouthwash, you will need to swish the juice for 30 seconds. You should then spit the juice out and never swallow this. This rinse should also be repeated 2 to 3 times per day to reduce plaque and gingivitis.

When you buy the juice for this mouthwash, you need to ensure that you are getting it from a reputable source. You should also follow the instructions on the label. It is important to note that some people have an allergic reaction to aloe vera and if you have this you should not continue using the mouthwash.

Tea Tree Oil Mouthwash

The bleeding which is caused by gingivitis can be greatly reduced with the use of a tea tree oil mouthwash. This was shown in a 2014 study into this treatment. In order to use this mouthwash, you will need to have pure and organic tea tree essential oil.

To create your mouthwash, you need to use 3 drops of tea tree essential oil in a cup of warm water. You should then swish a mouthful of the solution for 3 seconds before spitting this out. The rinse needs to be repeated 2 to 3 times per day to get the best results.

When you are brushing your teeth, you may also want to include a drop of tea tree oil. If you are going to be using this oil for the first time, you need to dilute it first. A high concentration of the oil can cause irritation, rash, and mild burning. Tea tree oil can also cause interactions with certain herbs and medication.

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Solution For Tonsil Infections

If you’re prone to tonsil infections, you’re already looking for a solution for tonsil infections. There are many to choose from that don’t involve having to go in and have your tonsils removed.

These remedies are probably best suited to infections like tonsillitis. If you’re dealing with tonsil stones, for example, then you’re likely going to have to use different solutions. These, below, may be effective but others will be more so.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar in its organic form has the “mother” still in it. This is the good bacteria that help to heal your body. The “mother” will make the apple cider vinegar look cloudy or as if it has something swirling about in the bottle. It should also read “organic” on the label or “mother intact”.

Add one to two tablespoons of the organic apple cider vinegar to half a cup of warm water and gargle with it several times per day. Also, add one to two tablespoons of the organic apple cider vinegar to another half cup of water and drink this one to three times per day.

This remedy would not only help with tonsillitis but will also help you get rid of throat stones as well and possibly even gingivitis.

Salt Water

Mix one to two teaspoons of salt into a glass of warm water and gargle with this several times per day. Make sure to get the salt all over the tonsils.

This does a few different things, it removes the bacteria that are in and around the tonsils which are making you sick, it also helps to dislodge any bits of food, tonsil stones and other debris that the tonsils catch.

Zinc And Vitamin C

After choosing one or both of the above gargles, be sure that you’re taking plenty of zinc and vitamin C. Your body needs these to help ward off any viruses that may be lurking.

You can suck on lozenges of zinc and vitamin C several times per day to help ease your symptoms and speed healing. It will help with irritated tonsils and sore throats as well. You can also choose juice products that have zinc and vitamin C added for more ways of getting it into your system.


Choose some juice popsicle and soothe those tonsils. Sucking on the popsicle’s will cool the throat and the natural juice will give you more vitamins to fight off infections.

Avoid cream popsicles that may have milk in them and try to avoid sugary types that have no nutritional value.

Avoid Milk Products

Sore throats, tonsil issues, and milk products don’t get along well. Avoid drinking milk products, eating soups that may have milk products added to them and remember to do this for the entire time you’re ill.

Some people do eat a good yogurt that has the good bacteria (probiotics) in it to help relieve some of the symptoms. It’s up to you and how your body reacts to the yogurt. For some, it will be very helpful.


Combining the above-mentioned methods as a solution for tonsil stones, tonsillitis and other tonsil infections will go far in helping to ease your symptoms and heal your tonsils.

Typically these will all give relief to the condition within a few days and in many cases, just a few short hours. Be patient, you didn’t get sick overnight and you likely won’t get well overnight either.

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