What pathogens cause tonsil stones? Are these pathogens transmittable through air? Is it possible that you might have got the tonsil stones from someone else? This is a question of whether tonsil stones are contagious or not. Read on to find out more.
Are tonsil stones contagious?
To a large extent, they are not contagious. This is because they are made up of a substance attached somewhere in your mouth. The substance, referred to as biofilm is your mouth’s bacteria and fungi
Well, to some extent they are certainly contagious and you can in turn transmit them to someone else..
Chances of direct contact with tonsil stones are however regarded as minimal but an activity that leads to an exchange of saliva with an affected person could raise the chances highly.
How would they get transmitted? The tonsil stones have to be dislodged from the crevices that hide them so that they can be transmitted across. This is a more direct version as compared to contracting the infectious agent such as the virus that caused the tonsil stones. With time, you too may have the tonsil stones.
Pathogens that have been known to cause tonsil stones include those that produce sulfur. These include sulfur bacterium, a group of bacteria that is able to metabolize sulfur and its compounds including hydrogen sulfide and thiosulfate both processes giving sulfate. Thiobacillus, Desulfovibrio desulficans, Thiothrix, Sulfolobus and some species of Chromatiaceae and Chlorobiacieae (The Editors of the Encyclopaedia Britannica and Sergey Nikolayevich Winogradsky). These bacteria are not common and may enter your body when water from springs and unpurified water from sewage recycles is taken.
Viruses that are known to cause tonsil stones includes the human papilloma virus, adenovirus and Epstein-Barr virus. These pathogens can be transmitted from one person to another via sharing spoons and forks that have not been thoroughly washed with an infected person, this, apart from deep kissing.
Another culprit cause is sharing toothbrushes with a person who has tonsilloliths. When it dawns on airborne transfer, studies show that the risk is not any greater than how other viruses can be transmitted and it is therefore possible through sneezing or breathing the same air as that of an affected individual.
You might have noticed that when some people speak, saliva may escape the mouth and this could land in the mouth of an adjacent person. It is worth realizing that the risk associated with transmission of viruses is much higher than that of the case of a bacterial infection.
Can tonsil stones be contagious through kissing or Orals
According to Health Guide HQ, tonsils should not raise much qualms even if you kissed a person who has them. Thought should however be given to the chance that the bacteria can be transmitted and stones can be complicated.
This is through deep kissing. While kissing is known to have benefits of pleasure, there are risks that are associated and transmission of pathogens that could cause tonsillitis has been identified as one downside of kissing. The Better Health Channel among many other health platforms agree with this.
There are a variety of pathogens that can be transmitted through kissing. Mayo Clinic finds that the common pathogens that have been implicated with tonsillitis and therefore tonsil stones. The most common cause being Streptococcus pyogenes and other types of strep, though less, can be transmitted through kissing. Viruses such as adenoviruses and Epstein – Barr virus can to be transmitted and in the recipient, cause tonsils that may exacerbated and cause tonsil stones. Now what about tonsil stones themselves?
Tonsil stones can too be contagious and this highly depends on what caused them in the first place. The biggest culprit to transmission of tonsil stones is that which has been caused by a virus known as the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). Therefore, it is possible for you to get the stones through deep kissing or orals.
How to prevent transmission of tonsil stones.
Good thing about tonsil stones and how they are transmitted, is that they can be prevented. According to a popular tonsil kit, TheraBreath, treatment is the best way to prevent spreading it. This particular product has had reviews of recuperation of tonsil stones in those who were affected.
Here are some things you could do to prevent transmission of tonsil stones:
- The mainstay of prevention of tonsil stones is treating them. Those with tonsil stones must have realized that the stones normally fall off alone. This might be the reason as to why they lead to choking and coughing thereof. You can remove the stones with the use of a toothbrush. Some people use cotton dip applicator. There are ways to loosen the stones and remove them easily mostly through home rinses. If all the methods fail, then go for the last option, surgical removal which may be accompanied by a tonsillectomy.
- Try avert the sharing of utensils such as spoons, forks and cups with an infected person. If you have to, then it would be prudent to wash them thoroughly. They could also be sterilized as another option to washing.
- Avoiding direct contact with a person who is infected including deep kissing and anything that could lead to exchange of saliva. Be wary of the fact that in some instances, a simple handshake could lead to transmission as the stones could lodge onto the fingers of the affected. This is however rare.
- Perform an investigation on your oral cavity if you suspect that you have tonsil stones. Do this by taking a cotton swab and look into the mirror. Gently prod the tonsils and try spreading and opening the crevices apart to reveal any stones if present. You will hopefully see them through this method and prevent transmission. They appear as white or yellow specks.