Tonsil Stones Removal

What Are Tonsil Stones?


Tonsil Stones Removal

Tonsil Stones & Removal

Tonsilloliths, often referred to as tonsil stones, are clusters of calcified material often collected in palatine tonsils.  Tonsilloliths are more common in cryptic tonsils, or tonsils with larger crevices. They are composed mostly of calcium, but may contain other minerals like phosphorus and magnesium, ammonia or carbonate. While generally not harmful, tonsil stones are often a nuisance. Many people with tonsil stones describe a feeling of having something stuck in their throat. These tonsilloliths, or tonsil stones, can cause chronic halitosis or bad breath. Before discussing how to get rid of tonsil stones, let’s examine their cause. Dr. Murray Grossan has invented an amazing little machine to assist in the removal of tonsil stones. He calls it the Hydro Pulse

The cause of Tonsilloliths is not known, but they are more common in adult than children. Removing tonsil stones is an obsession for many, and a lucrative business for others. A search of the term, “tonsil stones removal,” will probably lead readers to numerous vendors of products purporting to have the most effective tonsil stones removal and cure.

How to Get Rid of Tonsil Stones


Before spending money on tonsil stonesremoval, consider trying less expensive and less invasive methods of tonsil stone removal and prevention. It should be noted that no treatment at all may be needed. In cases where bad breath or discomfort become pronounced enough to affect quality of life, these treatments may be justified. There a several standard treatments currently available in the United States. A brief overview includes irrigation, curettage, laser, and tonsillectomy surgery.

Tonsil Stones Removal and Treatment


How to get rid of tonsil stones:
A simple method removing tonsil stones is to use an oral irrigator. Most electric irrigators are not recommended for tonsil stone removal. They are generally too powerful and are likely to cause damage the tonsils. This, in turn, can result in infection. Gargling with warm, salty water can help alleviate tonsil stones. Vigorous gargling daily can keep the tonsil crypts clear of tonsil stones.

Larger tonsil stones may require removal by curettage. Large lesions may require local excision. It should be noted that these treatments may not allieviate the bad breath often associated with tonsil stones
To decrease the surface area of the tonsils with a laser is also a tonsil stones treatment option. This procedure is called laser cryptolysis. This technique “flattens,” the edges of the crevices which can collect the debris. This can prevent material from collecting and forming Tonsilloliths.
Tonsillectomy may be necessary if problems due to Tonsilloliths persist, despite less invasive measures.

Below are several pictures of typical Tonsilloliths. While each person is unique, these photos represent fairly common Tonsillolith presentation. For those considering tonsillectomy surgery, pictures of post tonsillectomy throat, and even tonsils can be found on the tonsillectomy pictures page.

Since tonsillitis is also a common affliction among tonsilliloth sufferers, pictures of throats affected by tonsillitis are also displayed on the tonsillitis page.

More information about tonsillectomy recovery


One Person’s Story, From a reader:

Tonsil stones were the obvious cause of  my bad breath, as I learned while undergoing treatment of chronic tonsillitis., my doctor told me that I had tonsil stones or Tonsilloliths I had no idea what that was. Were tonsil stones like kidney stones? Were they like gall stones? I learned that they were neither. The disgusting occupants of my enlarged tonsils, that made it hard to swallow and gave me horrible breath were tonsil stones.

Tonsil stones or tonsilloliths are concentrations of white excrescences that develop in the tonsil’s many recesses. The anatomic composition of some people’s tonsils; their size as well as the presence of large crypts, can make people more susceptible to tonsil stones.

The excrescences are made of bacteria, mucous and dead cells that have hardened. This happens most often with folks who, like me, have chronic tonsillitis, and cryptic tonsils. By cryptic I mean tonsils that have pockets or crevices in which particles can accumulate. These are normal but some people’s tonsils are more cryptic than others’. This leaves them more susceptible to tonsil stones.

Removing tonsil stones or tonsilloliths is tricky.  They don’t always present with obvious symptoms, but during my treatment of tonsillitis the doctor did see a white spot on one of my tonsils. I didn’t have the horrible bad breath many people with tonsil stones have. The stench is actually caused by an accumulation of sulfur compounds and most people who have stones or tonsilloliths have this high level of sulfur in their breath.

The tonsillitis that I suffered from brought sore throats, which is another symptom of tonsil stones, as is difficulty in swallowing. I always associated my difficulty in swallowing with the tonsillitis flare ups.

Tonsilloliths may also manifest symptoms in the form of referred pain in the ear. This means that the ear feels the pain of the tonsil stone, even though it’s nowhere near it. This is because the tonsils and the ears share the same nerve pathways. Another symptom of tonsil stones is swelling. The swollen tonsils can interfere with breathing.

Maybe I did have symptoms of tonsil stones? At any rate, my doctor decided that the tonsils, which had bedeviled me for years, had to go.  For me, tonsillectomy was the best treatment. Check with your ear nose and throat specialist before removing tonsil stones.


There is an amazing amount of information floating around the internet about tonsil stones removal and treatment.  If you dig into them, you’ll learn that most sites are trying to sell products to mask the symptoms of tonsil stones but profess to be treatments or cures.


Treatments for tonsil stones are actually rather limited. I’ve seen countless videos about removing them.  Some recommend downright dangerous methods.  Be careful about what you put down your throat.  That applies to the elixirs being hawked on the internet as well.  Read the ingredients carefully and don’t waste money on a product that is probably no better for your throat, maybe much worse, than a simple solution of warm saltwater.  Gargling with warm water and baking soda is an inexpensive, safe home remedy for all manner of throat irritations and bad breath.  Most internet marketers won’t tell you this.  How much money could they make selling a box of Arm and Hammer baking soda?

Short of tonsillectomy surgery, it’s doubtful that these over the counter treatments will be successful in long term treatment of tonsil stones.


If you have a success story about tonsil stones treatment or cure, please post it under comments and questions section below.  We want your your input!  Thanks, -Greg Tooke 

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70 Comments on "Tonsil Stones Removal"

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February 13, 2012 11:23 am

Is is necessary to get your tonsils removed just because you have tonsil stones? They give me horrible breath, and it is causing intimate problems between my husband and I.

June 4, 2012 10:30 pm

I am having the same problem. They are the most disgusting thing and my husband says it makes my breathe smell like a dead body (GASP!). Who wants to be near that. It has made me so self-conscious. I was originally scheduled for surgery last winter, but we ended up moving (military). I finally went to my new ent doc last week and am currently waiting to schedule surgery to pop these things out. The way I figure, it is one less issue to worry about later down the road. I can’t imagine being 70 and having to squeeze those disgusting things out. I’m 29 and am so over dealing with them daily. Good luck!

February 2, 2012 7:37 pm

Wow, is that what you had too? I never had alot of stones (like the photo above). I found one about 20 years ago and from that day forward, I became an expert at removing them. That lead for me to start looking for them. Most of the time, there was no visible stone at all but I could feel it and taste it. Sure enough, when I started poking around, one would pop out. I have several other friends who have them too. I’ve heard them say, I haven’t seen a stone in years . . . yeah neither did I but they were still in there.

May 3, 2013 12:38 pm

Did you end up ever deciding to get the surgery or not? I’m in the same boat as you are. I feel like I’m in mild to moderate pain every single day of my life because of my tonsils, at some point, maybe 2 weeks of bad pain will be worth it. I’m on the fence!

February 6, 2013 8:40 am

I can tell ya now it’s not “white bread & cheese” as you already know. I have Celiac disease and am gluten free so no white bread for me and I developed tonsil stones after I went GF.

I recently had a tonsillectomy for my constant stones and I am glad I did. Yes the surgery is dramatic and very painful, for a couple weeks but the rest of your life no more stones. I won’t lie and say it wasn’t hell cause it was but even noe at 13 days out of surgery and still in some pain, I don’t regret it at all. 13 days without stones!!!

February 20, 2013 5:55 pm

Did it work for the tonsil stones? I’ve been suffering from stinky breath for 3 years because of that!! :(

February 6, 2013 8:28 am

I am on day 13 of recovery from my tonsillectomy for tonsil stones. Although I am in utter hell right now I don’t regret it. The pain of tonsillectomy is mind blowing & last a really long time. But you no longer have that feeling that something is stuck in your throat, and your breath is better instantly. Tonsillectomy is soooo worth it!!

December 19, 2012 11:53 am

I love your site. So informative and so true. I’ve had tonsil stones for as long as I can remember, but they got worse after I had my nose done (polyps and deviated septum). I couldn’t bear the thought of pushing the stones out of my tonsils every couple of days for the rest of a stinky life (they really do stink). So I’ve had a tonsillectomy. I felt a bit bad because I never really get tonsilitis, but just have chronic tonsillitis. The Dr did say they were pretty icky and hard to get out so that made me think they can’t have looked great. He also had me on a course of antibiotics for a week. The surgery is hard, but I’m looking forward to not feeling like a cat with a hair ball or being concerned about my stinky breath.
Really, thanks so much for your site.

November 21, 2012 1:35 pm

Hi Greg and everyone- I want to thank Greg first for creating this site!

I first suffered tonsil stones when I was a kid, and then for years I’d only have one occasionally, noticing it only when I coughed one out of my mouth. About a year ago I began to get them more regularly. Sometimes it seems like I’d remove one (with a dental tool or the blunt end of my toothbrush) and in just a few days they would be back. They only happen on the right tonsil, where it is clear I have some rather visible and deep crypts. I think I wake up with a mild sore throat most days and I suspect this has been the case for years, but I just didn’t think much of it.

Last spring I had a bad bout of tonsil stones for several months, experienced the sensation of a clogged Eustachian tube and some random, but thankfully very brief, ear pain on that side. I sought my doctor’s help, but he gave me the “white bread and cheese” line, which I knew couldn’t be right, as I really don’t each much of either, and could NOT eat those things and still develop stones. I saw an ENT and she said she could remove the tonsils, but to think carefully about if I wanted to go through the pain of surgery. Still thinking about it.

After reading the information here, I will begin a regular regime of salt&baking soda gargles. I’d rather avoid the surgery, but I’m tired of the frequent, mild-to-moderate, throat and ear pain I experience. Thankfully the bad breath issue doesn’t seem to be a huge issue for me…

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