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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July 14, 2014 9:31 am

Hello all. I’ve been battling tonsil stones for the last 10 years – which have been the source of my chronic bad breath. Having tried every product known to man that claims to rid & prevent future occurrences of tonsil stones, I am at wit’s end. Although my stones haven’t affected as drastic as most (like swollen tonsils or sore throat), they are tarnishing my social life because I am super subconscious of others reactions- holding their breath and constant nose rubbing, I have made the decision to remove my tonsils. The problem is finding an ENT willing to take them out. I’ve visited & consulted.with 3 doctors- expressed my concerns, shown video footage of the stones while removing them but they all stated I’m fine and the risk s of removing the tonsils are life threatening. Any input from those that have had tonsillectomy- please share your experience- the procedure, healing and recovery period.

October 28, 2014 9:19 am

Hi Alex,

I am in the same boat as you. I noticed my tonsil stones in high school and have been sooo self conscious about my breath for like 10 years. I suffer from mucous drip and sore throat but the main reason i wanted a tonsillectomy was to permanently remove the tonsil stones so I won’t be worried about bad breath. My parents and friends thought I was crazy and everyone claimed they never smelled it, but if I could taste the nastyness in my mouth I know people could smell it. I would constantly chew gum. I told my ent all of this and he was totally fine with taking my tonsils out. But if you’re not finding luck, I would suggest exaggerating and telling them you have really bad sore throats and get sinus infections all the time. I also told my ent that. Good luck! So happy to see other people have struggled with this and I’m not crazy. Got mine out 6 days ago. Not gonna lie it’s been rough. Can’t eat cant sleep can’t shit but I’m slowly seeing improvement.

February 11, 2015 9:30 pm

I just got mine out today! Why can’t you sleep?

July 14, 2014 4:09 pm

I had mine out because of infections more than tonsil stones, but I’m SO GLAD I don’t have the tonsil stones anymore. It is a rough recovery, but I’m glad I did it. My ENT told me she was considering getting her tonsils removed because of the stones – like you, she doesn’t get sick. Passing that on for what it’s worth. There are risks to the surgery for sure – read the accounts on this site to get a sense for them.

July 14, 2014 10:13 am

Hi Alex – I had tonsil stones too that lead to bad infections and swollen tonsils. I got a coblation tonsillectomy 1 year ago at age 25 and life is so much better now! The recovery for me was pretty easy with minimal pain which I contribute to the coblation method. Good luck, I hope you find a doctor that understands. If you live in Chicago I can give you a recommendation.

August 28, 2014 3:36 am

I live in Chicago and would like some referrals can’t find docs in Chicago that do the coblation method, strike that did find one plastic surgeion ENT but would like your recommendation.

January 22, 2014 5:12 pm

I have had tonsil stones for years without realizing what they were until recently. I could always tell the difference between tonsillitis and a regular sore throat/cold because a the tonsillitis would cause the same funny taste in the back of my throat. I’ve always had a post nasal drip and have had chronic sinusitis and tonsillitis for over a decade. I have noticed over the past year that cutting out milk/dairy has minimized my post nasal drip and lessened how many tonsil stones I get. Also, I would get more tonsil stones if I ate foods that have allergens in them (for me, I’m allergic to soy and all its derivatives as well several other foods that are difficult to avoid completely).
I’m from the generation where drs stopped taking tonsils out of kids and now, as an adult, I’ve just had a tonsillectomy yesterday. I’m hoping that it will solve the chronic throat pain and the feeling of always having rocks lodged in my throat. Already I’ve noticed an improvement in morning breath – before the surgery, I would have bad breath within 5-10 min of brushing my teeth. And I couldn’t chew gum or eat many mints because most brands contain soy lecithin which I’m allergic to. I was in constant fear that someone would be offended by my breath.

suzanne amerson
September 30, 2013 10:09 am

one more question – has anyone been kept overnight??

May 5, 2014 12:27 am

I was kept overnight, because my stitches ripped out on the left side and I had to be put back under. They kept me overnight to make certain that i stayed in bed for the next 18 hours and didn’t exert myself.