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 

73 thoughts on “Tonsil Stones Removal”

  1. Its a fairly common surgery. My doctor removed tonsils because of stones all the time. I got mine removed cause of stones but also swollen tonsils and pain. But he would have taken them out for just stones too. In any surgery there are risks but my doctor assured me he does them everyday. Before mine were taken at 1015 am he had already removed 3 other patients tonsils, so like I said very common surgery. If they won’t remove them for just the stones maybe tell them they have been causing u some pain for a while. Or tell them how many stones you are removing by your self each day maybe you have chronic stones and they will remove them if it’s and unusual amount. I was able to remove like 8 a day😷😷
    As for recovery today is day two. And I’m feeling okkay. I know I’m not at the worst pain yet. But I do have some discomfort. No ear pain yet, but that comes on like day 4-6

  2. I’ve had tonsil stones since I was about 7 years old. I had no idea what they were at that time, I’d only cough them up and I remember thinking they were corn even if I hadn’t ate corn in a while😂 I had seen my dr.s partner as a kid and she wanted to refer me to an ent to talk about removing my cryptic tonsils back then but my doctor disagreed. Fast forward 12 years now I’m 19 and was removing about 8 stones every other day from my throat. I also had sore throats and was getting strep a few times a year. I just got my tonsils removed yesterday due to the fact that I had a large amount of stones and they were causing me pain and discomfort. I didn’t get really bad breath but I also brushed my teeth three times a day to help over come that. Initially I was just going to live with the stones but having a sore throats for a whole month isn’t fun😞 I’m really wary in the game for recovery pain to say much. Although during day one I’ve been able to eat mac and cheese apple sauce cottage cheese popcicles, and breakfast drinks. It doesn’t hurt super bad, just enough to not want to miss the pain med. I have a humidifier next to my bed, however being a broke college student I picked up a cheap one from Walmart and am not sure if it’s doing much to help.

  3. My 17 yr old old has the same problem I knew they would not remove he’s tonsils for bad breath reasons , so I lied I told him he constantly had sore throat and inflammation of he’s tonsils for yrs. Even though he never did, the Dr approved he’s tonsilectomy that same visit and a week later he’s tonsils were removed, it is very painful for 2 weeks but a lifetime of no insecurity about he’s breath is worth it.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Sweet_nothing. Sorry, the respond buttons dont work for some reason. Yes he used coblation. Im really hoping that this doesnt turn into the horror stories i have read about, my pain would have to be rated at a 1 right now. So far i can drink and swallow just fine, staying on top of my meds, liquid Lortab every 4 hours. Had some creamy tomato bisque that was chunkier than i expected but ate it with no problem. I am already overjoyed, even with the back of my throat looking like it does, that horrible taste is gone! And im sure the smell is too.

  12. Thanks for your response 🙂 As I feared the antibiotics were only a temporary solution. My surgery is now scheduled for July 18th. Glad to hear your first day is going well. It will all be worth it! Please keep us updated on your progress. Did you get the coblation method?

  13. Well the response buttons arent working? So i will just type a new one, Sweet_nothing, my ENT did put me on antibiotics initially. His aim was to stem the flow of post nasal drip, but like i asked him, antibiotics wont do anything for the build up that is already there! The only thing the antibiotics did was bring the swelling in my lymph nodes down. So my surgery was actually rescheduled twice, and I just had them out this morning! So far so good, i can swallow find, and am in a little discomfort but no real pain, yet. Im SOOOOOO happy this is done, and looking forward to getting the next two weeks outa the way, and on with my LIFE!! =)

  14. Derek…you Superman! I must say that good for you that it went well with the whole process. However, it is not right that you base and assume that other people’s experiences written on here are because they had crappy surgeons or are not as smart as you following advice from your network of friends and acquaintances ONLY. Every single person reacts to surgery in different ways. I did many things along the way ( on 10th day now) despite the pain and all because I had to. I have an excellent surgeon but I still listen to my body’s needs and what it can and cannot do. With the wound in my throat in mind, I ate with caution and improvised on some but did what I can to satisfy myself and whatever taste bud I may have that time. Took my meds as I should and rested when I wanted to or…read, listen to music, whatever suited my fancy. There were times I was not sleepy but the pain was unbearable so I laid down , closed my eyes, and waited for the pain meds to kick in. When they did, I was up and about again. Food and meds-wise, your sure cure won’t work here as some of those meds are not even approved here. I hate diluted juices and yard work. Your suggested food…not my taste.What I am saying is, I do the best I can to what is available to me and how my body is doing and reacting to the painful experience. I am certain the others on this site have different versions of my experience. Bashing does not mean it strengthens your argument that you are right but rather emphasizes how little you know of the whole spectrum of this surgical procedure’s after-effect. Just fyi, both my parents are surgeons, my sister is a dietitian, and older brother is a chemist. Add to that other family members and friends in the medical field. I get enough advice from all of them but in the end, it’s my body and my pain so I deal with it as I see fit. Cheers!

  15. 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!

  16. I just did a 1 month round of antibiotics, so far I’ve been okay, it has only been a week though. I think once they come back, I’ll get the surgery. Not sure if a lifetime of antibiotics is what I really want to do – especially since the antibiotics mess up my stomach.

    Did the antibiotics make your tonsils less cryptic?

  17. Did you ever try antibiotics before getting your tonsils out to treat the tonsil stones? My ENT put me on antibiotics for a month, I’ve been off them now for a week and haven’t had any problems. I feel like it’s only a matter of time before they return though and I’ll be facing surgery.

  18. I had my tonsils removed on April 17 and I had tonsil stones. I can relate to what you are saying. They cause a lot of issues. Good luck with your surgery!

  19. I see a lot of post about people unsure weather or not tonsil stones are reason enough to get them removed…. YES!! If your ENT wont do it, FIND A NEW ONE! My saga goes back a couple years, starting with eye infections, dry eye, ear aches in my left ear with no resolution (antibiotics/steroids didnt do anything, for either eyes or ears) with the symptoms subsiding on their own, turning into chronic nasal congestion and post nasal drip. When you live with something like that for years, abnormal becomes normal, and you forget what normal is. I finally started suspecting post nasal drip when i started hearing the under their breath comments about my breath ,the horrible taste in my mouth, having bad breath right after i brushed my teeth, constantly swallowing, feeling like something was stuck in the back of my throat. I would look back there and see NOTHING! Unlike many of the pictures on this sight and many others out there… it was a mystery to me whether or not I actually had post nasal drip, and after some research, tonsil stones. Until one day about 6 months ago I came across a website saying irrigation was the best method for the removal of tonsil stones, so, having a water pick, turned down to the lowest setting, i stuck it back there. What followed was the most disgusting experience of my life, for 2 FULL hours i irrigated my left tonsil, and had a constant flow of stones coming out.My left tonsil was always a little bigger than my right, and after irrigating shrunk to about half its size. Then the right side for 2 hours, until no more came out. I say again, i could not SEE any of this build up, but it was there. I really dont understand how people stick their fingers back there without gagging themselves to death. So that confirmed it, and i thought for a while that maybe i had got all of it… I would check my breath right after brushing, and it would be ok for once! for a while…. so begins the obsessive compulsive irrigation of my tonsils, twice a day, constantly stressing, worrying, I am a very outgoing confident person until this, now I cant look people in the eyes when talking, coming up with strategies for not having to talk to someone face to face, messing with things in my hands, on and on. By this point I have already secluded myself from any normal friendships, dating, i am divorced 4 years and have not dated since. The final straw was two weeks ago, when during my compulsive irrigation, i hit another pocket of stones and a bunch came out. After that, i could taste it for a whole week. That was enough, I finally convinced myself that I had enough of a problem to go see an ENT. (I DONT go to doctors, or the hospital, unless i am dying or have broken bones, even then i have avoided it, lol) The ENT was rather dismissive, he looked back there and said “I dont see anything out of the ordinary…” i described my saga, and he half listened, but then was very quick to say he would remove them, BUT, the pain and recovery blah blah blah. I was quick to say I had done my research and new full well what i was getting into, and wanted them OUT!! He prescribed me antibiotics in the mean time, my lymph nodes have been swollen for YEARS, although i didnt know that, because it seemed “normal.” I only noticed it after the antibiotics kicked in, and he also suggested nasal irrigation (great, more irrigation) and a nasal spray. He agreed that the cause of my stones is probably my post nasal drip. Regardless of weather or not the post nasal drip is resolved, i will remove my tonsils. The social impact this has had on me is tremendous. I am scheduled to have them removed the 8th of may in 2 weeks. Dont feel bad that the only reason you want your tonsils removed is stones. Dont feel bad because your tonsils arent swollen like golf balls, or look like aliens in the back of your throat. Dont take an ENT’s reluctance to remove them as the best route to take, THEY dont have to live your reality. Sorry, kind of long winded, but if this helps just one person out there in my same situation, to take that step to resolve this issue, it is well worth it. Wish me luck, i will post my removal experience here as well.

  20. I am on liquid codine only and today (day 2) is worse than day 1. Lots more flem and I cant wait to take the pain meds again. Also notice some aches in my neck and I’m having a hard time staying warm (as I type this I have thermal pants on and a warm sweatshirt with the hood up. I hear you about the food – I painfully swallowed down some warm scrambled eggs earlier!

    Keep trying to get those liquids down – your body needs them to heal up and get through this.

    What made you decide to get the procedure in the first place?


  21. I am trying to drink, but it keeps wanting to go up my nose instead, gross! I’ve also been trying to eat solid foods because I’m tired of the other stuff already! What meds are you on? I’ve been put under before but I read stories about throwing up upon waking, so that’s what I was worried about. All was fine though. I can’t shine the pain increasing, I wish I could fast forward two weeks!

  22. Hi Lora – basically I’m feeling very uncomfortable as well. Not unbearable, but the best way I can describe it is a bad case of strep throat. I also have a lot of mucous and I’m just trying to drink lots of water in hopes that it will break up mucous and keep me hydrated. I’m told that hydration is very important right now to lower the risk of bleeding – I am able to force down water but it hurts to swallow of course. Please keep trying because forcing it down sure beats them having to put in an iv due to dehydration and it also speeds the healing process. Also try to stay away from dairy if you are not already doing so – this can cause lots of extra mucous. I’m trying not to talk but that is difficult! ha! At the very least you are not alone – I am right here going through this same thing with you.

    Were you scared of being put under? This was my main concern but it turned out to be no big deal at all. I’ve never had an IV, never been put under, and never been on an operating table (its cold in there by the way) but all of it wasn’t bad. Oh and I hate hospitals/doctors offices – I cant even do the blood pressure thing without crazy readings because I get all tense when that thing is tightening on my arm!

    The process of being put under was very surreal. I was wheeled to the operating room and I slid over to the operating room table. I remember one of the people saying they were going to give me some medicine. In about 10 seconds I felt like I was drunk (vision wise only – the room started moving a little like it does when you’re drunk/buzzed – no nausea though). I made a comment about this and the guy responded that it was normal and then about 5 seconds later I was out. It happened so fast that I didn’t even “fall” asleep – I was just instantly out. I actually thought they were going to ask me to count backwards from 10 to 1 but that didn’t happen. The next thing I knew I started waking up in the recovery area with a nurse sitting next to me.

    The doctor told my wife that the procedure went well – apparently both my tonsils and adenoids were infected so they were both removed. I’m guessing they are sitting in jar waiting for pathology at this point.

    Please keep me updated on your experience – maybe we can post and go through this thing together!!


  23. I had my tonsillectomy yesterday too, how are you feeling? I was home by 10am yesterday. Most people say that their first day or two are easiest, but I have been very uncomfortable. Are you doing any talking? I have had so much mucous and can’t figure out how to swallow so liquids don’t go up my nose! I just got approval from my ent to have my pain meds at the 4 hour mark instead of 6.

  24. Hello all! I’m writing this on 1 April 2013; my tonsillectomy surgery is in about 9 hours from now. I’m really nervous – not so much about dealing with the pain (which I’m sure will not be fun) but I’m scared about being put under with general anesthesia. I hate going to the family doctor let alone to the hospital! All that said I’m confident that going through this surgery will be worth it. I have enlarged tonsils with deep crypts. Unfortunately this means I get tonsil stones. Even though I use a manual oral irrigator (monoject 412) every morning I’m still constantly thinking about my tonsils and whether or not there are tonsil stones in there. I’m actually amazed at how often I think about my tonsils daily…in normal conversation, at the gym, being intimate, driving in the car – always wondering if I have stones and if I smell like, well, hell. Not cool!
    For anyone thinking about the surgery I say go for it. Tonsil stones may not seem like the end of the world to people who’ve never had to deal with them, but I can tell you that this condition is socially debilitating and can lead to low self esteem. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that tonsil stones can contribute to anxiety or even depression for some. Now stop and think about that for a second and weigh that against a not-so-fun procedure. Think about how your quality of life will increase. Right now at 10:18pm I’m kinda just focused on being nervous about the hospital but I know my life will be better without huge tonsils and the tonsil stones that live in them.

    I’ll post again after I get the procedure done and give anyone interested an idea of the pain level and also the hospital procedure itself.

  25. I got these about 2-3 years ago. Had them on and off for about 8 months but mostly on 🙁 within a month of getting them I was at the doctors begging him to have a cure. I was terrified I would have bad breath. Of course, my appointment was on a day where no tonsil stones were visible. Great. He told me he couldn’t see anything and that there was nothing he could do anyway.

    Quite disheartened I went away and just ‘put up’ with them. I found it almost impossible to remove them myself without gagging and felt sick feeling them in my throat. Looking back now, I can see why I had them. If anyone is reading this hoping to find a ‘cure’ then maybe you should address the reason you have them. In my case, they were a symptom of a poor diet, with too many carbs.

    I now keep a low carb diet, plenty of lean meat, fruits, vegetables and nuts. Basically caveman/paleo. Have never felt better and once visible stones were gone, I have never seen one since. It may take a short time for your body to rectify them, but having your tonsils cut out of you is not a solution to the underly problem. It is removing the symptom your body is using to tell you something is wrong! Basically, you are what you eat. If your that bothered by tonsil stones, maybe assessing your diet is where to start. Good luck guys. I understand the frustration at not being able to find a medical answer!

  26. Hi I’m from the uk and it’s just not understood much over here- no surgeon on the national health service would remove your tonsils due to stones. I went private – there is one surgeon that does a private laser tonsilectomy – I had it done twice and still I have stones due to my very deep crypts – or maybe it’s just a crap surgeon . I wish I was in the states . I went back to him as I had nowhere else to go and he decided that he would need to cut into the tissue to get into the burried crypts – therefore a traditional method of tonsilectomy over laser. I guess what I
    saying to all you guys – it’s better to do it the trad way and get it done once and properly as opposed to spending silly money on a couple of laser procedures that don’t work -if you are told you have deep crypts! I’ll let you all know if I’m tonsil stone free after surgery – take three! X

  27. I have suffered from tonsil stones for several years. I do notice that for several weeks or months after a round of antibiotics, no stones. Also, I have noticed that a low carb diet seems to help as well.

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

  29. 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!!!

  30. 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!!

  31. From Sherrie:

    I can’t seem to be able to comment on Derek’s post directly on the site. So I will do it here as I would like to let him know that not every one person is the same. While he may have had a good healing and felt ‘normal’ by day 2 – other’s can follow the exact same formulas and take 10 days.

    My surgery went ‘perfectly’ according to the surgeon. My healing also went ‘perfectly’ according to the surgeon! I had no bleeding, ate the right amount of calories and was able to sleep. However my healing was almost similar to what most on this site say – good days, bad days, horrible days, etc.

    I guess what I am saying is not to bash others for their experiences saying you did everything ‘right’ and they did everything ‘wrong’ because your pain and healing only took 2 days! My program was almost identical to yours. I even tried to go off meds by day 5 and needed to go back on them within 24 hrs.

    Maybe more people need to post about their good recoveries like you did in order for others to realize that their recovery may be a good one. Just don’t say everyone who took longer then you did everything wrong!

  32. Prior to my surgery, I had no intention of posting on this site, but after reading many of these posts I felt it very necessary to share my experience. This site almost scared me out of having this surgery, but I am so glad that I went through with the procedure. (1/23/13)

    Most importantly, your doctor will make all the difference in the world. There are excellent surgeons countless happy patients and there are hack surgeons with countless med mal lawsuits. Do a bit of research on your doctor’s experience, expertise and community reputation. I won’t give my surgeon’s CV here, but he is top of the line and if I told you how many of tonsillectomies he’s done, you wouldn’t believe me (thousands upon thousands).

    First and foremost, there is so much wrong and simply BAD advice on this forum. I realize that each person will heal differently, and what works for some will not work for all, but some things being suggested on this site are just dumb and I question a person’s motive for giving such poor advice. With that said I am not a medical professional nor am offering any medical advice, I am simply recounting what was told to me from medical professionals both those hired and situated as friends.

    I am a 28 year old male and I under went a tonsillectomy, septoplasty, and turbinate reduction on 1/23/13. I returned to work yesterday, 1/31/13 and feel fine aside from slight discomfort from the remaining scabs in my throat and nose. On day 4 of recovery I was back to normal movement, on day 5 I did light work in the yard, on day 6 I installed some sprinkler lines and was back to my normal chores, so I believe my methods of recovery are proven. I had knots in my stomach from this site reading that day four through nine were the worst and I just kept waiting for it to get awful, but as of day 8 (today) it still hasn’t been that bad (knock on wood).

    A quick recovery is only made possible by the proper preparation. I was given great advice by both my treating doctor and friends who are either medical professionals or have experience with this procedure. 1) start taking Metamucil approximately 3-5 days before your procedure, this will allow you to keep normal bowel movements and increase the amount of pain medicine your stomach will be able to take. Often people’s stomachs can’t handle the pain medicine. Take a dose of Metamucil each day. 2) don’t plan on eating and solid or hard foods for 2 weeks. I’ve seen people on here suggest toast, (very dumb) I told my doctor that, he laughed and said you might as well eat Brillo pads. (I also read a lady eating Chik Fil A the day of her surgery – no wonder she had to return to the ER due to bleeding). Forget crackers, forget anything hard. Buy a couple six packs of chocolate Muscle Milk (strawberry tastes like crap). Don’t go too lean in the protein you select, Muscle Milk has a good amount of fat and fat helps you feel full and will reduce your cravings for food. Also, get regular fat yogurt, mix with water to dilute and blend so you can drink it without feeling any chunks. 3) juice, not water. I’ve read people on here saying to drink gallons of water, this is bad advice. Gallons of water could potentially dilute the effectiveness of your pain killers and antibiotics. Get some regular calorie apple juice (nothing red) dilute it by half with water and drink that. Straight juice will not hydrate you enough, 50/50 mix is the perfect blend for hydration and calories, because your body needs all of the calories you can get to fight for recovery. 4) Plan on waking up every 2-3 hours to take your pain medication, if a dose says 2-3 teaspoons every six hours, that doesn’t mean you have to take 2-3 teaspoons at 1 pm and then 2-3 more at 7 p.m., you can spread that out over the six hours (I read someone suffering through three hours of pain because they took the full dose 3 hours ago…wise up) The same person also said he/she took ibuprofen to supplement – VERY BAD idea…ibuprofen will thin your blood…take Tylenol if you are going to supplement any pain medicine. 5) While you are up every 2-3 hours taking your pain medication, drink a glass of juice/water mix (enough to maintain clear urine) 6) chew gum, I chewed a few packs of watermelon extra gum, saliva helps your mouth and throat heal, keeps your throat moist and exercises the throat muscles, can’t stress the gum enough, spit it out just before you fall asleep 7) keep your throat moist, if your throat dries out, you’re heading for trouble, a moist scab is much less likely to dry and break open causing bleeding. 8) Plan on sleeping, your body will direct more resources to recovery while your sleeping, find a good spot, prop yourself up and sleep – don’t try and catch up on your favorite tv show or novel, just sleep. 9) Ice cream will cheer you up, but is very thick and hard to swallow, stick to popsicles. 10) spend $15 at Wal-mart and get a cool mist humidifier to have on next to your bed while you sleep. 11) Blend everything to mush. 12) when selecting your foods for your recovery period, look for calories and don’t be afraid of fats. Fats have more calories and will help you stay full.

    You play an active role in your recovery and if you are smart the worst of your recovery could be limited to two days of a pain killer self-induce coma which will go by much quicker than you know. Get a great surgeon. Make sure you are getting calories each day via protein and juices, dilute the juices with water for better hydration, keep your throat moist by liquids and chewing gum. Sleep with the humidifier and stay on time with your pain medicines. Day 1 and 2 I was out cold. Day 3 I was moving around. Day 4 moving better. By day 5 I was blending frozen $2 bags of Birdseye pasta (or baby food) with a cup of chicken broth into a very fine slurry and slowing eating/drinking. Day six I was back to work and doing my normal activities around the house and down to taking just Tylenol for the pain. Day 8 I was feeling good and bashing other people’s recovery methods on tonsillectomy recovery forums.

  33. I too used a cuticle pusher a few months ago! Haha! The stone is back and big as before. My surgery is scheduled on my birthday in January. Bleh! Bit I am SO ready to be done with all of my throat issues! I’ll be 38, so this will be no picnic! But life without throat probs? Ah, Heaven…….

  34. 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.

  35. 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…

  36. I have this too and was also able to press them out. In fact it was the recommended method by my doctor. He said it meant the tonsils were doing exactly what they were made to do, keep bad stuff from being swallowed. But of course the problem is with fever and infection. I have actually been refused a tonsillectomy by a long abandoned family doctor. I even saw my tonsil shrink and turn black a few times before. This was not a good thing. My ENT may just have a go at removing it next year if I get up the courage.

  37. It’s always a good idea to get a second opinion. Also, check with your insurance provider to see if they have any ideas. Don’t give up…if you want this procedure, check many different sources and make your own informed choice.
    Your comments that you are ‘desperate’ and this is ‘ruining my life’ makes me wonder if you have anyone to talk with. Please consider talking with your parents, a trusted friend, a school/college counselor, possibly someone in human resources if you work for a large company, maybe your religious leader, if that is an option. The most important thing to remember is that there are answers out there…don’t give up trying to find them. I’m worried that you are thinking that this is the ‘end of your life’, but remember that there are many doctors out there and you CAN find one who understands your concerns and agrees with the procedure.
    Good luck and take care.

    Jamie S.

  38. I too have suffered with these tonsil stones on and off all my life and I too used to pop them out with my fingers.. I haven’t had many flare ups unless there is a big change in weather. although there are still times when I feel like I have something stuck in my throat.. I do find relief with a warm saltwater solution and sometimes I add some Peroxide to that solution to ease the irritation.. If I can see the stone I can pick it out.. I just never knew what caused them.

  39. Hi I’ve just had mine out 2 days ago due to stones. My tonsils never swelled but my breath always smelt & I had to retch & poke the stones out. I started getting sick & dizzy all the time & my doc thinks that they were infecting & blocking my tubes. On having them out the surgeon said considering they looked normal from what they could see he said inside they were so badly infected it was poisoning me!!!! So don’t think if u only have minor symptoms that it not worth getting them out. I’m really sore but so glad this will all be behind me. I’ll be able to look people in the eye instead of looking in the direction I want my potent breath to go 🙂

  40. I have suffered from these things for 10 years. I remember when I was 16 doctors used to tell me it was from eating white bread, lol. I knew back then it wasn’t but just wasn’t sure what exactly they were. It wasn’t until this year that I finally found out what they were. I tried everything, but found out the only real cure was to get my tonsils out so I did. I’m on day 5 and it sucks, but it will be worth it in the end 🙂

  41. I am so glad I never had the bad breath associated with these stones. But I vouch that the stones are nasty!

  42. I had an appointment with my ent specialist. She says she won’t do them cause my tonsils are small anyway. I cried and practically begged her to do it but to no avail. I don’t know what to do I’m desperate. I do believe her when she says they are small tonsils but tonsils stones just frown in the crypts and I have to squeeze my tonsils nearly on a daily basis to keep them clean. This is ruining my life. I don’t know what to do anymore!

  43. I have had tonsil stones for years and years. Tonight I started feeling my ear hurt and my right tonsil has been sore for days. I figured what it probably was an upon some probing and with a flash light I managed to pop several out of my right tonsil. I am so tired of having these things. As soon as I can I am going to have the surgery to have my tonsils removed. I am tired of having swollen tonsils all the time. This is like the fourth time this year and its getting really old really quick.

  44. This website is so helpful. I have suffered from tonsil stone on and off all my life. I just never knew what they were. I have big tonsils with folds if that makes sense so I can’t see what’s inside without flipping them. Anyway I constantly have sore throat and bad breath and sometimes hard time swallowing. So I have an appointment next week and I am hoping to have them removed.I am just tired brushing too much chewing gum and always trying to remove them.

  45. I started getting tonsil stones when I was 7 years old. I started removing them with my fingers, but at one point it occured to me that I could reach back with my tongue and pop them out that way. After doing this for a few years, my enlarged tonsils shrank back to normal size and only occasionally do I get any tonsil stones! It’s been a blessing being able to remove them with the tip of my tongue. This was not a skill I mastered overnight, it took me a little bit of work to get my tongue to be able to do that, but I didn’t give up. I never had to have a tonsillectomy and am recovered now. This works! 🙂

  46. I’ve had tonsil stones for about a year now. My first one was at school, i was so embarrassed. The girl that sat beside me didnt talk to me for the rest of the year, and moved seats. I’m having surgery Thursday, and my parents keep asking are you nervous and giving me words of reasurance…. you know what my anwser is? Heck no i am not nervous one bit, im glad i’m getting surgery. Its probably one of the best things ever. If you’ve had tonsil stones you know what i mean. I throw them up like 7 times a month and it sucks so bad. And especially now that school has started again. My breath has gotten so bad that i cant even talk to my friends without one of them giving me a piece of gum, which only last a little while before the smell comes back. This website has given me more reasurance about getting the surgery. I Just Want To Be Normal Again!!!!

  47. You have absolutely no idea of the favor you are doing yourself by having a tonsilectomy for tonsil stones. They are like a nasty curse and ARE socially debilitating! And probably had a lot to do with some of your failed relationships. You may be all that — but the second they catch a wiff of your breath — you’re history!

  48. July hi, just want to know if you had your surgery for tonsil stones and did it help with the bad breath issues?

  49. How long did it take for your son to recover/ how did things end up for him? I am almost in the same exact boat. I am 19 and spending my fourth of july on bed rest- and to make matters worse I am taking summer classes in college so I don’t even have much of a break in the first place. I have TMJ, had these tonsil stones, constant strep throat, ear infections so often that half the time when I go to a doctor to get antibiotics for being sick he also informs me I have an ear infection, and then I have had tonsilitis for the first time ever this past year- and I am certain I can thank the cruddy freshman dorm for that. Plus I had it twice. Every time I was sick my roommate would go sleep somewhere else because she said I snored so bad. I have about two weeks before my surgery and as of right now, not too concerned but I am sure as the date gets closer I will be more nervous. Plus I go to college out of state, and my mom can’t come help me so it may just resort to my sorority sisters having to take care of me- thankfully all who are in the house with me are willing to pitch in but hopefully I can find a family member to the rescue to help out because I know that would be a lot to ask of a friend.

  50. Sara,
    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!

  51. I had tonsil stones for three months straight sometimes they were small and sometimes they were big all i really cared abut was that they were disgusting and i hated sticking my finger down my thought to fish them out every time i felt one in there, its such a relief when they come out but next thing i knew i was trying to hack anther one out. I got my tonsils out on the 9th and i cant wait till im recovered and dont have to worry about another tonsil stone for as long as i live, the surgery sux but not as bad as constant tonsil stones

  52. I did have my tonsils removed for tonsil stones and constant strep throat. I can not imagine pushing those stones out myself! Thank goodness they never gave me bad breath but sometimes I would be just going about my day and a stone would just fall out into my mouth! The tonsillectomy solved everything!

  53. Hello. I have had tonsil stones on and off for 20 years. I’ve become proficient at removing them with my finger tip, but have always tried to hack them out, contorting my neck in different ways to see if anything would work. Recently, feeling frustrated, I pulled my jaw back into my neck as far as I could so it didn’t look like I had a chin, pulled my shoulders back as though I was trying to touch my shoulders behind me and gave a hack from as low in my throat as I could – and guess what?! It worked. I’ve been able replicate this several times. I’ve never had a lot, or really large ones, but it might be something worth trying – in privacy of course, cuz it does look pretty funny in front of the mirror. I checked this site because I am a violent snorer and looking at all of the issues regarding snoring.

  54. Sara,

    I had mine removed for just tonsil stones. The doctor had no issue with it. I told him it was socially debilitating.

  55. Just brought my 19 year old son home from his tonsillectomy. Thank you for all your information on how to manage his recovery. I just can’t believe his tonsils got this bad without someone catching on. He has sleep apnea, bad breath, sore throats several times a year, ear pain, tmj and snores horrendously! I feel so badly that he has no idea what it is like to feel good! I am hoping this will improve his quality of life. It better…this is how he is spending his college spring break!

  56. Thank you for your kind words. It’s been a tough road, but after 20 years of tonsil problems I am looking forward to this. My doctor did mention that if the stones were only in one or two places, and I didn’t have the other problems I do, he’d have simply cut out the spot where the stones were forming. If you only have a spot or two where stones form, perhaps this alternative may be available to you.

  57. Wow! I am so sorry you are having to go through all of that. I will be praying for you, and I wish you the best!

  58. Hi Greg — Thanks!

    Hi Sara — The stones were the deciding factor. I am on antibiotics several times per year for a throat infection, and at least once per year need steroids for kissing tonsils (my tonsils swell to the point that they meet in the middle and I have a hard time eating and breathing). The doc would never take out my tonsils, saying it was pretty risky for an adult. For almost 2 years I have had tonsil stones to go along with everything else. The stones have sparked more infections and throat problems over the past couple of years. I have 40 – 50 years or more left of living, and can’t do this for several more decades. So, I asked to have my tonsils removed. The doc was still hesitant and we tried 4 more months of “let’s try this” plans before agreeing they needed to come out. It may have been the “I’m now using a cuticle pusher to get some of the deep stones out” statement, and the pictures I started taking of the stones that came out of my throat (I used measuring tape), that helped them decide! I do not recommend using a cuticle pusher. I am a bit anxious about the first week or so post-op, but really know this will be worth it in the long run.

  59. Hi, is that the only reason you are having your tonsils removed, because of the stones? I have been considering it, but I didn’t know if my doctor would remove them just for that.

  60. I am so glad I found this site! I have tonsil stones pretty often, and some of the bacteria accumulates in pockets that are deep inside of my tonsils. I have to squeeze my tonsils in order to get everything out. The last “stone” that I removed was the size of a dehydrated pea.

    I am having a T&A next week, and I can’t wait! The information on this site has been very helpful in the prep process. Fortunately, my doctor has also been preparing me well and I already have the scripts and post-op care suggestions in my possession (to read while I am coherent). Many thanks for compiling everything into one place.

  61. 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.

  62. 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.

Share your experience and questions!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.