Tonsilloliths or Tonsiliths


What Are Tonsilloliths?

Often referred to as tonsil stones or tonsiliths , they are basically clusters of calcified material collected in tonsils.  They are more common in cryptic tonsils, or tonsils with larger crevices. They are composed mostly of calcium. While generally not harmful, tonsil stones are often a nuisance. Many people describe a feeling of having something stuck in their throat. These can cause chronic halitosis or bad breath. Before discussing how to get rid of tonsilloliths, let’s examine their cause.

The cause is not known, but it appears that they are more common in adults than kids. Removing them is an obsession for some, and a profitable 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

Before spending money on cures, try some less expensive and less invasive treatments. It may be the case that no treatment is needed. In cases where bad breath or discomfort become enough to affect the quality of life, other 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.

Irrigation Methods

A simple method removing tonsilloliths 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. Dr. Murry Grossman has developed an irrigator specifically designed for treating chronic tonsil stone. It can be reviewed here:

Larger tonsil stones may require removal by curettage. Large lesions may require local excision. It should be noted that these treatments may not alleviate the bad breath often associated with tonsilloliths

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.
Tonsillectomy may be necessary if problems persist, despite less invasive measures.

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

More information about tonsillectomy recovery

how to get rid of tonsil stones
Tonsil Stones




 tonsiliths or tonsil stones
tonsiliths or tonsil stones

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


Dr. Murray Grossman has invented an amazing little machine to assist in the removal of tonsil stones. He calls it the Hydro Pulse

More Tonsil Stones Pictures and Pictures of Tonsil


6 thoughts on “Tonsilloliths or Tonsiliths

  1. I am 15 years old, and a music major, I sing, and this is my career. I began getting tonsil stones last year when I was 14, they are incredibly annoying, and although I do not feel them, they have caused me to have an upper respiratory injection, laryngitis, and bronchitis all at the same time. I had to be on voice rest for two weeks, as my infections didn’t go away for a bit longer than a month. I am looking into getting my tonsils removed, so that I don’t need to bother with anymore infections. I am hoping the tonsillectomy doesn’t mess with my voice, but either way, I know it will be good in the long run. No more tonsil stones!

  2. I Join Ellie, tried water floss but my holes are kind of deep (according to my ENT who did tonsillectomy on 03/10/2016) so even water flossing did not help. Bad breath was severe. Dead skin along with food debris settled all the time. Really fedup and decided to do tonsillectomy. Now on Day 5, so far so good, pain is bearable if hydrated well. Jello helps a lot. I eat everything , even spicy food after 1 hr of pain killer.

    1. Thank you. You sharing your information really helped me. I know how you felt. Did the odor go away? I’m about to have the surgery too.

  3. My name is Ellie and I am 16 years old. I suffered from tonsil stones for about 3 years and it was the most irritating and embarrassing thing ever. I went to the doctors and he gave me the option of a tonsillectomy. At this point I had tried everything from gargling salt water to using a q tip to squeeze them out but the problem only persisted. So I went ahead with the surgery. Today I am on day 7 of recovery and I have to say it is going extremely well. One of the best decisions I have ever made.

    1. I’m on my first day of recovery and got mine removed due to that, and just an overall nuisance of my huge tonsils. My throat hurts and is sore but I still don’t regret the surgery at all. Looking forward to how I’ll feel my 7th day of recovery

    2. (Same from above.) Thank you. You sharing your information really helped me. I know how you felt. Did the odor go away? I’m about to have the surgery too.

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