Tonsil Stones

mouth-29657_1280Maybe you’ve never heard before for the tonsil stones, but the stones are not exclusively inside kidneys. They can create a pretty uncomfortable feeling and can be painful, but it is usually not so hard to get rid of. Tonsil stones are also called tonsilloliths or tonsilliths and they represent the accumulation of the bacteria and  scattered skin fragments. They get inside the tonsil crypts and cause concentration which can eventually calcify and result in stones. It is more common in adults and in people who don’t take care of their dental health. Large tonsils can be also a risk factor.

What Are Tonsils For?

Tonsils are the part of the immune system which is basically a gland which reproduces the lymph cells or leucocytes. With producing white blood cells and antibodies, they protect the organism from bacteria, foreign microorganisms, and objects. It stops the objects from slipping into the lungs and suffocating. They can get enlarged due to an inflammation. It is common in tooth infection, angina or other problem which affects the surrounding tissue. If the foreign object gets stuck between tonsil crypts, it can get trapped and cause the inflammation or a person can swallow something that he didn’t know that was even there for a quite some time.

Development Of Tonsil Stones

When the bacteria, dead cells, and other substances go inside the crevasse of the tonsil, it can create the groundwork for calcium salts that can sediment inside them. There can be different types such as oxalates, hydroxyapatite, magnesium salt. The leukocytes that are inside the tonsils react to this and activate the salivary glands to rinse the content which is concentrated inside. The stones are small and white. If they increase in size, they can create an uncomfortable sensation, especially at the back of the mouth, between the wisdom teeth and jaw joint. The small ones can be asymptomatic, but the greater ones can create some complications if they fester and create abscesses. They can be sometimes painless and may mimic a tumor.

Symptoms Of Tonsil Stones

It depends on the stone development and stage, but the symptoms may vary from a few degrees. Some are more severe while most are manageable.

  • Bad breath
  • Fever and chills
  • Pain
  • Swelling of the tonsils
  • Cough
  • Painful swallowing or dysphagia
  • Tonsillitis with tonsil redness
  • Sore and painful muscles
  • Soar throat
  • Ear tenderness and pain.

Home Treatment

  • No Treatment. Sometimes when the stones are small and those who appear with no symptom, they don’t require treatment at all. This is the best possible way, but sometimes, due to the degree of the stone development, it is not possible.
  • Drinking Water. It may seem like it is a parenthetical phrase, but it actually will help you with prevention and also as a treatment. Drinking water on a regular basis will clean the area which is prone to matter accumulation and will rinse all the bacteria and fungi enzyme products which will affect the process of tonsil stone production. If the object gets trapped inside the tonsil crypt, it can be washed away with water.
  • Gargle With Saline Water. This has multiple effects on tonsil stones. A water gargle will flush all the accumulated material inside the crevasse and the salt inside the water will neutralize halitosis or any foul breath that has developed inside the mouth due to food debris and bacteria decomposition of the substances. If you have a sore throat, it can also help with inflammation reduction.
  • Mouth Wash Routine. As the salt water gargle, a non-alcoholic mouthwash can prevent any bacteria action in the mouth and will eliminate the bad breath that has developed. You should gargle with it for a minute or so, to let the mouthwash do its function in a prescribed time. You should move it around and let it rinse your tongue as well since there is the most concentration of bacteria.
  • Toothbrush. Using a brush and its bristles to go over the tonsils and to push them off can release the stones that are trapped inside the tonsil crypts. If you’re using an electric toothbrush, just turn it on and apply pressure to the tonsil area which will loosen up the tonsils and the stones will eventually get out. You can use mouthwash afterward to remove any leftovers and to rinse the mouth.
  • Cotton Swabs. You can do the same thing with a cotton swab. Use it to push the tonsils and loosen up the walls which hold the stones in place. After you complete the extraction of the stones, you can use mouthwash or saline water to gargle the remaining particles.
  • Black Peppermint. If you dip a cotton swab into a mint and go over the tonsils, it will remove the pus and kill all the bacteria. The stones can be released with a pressure and a peppermint taste will kill foul breath.
  • Honey With Nuts. If you create a thick mixture out of walnuts or another kind of nuts with a little bit of honey and chew it, it will help with stones extraction. Nuts will help with tonsils cleansing and honey will ease the swallowing process.
  • Lemon Juice. If you mix lemon juice with lukewarm water and gargle the tonsil region, it will help with tonsil stones removing. It can cleanse the area as good as some other techniques and it is not that abrasive. The lemon mixed with warm water will be alkaline and it will kill the bad breath.
  • Garlic Cloves And Onion. If you try to chew garlic, it will remove all the bacteria from the mouth, therefore, it will stop the base for stone creation. Onions are helpful too, and can benefit your mouth health and oral hygiene.

Medical Treatments

They are needed when the home remedies are not effective. If the stones get enlarged to a size where they cannot be removed at home or with simple therapy, it is recommended to include some of the treatments. It can be an antibiotic prescription to a laser resurfacing and tonsillectomy.


They can provide the needed therapy for germ killing. Antibiotic which is commonly used for this kind of conditions is amoxicillin. It is important to stick to the end of the therapy for the bacteria not to create the resistance. It will kill the present bacteria, but it is not used for prevention. It will not provide the protection from bacteria action in the future.


This is the medical phrase for tonsil removal. It is the last option if the other treatments didn’t work. Doctors can conduct partial or total tonsillectomy. Partial is a less invasive treatment with a faster recovery. Since they are an important part of the immune system, it is best to opt for partial tonsillectomy and keep the other one.


This is a treatment using a laser to remove the stones from tonsil crypts. It does not affect the future stone development, so it is not a long-term solution. It can be done under a local anesthesia where the laser resurfaces the tonsil tissue, leaving it flat and removing the crypts where the stones developed.


The first and most important thing is to keep your dental hygiene on high. Brush your teeth after every meal, mouthwash and clean with dental floss all the food residue. Eat a balanced diet with optimal quantity of vitamins, minerals, fibers, low in carbs since it can create the base for bacteria action. Reduce dairy products which can increase mucus synthesis and levels of calcium, which can concentrate and create stones. Include fruits, vegetables, fresh ingredients and probiotics which will help bacteria reduction and will maintain your stomach flora without any pathogen bacteria and bad breath. If you have options for the meals you eat, always choose the unsweetened ones including juices, yogurts, etc.

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