Tonsil Stones: Causes, Prevention And Treatment


The surface of the tonsils might develop small, hard lumps called “tonsil stones.” Usually white or yellowish in hue, tonsil stones are round. Generally speaking, tonsil stones are not hazardous, but they can occasionally result in transient sore throats, halitosis, and other problems.

Tonsil stones will be covered in this article, along with their causes, symptoms, and removal procedures. Additionally, we will look into various medical options that can help with tonsil stone issues.

What Are The Symptoms Of Tonsil Stones?

Below we have discussed the symptoms of tonsil stones.

A recent study that is published in the journal “Oral and Maxillofacial surgery cases” revealed some of the important symptoms of tonsil stones:

  • If you have tonsil stones, then halitosis or bad breath will occur. In this case, tonsil stones provide the anaerobic bacteria with a home that produces foul-smelling sulfides.
  • When the tonsil stone occurs, then you can sense that something is caught in the back of your throat or mouth.
  • You will get an irritating cough
  • A bad taste will destroy your taste buds
  • It will be very difficult to swallow anything, no matter if it is a liquid or any solid food.
  • Your tonsil will start to be inflamed.

The Ways Of Tonsil Stones Are Treated

We have detailed how your tonsil stones will be addressed below.

Home remedies might not be effective or the stones may be unusually huge if you have tonsil stones. Surgery may be advised in this situation by a doctor.

The majority of the time, a tonsillectomy is the first-line procedure used in the United States to stop reoccurring tonsil stones. In this instance, the tonsil stones must be surgically removed. However, after the procedure, you can experience throat pain for a few days. Additionally, these procedures often come with some hazards.

The National Health Service, or NHS, of the United Kingdom lists some of these hazards as bleeding, dehydration, infection, and swelling along with other issues like breathing problems and potentially fatal anaesthetic reactions.

To cure your tonsil stones, the doctor may recommend laser resurfacing if you are not a candidate for tonsillectomy surgery. The laser’s light will in this situation burn the tonsil stones out of your body.

Additionally, according to a medical study that was published in the American Journal of Otolaryngology, coblation cryptolysis can assist to smooth the tonsil’s surface while also lowering the quantity of bacteria that can grow in the tonsil’s crevices, which can lead to the development of tonsil stones.

While in this treatment, surgeons can perform by using a local anaesthetic. Once the surgery is completed, then the patient can resume a regular diet, and also he/she can start the activity after one week. A study in 2021 claims that coblation cryptolysis may be superior to other surgeries, but tonsillectomy remains one of the most common treatments for tonsil stones across the United States. 

Apart from that, there is no guarantee that once the surgery is done for tonsil stones, then they will be cured permanently, but they may occur in the future as well. 

What Causes The Tonsil Stones?

Tonsil stones mainly develop when bacteria and other harmful debris get trapped in the tiny crevices. Crevices are generally located on the surface of the tonsil.

The tonsils are the two meat mounds that are placed at the back side of the throat. The American Academy of Otolaryngology explains that tonsils help to fight infections that enter through the mouth. 

The tonsils are made of lymphoid tissue, and they can have crypts. In this case, the lymphoid tissues have holes in their surface. Tonsil crypts are the normal part of the human body. Some people have larger crypts than others. In this case, larger crypts will help to develop the tonsil stones.

Apart from the above-mentioned treatments there are several other tonsil stone treatment ways such as:

  • While you are suffering from tonsil stones, then you can gargle with salt water. Or mouthwash for tonsillitis. In this case, it will be able to relieve your pain so much and also be able to ease the discomfort. 
  • On the other hand, the stones can be removed in minor surgical procedures.
  • If you are suffering from tonsil stones, then sometimes doctors are recommending to manage the tonsil stones better by consuming antibiotics. It will help to kill the antibacterial debris


We have discussed some of the causes, prevention, and treatment processes of tonsil stones above in this article. Tonsil stones are mainly small, hard lumps, and it actually forms in crevices on the surface of the tonsils. They are not harmful, but they can cause bad breath, swelling problems, and so on. Many people strive to dislodge them by dabbing them with cotton swabs or gargling.