Discover how to get rid of tonsil stones in this article.Learn about its causes and symptoms and how to treat this using natural home remedies.

Have you ever been embarrassed due to bad breath? Do frequent sore throat issues hit you?

Do you mind swallowing your food as it aches down your throat?  If so, you might not like me telling that, but you may have tonsil stones.

You must have heard about the occurrences of stones in various parts of human body.

Parts like – kidneys, liver, gall bladder, etc. Have you ever heard about the formation of stones in your tonsils?

If not, then this article will tell you all about it. Also, you can seek the causes, symptoms, how may you treat them and their prevention in here.

Let me start with what tonsils mean?

Tonsils are small lymphoid tissue balls. These are found on either side of the root of your tongue. These are small masses which are structurally like the glands. They consist of lymphocytes.

Lymphocytes are responsible for fighting against infections and also prevent them. It is said that this enables the tonsils to trap the harmful microbes from trespassing your throat. Thus, the tonsils are a major part of your immune system.

What Are Tonsil Stones?

What Are Tonsil Stones
What Are Tonsil Stones

Like every other stone in the human body, tonsil stones are also made up of calcium. These are formed on the fleshy pad of your throat. They are created when the various particles are trapped in the tonsils.

These particles form debris and are collected in the sacks. This can also get protruded and clog in the crypt of your tonsils. It can be extremely painful as well. Tonsils stones are also called tonsilloliths, where liths refer to stones.

If you have had a critical inflammation in your tonsils lately, then you must stay alerted. This is because; you are likely to have these stones. People who have frequent periods of tonsillitis are also prone to this.

Children are usually more endangered when it comes to tonsil stones. So, make sure your kids are safe from the issue of these stones.

Causes Of These Stones

It is a must that you know what all can be the reason behind the occurrence of tonsil stones. In such cases, it will be easier for you to prevent them.

As I already said, the tonsils act as nets. This is because they are active in trapping the harmful microbes from entering your body. This gland like bodies also traps particles like dead cells and mucous.

In such a case, it is not unusual for them to get concentrated in the sacks. When these unwanted bodies focus on your tonsil pockets, you will face tonsil stones. I may conclude by saying that an unhygienic mouth can end up giving you tonsil stones.

Symptoms Of Tonsil Stones

Symptoms Of Tonsil Stones
Symptoms Of Tonsil Stones

Well, I just told you how your tonsils could end up having stones. What will be wise on your part is to know the symptoms too.

If you are well aware of its symptoms, then you can fight them at the earliest. Let us see what all can tonsil stones fetch you.

  • Foul breath

Research says that 75% of the people who have bad breath are suffering from tonsilloliths. Bad breath or halitosis is one of the chief symptoms of tonsil stones.

Such bad breath during tonsil stones can be a cause of chronic tonsil infections. In such instances, individuals are likely to have volatile sulfur compounds in their breath.

  • Sore throat

Tonsil stones are painful. They can give you sore throats and primary infections. Infections here are known as tonsillitis which can also give you pain and soreness. This is also one of the important outcomes of tonsil stones.

  • Pain in the ears

The eustachian tube attaches your throat and your ears. This is a link between the ears and the throat.

Irrespective of the fact that the stones are not touching the ears, you may also suffer from acute ear pain. This is because the nerve from your throat is attached to your ears.

  • Swelling of the tonsils

The occurrence of the tonsil stones can end you up having inflammation in those tonsils. This is because of the infection that is brought along with the stones

  • Complication in swallowing

You may also suffer pain and discomfort in swallowing your food and water. Depending upon the size or location of the stones, you may suffer from pain while swallowing the food.

  • Occurrence of white debris

Open your mouth and look deeper into your mouth. You may observe the occurrence of white calcified stones at the end of your tongue.

These lumps are those stones I am talking about. In such conditions, you will know that you are already having the stone problem.

However, you should also remember that it is not always possible to see those stones. This is because they are not visible. The reason being this is that they are hidden beneath the folds of the tonsils.

During such an instance, non-invasive scanning techniques can help you detect the liths. But, not every individual will witness the symptoms.

Sometimes, the stones are so small that they will not even make any noticeable difference. Only effective tests can help here. Tests like X-Rays or CT scan may help you in this.

Can These Be Treated?

Stones are usually curable. There are numerous ways to get rid of those painful stones. It mainly depends on the size and form of the liths. Let us discuss a few.

  • No treatment

In most of the cases, the size of the stones is very small. In these, there are no such remarkable symptoms noticed. Usually, people prefer not to treat it at all since there are no worries.

  • Home Remedies For Tonsil Stones

If those stones are not of much prominent size, then they can also be treated at home. People do not prefer going under the knife in such occurrences.

–    Manual picks or swabs at home can also be helpful to get you rid of the stones. Remember to be gentle with your tonsils as they are delicate.

You may slowly swab the cotton balls over the tonsils and then gargle them out. This is a simple and productive method which can be used if the tonsils are new and small.

–    You may also gargle regularly with salt water to achieve comfort. This can help you dislodge them to quite an extent.

You may also use non-alcoholic mouthwash for the same. Frequent gargling will eliminate the bacteria and the crypts from your tonsils. Thus, it gives you a fresh mouth and breath along with it.

lemon juice for tonsil stones
Lemon juice for tonsil stones

You can also use some lime or lemon juice for gargling. They contain vitamin C which is effective in flushing out the stones. You may take two to three big spoonful of lemon juice and add it up with lukewarm water. Gargle thoroughly to see the effectiveness.

–    You might also simply scrape those tonsil stones away with a toothbrush. Use an electric toothbrush or even a simple one will do. You may use a mirror and slowly scrape those tonsils under a bright light. Be gentle and cautious while undergoing the activity.

Raw garlic For Tonsil Stones
Raw garlic For Tonsil Stones

–    Raw garlic and onions are also helpful to fight bacteria. Doctors often advise patients to chew raw garlic at regular intervals throughout the day. This helps in keeping a check on the growth of bacteria. Thus, the formation of the stones is prevented as the bacteria do not trap in the tonsils.

–    Unsweetened yogurt is also much effective in fighting tonsil stones. You may have some every day twice to see the results.

  • Antibiotics

Again, depending on the size of you stones, you make choose to take antibiotics. But, you should know that the antibiotics will not be good enough.

This is because they will not eliminate the sole cause of the stones. On addition to that, antibiotics have many adverse effects.

  • Removal through surgeries

If your stones have grown out quite large, then it is a must that you undergo surgery. Surgeries are often 100% efficient.

Plus, they have the ability to fight the cause of tonsilloliths. Know this; that surgeries are recommended when the condition in quite crucial.

  • Cryptolysis through lasers

You may also choose to dislodge your tonsil stones by the use of lasers. In such a scenario, those stones are removed from the crypt of your tonsils where they are pocketed.

This is also one of the safe options and will not need much time for recovery. Doctors usually try using local anesthesia for the problem.

  • Cryptolysis through radio waves

This process is called as coblation cytolysis. This procedure involves the usage of radio waves in it.

What happens is this that the waves will alter the charged ions into salt solution. This will penetrate through your tonsil tissues and thus reduce the tonsil crypts.

In both the cases of cryptolysis, the resultant effect is quite effective. The best part in coblation cryptolysis is this that there is no burning sensation.

How To Prevent Them?

Though treating the stones is not a major, but it is always wise to prevent them. I mean, why do you even have to worry when you can push them long before?

Following are a few steps that can help you prevent the unwanted tonsil stones. These are more like some healthy daily regime rather than some strict rule book.

  • Maintain your oral hygiene

Having a healthy hygiene is always the key to a healthy being. Tonsil stones occur when your tonsils trap the unwanted bacteria and the various other food particles in them.

They may also trap the dead cells and mucous in it. Thus, you should keep in mind to always have a clean mouth. Brushing your teeth using a good toothpaste is the basic of maintaining your oral health.

You must remember to wash your mouth after every meal. Do not forget to scrape your tongue while brushing your teeth. Frequent gargling with a non-alcoholic mouthwash or simple salt water can also fetch you the results.

  • Have lots of water

It is very important to keep your body hydrated at all times. Know this; about 80% of your diseases can be cured/prevented if you have an ample amount of water intake. The properly hydrated conditions will help the tonsils in flushing out the bacteria.

This hinders the growth of the microbes and thus the formation of the stones. Always remember to keep your personal sipper handy. Also, keep sipping from it throughout the day.

  • Undergo a balanced diet

A healthy balanced diet has no alternative. If your diet is rich in minerals and vitamins, your body is ready to face any challenges. You should add ample amount of probiotics in your diet as well. This is because the probiotics are friendly bacteria.

These help in fighting against the harmful bacteria that causes the stones. Thus, this is a must that you seek proper dosages of probiotics in your daily diet. Turning to be a vegan can also meet the need.

Vegetables like spinach and tomatoes are helpful in maintaining the hydration of your mouth. This will keep the bacteria away and thus, help you prevent the stones.

Final Thoughts

Tonsil stones are quite common. They are usually not of much harm though it can cause some serious discomfort. You may witness irritations like a sore throat or discomfort while swallowing. This is true that the removal of the stones is not a big deal.

However, I will ask you to seek medical advice first and only then proceed with any treatment. This is completely true that you might have to undergo some process of treatment. This is because, it can fetch you foul breath and that can be so embarrassing, right?

If the occurrences are severe, you have no other choice than removing them via surgeries. Thus, my opinion says that you must prevent tonsil stones from the very initial point.

There is no harm in maintaining a healthy and good regime. God habits will, of course, find you a better living and keep you away from such issues.


Dr. Piyush is a reputed Ayurveda consultant with more than 6 years of experience.He is presently the vice president of Nector Plus ayurveda(NPA), an institution which has the objective to unleash the potential of Ayurvedic and herbal medicine based on the concepts of modern drug discovery and development processes.