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Tonsil Stones

small tonsil stones on a finger

About those smelly tonsil stones and how to remove them and be rid of them for good

Tonsil stones are another thing that causes halitosis (bad breath). They are formally known as tonsilloliths. They are objects usually made of calcium that grow and develop over time in the crypts and crevasses of the tonsils. They are usually white with a yellow hue in color and some people describe them as white spots in the throat or white spots on the tonsils. Tonsil stones are common in adults and are rare for children and babies. There are few noticeable symptoms of tonsilloliths other than bad breath, but for most of us here at BreathMD that is enough of a reason to find out if we have them and get them out if we do.

What causes tonsil stones

So how do you get tonsil stones? What cause tonsilloliths? Those are very good questions but unfortunately the exact causes are unknown. While tonsils play an important role in trapping harmful bacteria from entering the rest of your body, they also tend to trap food, mucus, dead cells, and other particles. There is a generally accepted notion that tonsil stones are caused by the food, particles, and bacteria that are accumulated on and in the tonsils. These particles are broken down in time by saliva and digestive enzymes and most of what remains is the hard deposits of the particle (usually calcium). The softer parts are broken down and eventually are washed away.

There have also been studies that prove a correlation between patients who have tonsilloliths and patients who suffer from post-nasal drip, which is another cause of bad breath.

Side-effects of tonsil stones

There are various signs and symptoms of tonsil stones. Below is a list of the side-effects of them. Keep in mind that tonsil stones vary greatly in size and that a lot of these symptoms only manifest themselves with patients who suffer from large or rare giant tonsilloliths.

  • Bad breath (halitosis)
  • Pain on swallowing
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Metallic taste in mouth
  • Coughing fits
  • White Spots on tonsils
  • Ear ache
  • Swollen tonsils
  • Sensation that something is stuck or lodged in the back of the throat

While the side-effects can be unpleasant and uncomfortable, they are rarely life threatening and there has not been any evidence that they negatively affect one's overall health.

How do you know if you have tonsil stones

tonsil stones are white spots on tonsils

If you suffer from the above mentioned symptoms of tonsilloliths you may have them. Keep in mind it is extremely rare to suffer from tonsil stones if you had a tonsillectomy and had your tonsils removed.

You can usually determine if you have tonsil stones through visual inspection. Grab a flashlight and face a mirror. Open your mouth in such a way that you have a clear view of your tonsils. Shine the light on the tonsils and inspect each of them thoroughly for any white spots or white objects on them. Also you may try taking a clean Q-tip and using that to pull back the flap of the tonsils to inspect the cryptic area in the tonsils. If you do not see any white spots or objects you should be good to go. If you do see white objects they might be tonsil stones, debris from a larger tonsil stone, or a tonsil stone in development.

Tonsils stones can also be detected through X-rays and CAT scans and they are often discovered accidentally through these methods.

How to remove tonsil stones

There are various methods used to treat and remove tonsil stones. They are often removed or dislodged unintentionally by coughing or even swallowing. The simplest method of the removal of tonsil stones is take a Q-Tip (people report a bent bobby pin works well) and to gently apply pressure to the white stone until it is dislodged. If that doesn't work try to apply pressure through different angles and try a back and forth motion. Also if it is hard to reach you might try taking another Q-tip and using that to pull back the flap or part of the tonsil so you have better access. Remember to be very gentle. Your tonsils are very fragile and they might bleed if handled recklessly. A little bleeding is common in removing tonsil stones but do your part and be gentle and take your time to minimize the bleeding and irritation done to your tonsils.

Removal of tonsil stones is also carried out effectively by using an oral irrigator. Ideally the best irrigation tool to use is an oral irrigator that is used to irrigate the lacerations left by the removal of wisdom teeth. Other oral irrigators may be used such as a WaterPik or the SinuPulse Irrigation System but be sure to use the lowest setting at first, and if you feel even the lowest setting would be too powerful on your tonsils, then don't do it. CAUTION: You may rupture or puncture your tonsil if the water stream is too strong. Be careful and smart. Take your time while irrigating and hopefully that will get rid of your tonsil stones.

If you have tried the above mentioned methods and they did not work, consider seeing a doctor. Doctors may remove tonsil stones by curettage, laser, or even surgery if necessary. If they are really bad and keep recurring, the doctor may suggest tonsillectomy (removal of the tonsils). The doctor will let you know what the best treatment for tonsil stones would be.

Should I get my tonsils removed?

Many people consider getting their tonsils removed if they suffer from recurring tonsil stones and bad breath. It is a hard decision to make and there are many things to consider personally and with your doctor before removing them. The recovery time from a tonsillectomy increases as the patient gets older and many doctors discourage it for adults, whereas many adult patients have had them removed and stated the recovery wasn't too hard and they are loving life after having them out. Research the topic heavily. If tonsil stones are the only reason you want them out first try removing the tonsil stones and applying the preventive measures in your life that are outlined in the next section. If you just can't get rid of the tonsil stones and if your tonsils are causing you to have tonsillitis and sickness regularly, it might be best just to rip them out yourself. Just kidding, get a doctor to do a tonsillectomy.


While removing tonsil stones is possible, it is important to take measures that stop them from returning and recurring often. We believe that the stones are caused by particles that get trapped in the tonsils, so in order to prevent tonsil stones it is important to clean your tonsils regularly to keep them free of the particles that would eventually break down and cause the tonsilloliths to develop. Here is a list of methods you can apply to prevent tonsil stones.

  • Brush Teeth and Gargle after meals - Brushing your teeth and gargling a germ killing oxygenating solution after meals is an excellent way to ensure that your breath is fresh and your mouth and tonsils are free from food particles that would eventually cause bad breath and tonsil stones. Before brushing after a meal it is a good idea to swish water in your mouth and spit it out until you do not see any more food particles coming out. Then drink a bit of water to wash down any particles in the back of your throat and tonsils. Now brush your teeth and be sure to gargle mouthwash thoroughly. If you do this after each meal it will help your overall oral health and help keep your mouth free of food particles.

  • Irrigate your tonsils regularly - With a gentle oral irrigator wash your tonsils often, at least once a week, to insure there are no particles that have been lodged in them. Try SinuPulse Irrigation System to clean your tonsils regularly. You may also use WaterPik with the irrigator tip and on the lowest pressure setting. These irrigators will work best if you use warm water in them.

  • Try Nasal Irrigation - While it is not proven that post-nasal drip is a cause of tonsil stones, it would still be prudent to clean out your nasal passages regularly as well just in case too much mucus drainage in the back of the throat is a cause of tonsil stones. Check out our article on nasal irrigation and also post-nasal drip to discover other methods on how to treat post-nasal drip.

  • Use tonsil sprays and oxygenating mouthwash - Tonsil sprays and oxygenating mouthwash such as TheraBreath Oral Rinse used regularly help to break down the particles faster to hinder the development of tonsil stones. They also help neutralize sulfur-producing bacteria to freshen your breath.

  • Take Oral Probiotics - Although this information is not yet backed up by studies, many people have reported that taking oral probiotics has stopped or hindered the growth of tonsil stones. To learn more read our article on Oral Probiotics.

Keep in mind you will probably not see immediate results. Doing these preventive measures will hinder the growth of future tonsil stones, but do little to remove the tonsil stones you currently have. Try to remove the tonsil stones you currently have and then carry out these preventive measures to try to keep new ones from forming. Overtime you should notice results, but don't give up after a couple of weeks. It might take months for you to see results.

Also do not neglect other oral health care while trying to get rid of tonsil stones. Read our article on How To Get Rid of Bad Breath for an overview of a basic oral care regimen that will help you have fresh breath.

If you take the protective measures above, hopefully you will be rid of tonsil stones for good and eliminate tonsil stones from your life!

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Comments on this page         Page: | 1 | 2 |
Guest [04/17/2014 04:32] 


Guest [04/14/2014 18:40] 

HERE'S THE FIX FOR TONSIL STONES. First, the cause, generically. It's simply bacteria as a lot of responders have commented. The fix is really easy. I'll use an analogy. If you have a shower drain or sink drain you'll know what's going on. Especially a bathroom sink where you mostly brush your teeth. After years of use the drain slows from a clog of black slimy material. That's bacteria that's growing in a dark, moist place. Now let's quickly move to the tonsils. A moist, dark place. And in the evening hours there's not a lot of swallowing while you're sleeping. Hence, no movement to wash away locked-in bacteria. So all you need is to make sure the back of your throat is clean each evening before you go to bed. I used to get these stones regularly over 20 years. I haven't had one 10 years!!! Here's an experiment. Brush your teeth and don't rinse. About 2 minutes later open your mouth and look at your tonsils. They're most likely coated with a thick filmy white liquid. That's the left over toothpaste that bathing your tonsils. There's NOT a better medium to grow bacteria than toothpaste left in your mouth. I've deep-gargle rinsed after brushing before bed and it's been over 9 years since I've have one of these. (cured?? Or just removing the element that allows the bacteria to culture?) Some of you might need to gargle rinse after each brushing. The point here is to keep the mouth free of bacteria producing medium. Toothpaste is the biggest offender so get rid of it. Important to note that I deep gargle with water as Mouthwash isn't essential. Good luck to you all. As mentioned I haven't had even one in 9 years. My stepchild also complained of them. When I suggested this simple fix he no longer gets them. I'm hoping that someone knows of the acid/base balance that's best for growing bacteria. Maybe a fix of this problem can be addressed through an adjustment of the PH in the saliva in your mouth. Hope this helps.

Guest [04/14/2014 00:24] 

I don't know how all you guys can remove them. I struggle to even get anything down my throat that far without gagging & it is so hard to see them that far back because my tongue gets in the way. I have no idea how to get into this flap part that has been mentioned to remove them

Guest [04/14/2014 00:15] 

I have been telling doctors about this problem for years & they were disinterested & unhelpful & did not seem to know what they were. Thank you for helping diagnose the problem at least. I used to only get them occasionally but now they seem to be there all the time & I try not to get close to people due to bad breath issue. Would love to be rid of them for good

Guest [04/13/2014 01:40] 

I just got released from the hospital. I have cryptic tonsils and have battled the stones for years. This time I had sinus drainage that caused a sore throat for a few days, I tried removing the stones to no avail. 2 days later I had laryngitis and my tonsils hemmorhaged. I ended up in the hospital with a low grade fever, the inability to swallow and breathe and dehydration (I couldn't even swallow my own spit my throat was so swollen) even though it was declared a viral start, Dr scoped me and I ended up with several days of IV antibiotics, fluids and steroids. Home now but my neck and throat hurt so bad that in still on a liquid soft food only diet. I saw those stones back there, just couldn't get them out. This is the first time this has ever happened to me in years of dealing with the stones. I'm 44 and have heard horror stories about getting my tonsils out but I'd almost do that then die because my tonsils hemmorhaged... No fun at all!!!

Guest [04/12/2014 18:05] 

I've been getting them for over 20 years. I've found the pocket in my tonsil that house these stone. I used an oral irrigator to remove the stone and have been irrigating my tonsils regularly. This is currently working for me. Good Luck!

Guest [04/09/2014 08:19] 

I got them when I was younger, and still do now time for time, usually around the same time I have post nasal drip. My mother would make me gargle with warm salt water, then she would also dip the qtip in salt water then remove them from the crevices of my tonsils; gross! In 20 years since then, I have had them one or two times, but maintaining oral hygiene is important! Also- I heard that the larger your tonsils, the more susceptible you are to accumulate tonsil stones!

Guest [04/08/2014 10:19] 

I just push on mine and since I brush with a toothpaste that I get at health food stores. It helps to soften the calcium build up which makes it easier and less pain to get them out.

Guest [04/02/2014 13:26]E-Mail  

I pray Im on to something. Ive been living with this for years. Very guarded around people not talking, so it makes me look like Im mean and unapproachable. Im 44. I hope it works!

Anca [03/30/2014 13:54] 

Hello all! I have same problem with tonsil stones for more than 15 years since I was 16 years old. At the beginning I didn't what are those bad smelling little stones which I eliminate at different moments. I tried antibiotics, for a period of time was ok but afterwards they reappeared. Recently I tried gargle with salty warm water each evening before I go to bed and symptoms were ameliorated. My breath is not as bad in the morning and my throw is not as read as it used to be. So try gargle with salty water at least once a day. Best regards

Guest [03/27/2014 03:20] 

Its irritaing, I have one from past two weeks, its not going, I cant see it, dont know what to do about it :'(

Guest [03/16/2014 23:51] 

I'm am 14 and this has already been happening for two years. I just coughed up two right now so I finally decided to loom it up. I have confirmed that that is what it is. Thanks soooooo much.

Guest [03/14/2014 21:08]E-Mail  

I'm dealing with them now I get them every once and while it feels like I had a big one stuck its driving me crazy it gave me a headache and ear ache all day I then used a q tip but I can't see it I usually remove them before they get bad

Guest [03/06/2014 04:42] 

Use a Q tip dabbed in a little bit of tea tree oil... it'll dislodge the white spot easily. Or gargle with water mixed with a couple drops of tea tree oil.

Guest [03/05/2014 22:35] 

33yrs old had these things since was a teen..never knew what it was.accidently came across this looking up tonsil stuff for my daughter.crazy! i feel better knowing what it is!i too use a qtip but i jus push around it and it comes out np! its only 1 tonsil that does it!

Guest [03/05/2014 15:07] 


Gigi [03/04/2014 12:04] 

I poke mine out with a q tip and until yesterday never had one where I felt the pop of removing one. I could see it there for days and was thinking maybe it was strep but I know the taste and smell of a stone and kept poking around it and it popped out. I am 44 and have had them since I was a kid, they have gotten more frequent as a adult. Nasty little things.

Guest [02/21/2014 16:49] 

I must've had a big one stuck in my throat a few weeks ago. Kept clearing my throat tried to cough it up but nothing. Finally went away on it's own. I think I swallowed it. yuk!

Guest [02/14/2014 23:44] 

hi I have this problem for like 30 years, but until recently I didn't know what those things were; what I've noticed is that they seem to reduce in time if I drink lots of tea, about 1 or 1 and a half liters a day, and also lots of water, about two liters a day, plus the tea, I think that maybe it's true that they may be caused by a disfunction in the lymph system, so I assume getting it cleaned might be the real solution, because we know the tonsils are part of the lymphatic system and they produce lymph or something like that. I accidently discovered that drinking lots of liquid reduced the bad breath two years aho, when I had a kidney condition so it was necessary for me to drink lots of water and tea. I drank those for a couple of month and thatseemed to also have an effect in reducing bad breath......but then I sttoped drinking and the bad breath came back. Now I'm gona try it again cause I can't staind the smell and taste in my mouth anymore. I willbe back to tell you if it was effective, but besided that I intend to appply the other methods, like gargling and everything.

Guest [02/10/2014 12:00] 

I had these a lot when u was a kid in grade school. But now im in my 30's havent had them since I was a child. Never knew what it was... (no internet, no google)

Guest [02/08/2014 15:13] 

I'm almost 30 now and I've been having bad breath for 19 years. Never knew what the problem was until 2 years ago when I googled and guessed that I might be having tonsil stones. Today after reading this page I have confirmed my fears and guess what?.. I think the best option is surgery. OMG! This problem has been denying me of confidence to talk around people as I'm feeling very uncomfortable and embarrassed when they turn away when I'm speaking to them or even when I'm singing in church. God help me. Thank you guys for sharing your experiencee coz I'm now feeling relieved to know that I'm not alone.

Guest [02/03/2014 12:54] 

Have had these gross things since my twenties. Had my tonsils out at age 5 so its not that.
Same bad breath symptoms.
My solution is once/week in the shower to swish my finger around in the back of my throat. This dislodges them. Yes, it makes me gag. Sometimes right finger, sometimes left. Seems like they form on the back of the tongue and not where the tonsils were, but not sure. Best of luck to you all.

Guest [02/02/2014 21:22] 

I suffer from these for the last year or so. The more I've poked at them with dental qtips to "pop" them out the more I get them. 3 Doctors have told me to stop putting anything on my tonsils, because it introduces more bacteria, exacerbating the problem. One of my tonsil crypts that was full of this white stuff bled a lot yesterday... I wish I had never started poking at them because now I have a much bigger problem.... More and more of them. You may think you have "popped" one out but I am almost certain that you have simply just broken off one and can't see the end... Therefore, it comes back over and over.

Guest [01/30/2014 00:15] 

Therabreath mouth rinse absolutely works. My tonsil stones can come back, for example with a cold, but the Therabreath keeps them away the rest of the time.

Guest [01/24/2014 23:12] 

flonnies seem to work for me, the tonsils shrink, allowing them to be cleaned the next day. My tonsils used to filled up during my period. Also, tequila cleans it out whenever they appeared, once a month.

Guest [01/24/2014 11:39] 

I have them right now.. i have ear aches and a sore throat. I cant seem to get them out myself. Im hoping the doctor will just remobe my tonsils. Nobody can say it doesnt anf no on can say it does... i guess it depends on the person.

Guest [01/19/2014 00:21] 

If you have cryptic tonsils like me the only way to get rid of tonsil stones for good is to have a tonsillectomy. Had mine removed last week and the DR said they were filled with stones. So glad I had them removed.

Guest [01/17/2014 15:45] 

I had them when I was 16. Once they started they did not stop and everyday I was cleaning them out. One was the size of a pea every other day. Yellow/pale green in color and stinky. Tonsillectomy was the only way. Dr. took 5 seconds to look in my mouth and said, "yep, they have to come out." I never had a sore throat. Unfortunately, I can honestly say that the tonsillectomy was the most painful surgery and recovery of my life. Two solid weeks of level 10 pain. That's saying something because I have had two children with C-sections. I would rather give birth through my nostril than go through that again. Tonsillectomy though is the only way. Now, I can breathe easier, swallow medications without gagging and don't have to worry about chronic stinky tonsilliths. I am now 41 and never had another problem.

Guest [01/15/2014 22:17] 

I'm 62 and just had my first bout with these odd, pesky things. About a month ago I had the sensation of something stuck in my throat. Hacking like a cat with a hair ball. Like a popcorn husk lodged there. Finally after about 5 days I spotted a white dot on my right tonsil. Immediately I assumed I had tonsil cancer. After a search on Google I found I had a nasty tonsil stone. I enlisted a friend, a good friend.. to help extract that bad boy. We used a bamboo skewer wrapped with cotton to press all around the area with much gagging and slapping him away. He was persisent and out popped not one but about 6 stones. Ick! Nasty but instant relief! 2 crypts extracted. Hairball feeling gone. But after a month today we saw another white speck in the same spot. Did the same procedure and out popped only one. What a odd thing to deal with at 62. Didn't have the bad breath problem but the metallic taste was there. If this goes on I'll opt for tonsil removal.. regardless of the age thing!

Guest [01/12/2014 22:50]E-Mail  

The only real fix for this is having your tonsils removed. I did it and have never looked back. I was exhausted at removing them daily and constantly covering my mouth when speaking to people. Just an idea.

Guest [01/10/2014 20:24] 

first time I saw something white on my tonsil I freaked out. Eventually they went away but months later they reappeared so I asked my dentist (who had no idea what I was talking about) I did my own research and found out what they actually were. While using my finger I gagged on every attempt to removed them. I would poke and probe until my tonsil was sore. Eventually, I went to a Chinese restaurant and on seeing the chop stick I came up with the brilliant idea of using a pair of them to remove the tonsil stones. Works like a pro. Simply wrap the ends of them with small pieces or a cotton ball. Dip the wrapped ends in water to tighten the any loose cotton fibers. Use one of the sticks to hold the tongue in place and another to push at the tonsil stone. Its almost like popping a zip. Add pressure but not too much. It will be uncomfortable but you will get used to it. The Apple Cider Vinegar suggestion sounds great for gargling on a regular so thanks for that tip guys.

Erin [01/06/2014 02:48]E-Mail  

I'm 14 and I've had it for a couple months. I went to the doctor with a sore throat, and he said it was a tonsil stone. He didn't mention they would
continue to irritate my thorat, or that they would be so irritating in general. That's really truly exciting that these probably will never go away.

Guest [01/05/2014 09:30] 

I've been dealing with tonsil stones for 20+ years. My best tool for removal is a blackhead remover / comedone remover. It's a metal stick with a scoop at one or both ends. The scoop has a hole in the middle. Because it's smooth, it's not too irritating, and I can reach both the stones stuck behind the tonsil flap and the stones stuck in crevasses (some of mine are actually tunnels). Hope this helps!

Holly [01/03/2014 13:45] 

Also despite them being mainly calcium based, I do not think dairy products are to blame as I do not drink milk eat butter yogurt or any kind of dairy product and I don't very often eat cheese,
However I spent about an hour last night trying to get them out with a a-tip/cotton bud with no luck, just gagging, which helped to dislodge them slightly I must admit, in the end I gave up and sat down I front of the telly with a fosters, in the morning three fell out within about 40seconds of each other, and I've had more fall out throughout the day today, is fosters the cure? May be a fun one to try

Holly [01/03/2014 13:11] 

I started getting tonsil stones after having a really mucusy chesty cough and at first I just thought it was remains of that until I was googling tonsillitis (as my tonsil had flared up again) and tonsil stones came up as a recommendation, after watching several YouTube videos on how to remove them and making myself feel queasy I tried the cotton bud/qtip method with no such luck as it made me gag too much,
Is there a way to stop myself gagging so much?

Guest [01/02/2014 07:49] 

iv had these stones for years now, im 51, iv had mouth washes from dr, used tongue scrapers, floss, gargled etc. can go few weeks/ months with nothing an then they start again. the smell is putrid, my confidence is zero. saw dr 3 years ago n said wont take my tonsils out unless i had tonsolitus more than 3 times a year and i had to stay off work with it. thinking of going private? have seen people cover their mouth n move away when talking to me, really getting me down

Guest [12/28/2013 21:43] 

The water pik made my tonsils bleed, it was on the lowest setting too. And the stones came back the next day.

Guest [12/24/2013 20:32] 

I've been struggling with this for a few months now. It's really gross. I was able to get my first ones out with a bit of digging with my finger but I just felt some more today after eating. Made me gag and throw up. It seems that after gargling water and digging, small pieces came up but I still felt something the back of my throat. I tried everything but nothing worked. Then I figured I'd try gargling with very warm water. This soothed my throat so much. I then added some apple cider vineger to the warm water which helped alot as well. The apple cider vineger and water mixture brought more pieces up. I think this might be the easiest, least painful way to remove these stupid things. I keep feeling more so I gargled more of the mixture, letting it sit if I could stand it. So if you are out of ideas, please try this.. it may help end the insanity that comes with trying to remove the darn things.

Guest [12/23/2013 01:55] 

I've felt with these for years, with other symptoms (chronic congestion, ear ache, eye problems) my ENT removed my tonsils solely because of the stones, he didn't really think they needed to come out, until he took them out and saw how bad they were. 6 months since and I'm back in the same situation with a very rarely discussed tonsil, my lingual tonsils. These are at the very back/base of your tongue. Same story, catching everything I swallow and causing stones. These tonsils are structural, and rarely removed (and can't be totally removed) I've research exhaustively and delt with every aspect, preventative measures, removal, I'm a subject matter expert. I'm going back to my ENT in two weeks to tell him to remove my linguals, and if he doesn't, I will find someone who will. There is NO other cure for stones besides removing the place they form.

guest [12/14/2013 11:43] 

I might be doing the wrong thing but I do not suffer from bad breath. what I do is put my own suction on my tonsils and if I have any stones they come out. I do this suction everyday and maybe a couple times a month I might come up with a stone. I think the habitual suction on the tonsil keeps them clean. Who knows and of course the routine brushing and flossing.

R.A [11/28/2013 21:52]E-Mail  

I have the same problem for 5 years. after trying all the solutions.

I decided to remove the tonsils and now I feel much better.
And believe me you will feel the difference, because this is the only solution.

Guest [11/26/2013 06:07] 

Use a rubber handglove, stick the tube of a pen in the thumb and tide with the other fingers around the hose of your vacuum cleaner. To suck them out is the best way.

Guest [11/24/2013 11:15] 

I have found using apple cider vinegar diluted down works great as mouth wash. I also use a syringe. That works great for ones you can see but I have some that seem imbedded in my tonsil. How can I get it out?

Guest [11/23/2013 17:05] 

Came across this page awhile ago its like a support page for people who have to deal with these tonsil stonesl lol but its cool reading about the diff expereinces from people like what are they doing or did to deal with these things and my experience with this is that at first i had no idea what they were or was coming from i thought they were coming from my stomach because i kept coughing them up lol but my girlfriend told me they were coming from my tonsils she went through the same thing before we got together so she knew but everytime i would look in the back of my throat i would never see them until one day i seen 2 stones on the right lower tonsil my girl was right and ever since i knew where they where coming from and what they were i knew i had to do something about them because i hated them like really hate them they are sick and its uncomfortable knowing you got these things in the back of your throat so i would always look at the back of my throat to see if there was any then try to get them out now when i first seen them i got em out by using my finger pushing them out but that was hard and couldnt always do it because i would gag but ive had these things for a while so now im like a pro at pushing em out with no problem and for me thats the only thing that truly works i tryed the mouthwash i would gargle after everytime i ate breakfast/lunch/dinner doesnt work i never used the water tool shooting water at them so i cant speak on if it works or not but even if it does all these are just temp. solution to the problem and if you are fine with that then keep doing it what works for you but i hate these things so much that i dont want to deal with them at all so i went to a ent last week and he basically said the only way to totally get rid of them and never deal with them again is to get your tonsils taken out so thats what im goin to do on dec 2nd and ive read been reading and heard about how its horrible getting them taken out and some people say its not that bad as people make it sound but i dont care how bad it is it will only be for a short period while healing and be so worth it once im %100 recovered and when i do recover i will post a comment to let people know how it goes.

Guest [11/20/2013 22:47] 

Sonic care air flosser device blows them out very effectively

Guest [11/03/2013 09:52] 

I am 40 and have never seen tonsil stones or knew about them until recently when I felt something stuck in my throat and saw something white. I went to an ENT and he popped it out, then I thought, I saw some of this come out like months ago, then he showed me how I could do it at home, by using my finger and pushing. Now I use an aesthetician metal blemish remover, it has that thin hook and I can scoop them out. I bought therabreath and gargle with listerine and salt water too. Well I think I started getting this 6 months ago after 4 rounds of antibiotic within an 8 month period, the last one from a root canal that sorta got an infection. I'd get an itchy ear and fits of coughing from an itchy throat. I bet my tonsils flared up to try to trap bacteria of all sorts. My body and throat is now all whacked from too much antibiotic treatment, I think. I'm now looking at probiotics, I need to get back to my old self and hopefully get rid of these.

Guest [10/23/2013 15:02] 

I have had issues as a kid with tonsil stones breaking free,and spitting them out here and there, but have not had them for years.I've been living abroad for about 15 years and never had a issue. Now that I'm back in the state's, and around all this yummy food,and my diet has changed up a little.I got hit with a big tonsillitis infection which is probably the most painful thing I've been through.So pay close attention to diet, and i believe u can keep it under-control.Also syringe cleaned it up pretty well, but u still might need q-tips during process for hard to reach places.So enjoy gagging..

Guest [10/10/2013 12:17] 

I have had tonsil stones since I was a kid- had strep throat a few timea- even in my 40s I have asked a few doctors to take my tonsils out and they have all said no - that they dont do that anymore. Does anytone know of a good ENT Dr in Fort Lauderdale or Miami that I can go to? I am now 50 and still suffer from the stones- sometimes they come big as a flattened pea- usually yellowish or green in color. I have to pick them out with a q tip or I use the back of the - end portion of the childrens tooth brush to get them out- i hate them and it's gross -

Guest [10/09/2013 21:15] 

I don't believe anyone mentioned gargling with baking soda and warm water. It seems to work like salt water in that it deep cleans the tonsils. But for me, the baking soda solution works for a longer period of time. The key is to GARGLE not just swish it around your mouth/teeth. The gargling must become part of a daily routine to keep the stones at bay. All the best to everyone!

Guest [10/07/2013 10:43] 

Thank you all for the tips, I suffer from the gross tonsil rocks as well, and it does not help with intimacy because it's embarrassing to kiss when your breath smells like --it

Guest [10/06/2013 06:59] 

I had my tonsils out 45 years ago, and I have these darn stones. I wouldn't tell anyone that surgery is the answer to the problem. Putting pressure on the side, if you can stand the gagging pops them out.

Guest [09/19/2013 23:31] 

I read all the wayspeople use to extract these throat boogers and one I haven't seen is the method I use which has always worked well for me the 30+ years I've had them. I don't attack the stone directly by trying to pull it out. I use a Q-tip to push NEXT to the crater with the stone and it'll all come bursting out... sometimes it's a LOT and I actually have 3 holes in my right tonsil that I have to maintenance.

Guest [09/19/2013 12:40] 

I use a q tip with hydrogen peroxide to clean my tonsils almost every day.

Guest [09/11/2013 00:04]E-Mail  

added note..the over production of lymph fluid secreted by your tonsils makes them sticky which traps food which then attracts bacteria. clean your lymph systems! :) it will help.

Guest [09/10/2013 23:59]E-Mail  

***please read****
tonsils are part of the lymph system. an over-production of lymph fluid OR a dirty lymph system could cause tonsil stones. to clean the lymph system...drink lots of water and rebounding or some other activity that moves your skeleton. there is more lymph fluid in your body than blood but no pump to move it through to clean the toxins deposited in the lymph nodes. Of course, keep on with the tonsil crypt cleansing as well but until the tonsils are removed or you detox your lymph system...the tonsililoths will keep producing.

Guest [09/08/2013 20:55]E-Mail  

I had my tonsils removed but still have the stones growing in the back of my thoart on the right side. What should I do in a situation like this?

Guest [09/06/2013 20:40] 

I discovered these things when I was a kid. I have a really long tongue and I figured out back then (40 yrs old now) I could reach back and dig them out with my tongue. I still do this to this day. Mostly when I' m bored and no one's looking because I can make some strange faces when doing so. Call me weird but I get kind of a rush when I'm able to dig out a big one.

Guest [09/06/2013 17:41] 

for Some they are just a chronic problem, I've heard it depends on the pocket size of your tonsils. I know I have some back there by the taste in my mouth. When I smell them I get my flashlight and my dental pick out, and pick them out. The smell of my breath is rapidly changed.

Guest [08/31/2013 12:26] 

The laser is a temporary fix because your tonsils can grow back. After about 7 years, mine grew back and I have the problem again. My advice is to remove the tonsils. I wish I wasn't talked into the laser because I was prepared for the surgery and if I had done it, I wouldn't be experiencing this problem again. It can't be good to constantly be messing with your throat.

Guest [08/27/2013 13:18] 

I am prone to getting tonsil stones, and I find that irrigating them a few times a month with a water pik, and using a oxygenating mouthwash has REALLY helped. The bad breath associated with this problem is a real drag, but the oxygenating mouthwash (Therebreath) seems to fix it like nothing else has.

Guest [08/22/2013 22:28] 

Yeah it's chronic. I posted here about a month ago, the 21 yo, and I had never gotten these before.
Since that post, I get the weekly. And my breath is always stale. I'm seeing and ENT doctor soon. I want my tonsils out if that's the only cure. I'm young; I can't deal with this for the rest of my life.
My parents are against me removing any body parts though :(

Guest [08/18/2013 19:23] 

I've noticed if i drink acidic drinks they tend to fall out more.

Guest [08/05/2013 00:42] 

I have been suffering with bad breath and stones for years. I got my tonsils removed but still have the breath problems and feel like something is still stuck in my throat when I swallow. Does anyone else have this problem?

s [07/30/2013 02:00] 

i have been worried about my tonsil stone for a few days. the postings could relieve me of my worries to some extent!

Guest [07/28/2013 03:12] 

I'm 21 yo and I just had my first tonsil stone removed. By me, lol like 20 minutes ago. I haven't checked if there are more in my tonsils yet, I'll do that tomorrow after given them a break. Anyway, what I could like to know is if this is going to be chronic?
I was sick for the past 2 weeks with a post nasal drip and a lot of mucous. Prior to that illness, I've NEVER had tonsil stones before.
Has this ever happened to anyone where it was just a one time thing? It seems like most ppl here have it all the time.

Guest [07/27/2013 14:20] 

You can get your tonsils lasered now on NHS or privately. Costs 1500 but only takes ten mins and hurts mildly for a few days. Much safer.

Guest [07/26/2013 12:30] 

So I'm 14 and I've had this problem for a few years. I've always thought that when I occasionally coughed up the stone that they came from my stomach or throat. I thought it was just food. Lately I've been getting this problem but worse that now I'm getting the white stones in front. I'm worried about how this will affect me and how to remove them. I've been trying the salt water and if anyone can help me relief me of this discomfort that the tonsil stones have caused for years: sore throats, ear pain, and the occasional bad breath. It would really help me. Thanks.

Enlightened Patient [07/23/2013 22:41] 

Like so many other people, I too thought this was normal and that everyone hacked up smelly yellow stones every once and a while. I was shocked when I was "diagnosed" with tonsilloliths. My doctor was examining my throat during an appointment and asked me out of the blue, do you have problems with bad breath? And to my embarrassment, I said I didn't know whether or not I did! He explained that I had tonsil stones and that people who suffer with these often have bad breath and don't even realize it. Since I've come to the realization that these things are not "normal," I've done everything to distance myself from them.
So, to help get rid of/prevent the nasty breath associated with these little buggers, this is my nightly routine: nasal saline spray in both nostrils (will drip down your throat and get rid of any residual nasal mucous); use q-tip to clean out tonsil crevices; brush teeth; scrape tongue; floss; gargle with Listerine mouthwash
My morning routine is: gargle with warm salt water; brush teeth; gargle with Listerine.
I'm thinking of adding a WaterPik to the mix, as using q-tips often irritates my throat.

Kate [07/23/2013 03:16] 

Some people get them fro drinking milk or eating chocolate

Guest [07/23/2013 03:13] 

I found a solution after suffering from tonsil stones for a couple of years. Mine were bad cos they were recurring every two days. After trying many things I discovered something that got rid of them completely. I got a got a packet of throaties from the supermarket. Throaties come in two varieties red pack and purple pack. For me the purple pack ddidnt work at all. But the red worked like a miracle I had been hoping for. They are the size of a sweet and when sucked slowly they take about 4 hours to completely dissolve. Another trick that I learned was after brushing at night I slept with a throatie in my mouth. In the morning my throat felt so much better I continuously did throaties until the problem completely disappeared. I am no doctor but I recommend this as a cure.

Guest [07/21/2013 10:18] 

I almost didn't click on this article because that picture is so disgusting. I don't want to look as someone else tonsil stones I just want to know how to get rid of them... change the picture

Man Bear [07/19/2013 00:04] 

Let me say, I have tonsil stones randomly occur they annoy me. If I touch my tonsil with my finger it smells very putrid. I one time managed to get one out and it smelled horrid. Currently I have had this bad breath again but the stones were well hidden and they were in my mouth for several days. I need a tonsillectomy fast.

Guest [07/18/2013 19:40] 

i am also suffering from bad breath and when i was young i used to have tonsil stones could they be the reason for my bad breath?

Guest [07/15/2013 03:34] 

I am 23 and have had tonsil stones that I see about once a week for 6 months now. I'm pretty sure they started because of a new prescription that gives me dry mouth because I am an avid brusher, flosser, and mouthwash user. Using my finger to gently push them out worked ok but I recently purchased a waterpik and it works the best. I noticed that when I used the waterpik after pushing out the stones my finger about 3 more came out that I never would have seen with the flashlight. They are annoying and I too considered getting my tonsils removed, but for now I'm just going to stick with the waterpik until I finish my prescription. Hope this helps!

Guest [07/12/2013 11:47] 

I have had tonsil stones for the past 40 years... but never knew their name.
My first ENT said to use the back of my tooth brush to press against the outside edge of my tonsils. It has worked for 40 years.

Guest [06/28/2013 03:49] 

I am 23 and have had these for as long as I can remember. Until about a year ago I thought everyone had them. I have a really long tongue and use it to dig them out. I know it sounds gross but it works better than anything else I have tried :)

Guest [06/24/2013 08:23] 

My daughter suffers from tonsil stones. They are occurring more frequent. Wondering if those of you that have had your tonsils removed are cured? After removal of the tonsils you no longer can get tonsil stones...correct?

Guest [06/23/2013 18:32] 

Waterpicks work awesome! Just make sure you push them out and not further back

Guest [06/15/2013 15:47]E-Mail  

For the past several months my wife has had a problem with calcium? Deposits I heavily concentrated in her saliva. It is constant except when she lies down.she saw a ear nose and throat specialist and he did not know what it is. He said it was not her tonsils. He did a swab and it found three bacteria with strep being the most dominant. The deposits are flat and very salty when bitten. They are also very abrasive to the gums and tongue. Any ideas?

BAD BREATH MURDERER [06/05/2013 19:09] 

I don't know why tonsil stones are not talked about as they should. I've suffered bad breath all the way from high school to my late 20's. I seemed help from dentist and not 1 mentioned these suckers. They destroyed my social life coz I felt very uncomfortable talking to pple at close range. I use a Water pik which has a variable water pressure. It blasts them like none other. I'm now bad breath FREE and got my social life back.

Guest [05/31/2013 16:13] 

Use a straw and a like a charm everytime! I occasionally get these. I just decided to try and find out what they are. I'm happy to report that bad breath did not come with my tonsil stones. The above solution works everytime...Good luck!

Guest [05/26/2013 07:42] 

Someone please help! I have been researching how to remove these horrid tonsil stones but no method has helped. I did the bobby pin trick, the gargling of salt water, the pressing tip, etc! My tonsils seem empty. So I have a feeling that my stones are piling up at the back of my throat on top by my nasal cavity. Because the smell and taste is coming more from that area than my throat(hope this makes sense). When I brush my teeth and gag when I brush my tongue, I can feel it. It so gross, I snort and snort and eventually, I feel it at the back of my throat. Sometimes, its not that easy! And I don't get tiny ones. I get a fat one and it comes loose bout once every 2 weeks. Has anyone else got them forming in other cavities except the tonsils??

Guest [05/16/2013 00:51] 

I wash my hands,take index finger and press lightly from different angles with a flashlight in the other hand in front of bathroom mirror.i do this several times a week.pressing too hard gives me esophageal varices which are varicose veins around the tonsil from the pressure. they are very uncomfortable so I press lightly.,sometimes I can go for long periods without seeing any signs but sometimes the stones will just jet right out, they only seem to smell if I forget for a week or 2,,FLOSSING is very important for bad breath, if you don't floss,then floss and smell the string.

Guest [05/15/2013 06:17] 

I have been dealing with tonsil stones and tonsillitis for about 20 years.. I'm 38 now. Tonsil stones have never given me REALLY bad breath, but I tried various ways of removal. I now use a syringe, (100ml) fill with water and shoot them out.. It works much better than any other method I've tried. Hold a torch in one hand and aim and shoot with the other. Typically takes 2 blasts on each tonsil to clean well. I still get tonsillitis about 5 times a year too, and am considering getting them out.

Guest [05/10/2013 23:44] 

This comment section is a great resource for those who suffer from tonsil stones, keep the comments coming! I have an appt with ENT doc to get my tonsils removed next month (28 years old). I have been suffering with these tonsil stones and sore throats for YEARS. Nothing seems to prevent them, tried changing diet and oral hygiene... nothing works. Hopefully getting my tonsils removed will be the answer!

Guest [05/10/2013 22:33] 

Tonsil stones....... The ONLY way to stop them is a tonsillectomy. The horrid bad breath and disgusting taste is nothing anyone should suffer with.

Guest [05/08/2013 11:17] 

If according to all the methods my breath doesnt smell. But whenever i put my finger down my throat it comes covered in saliva and my nail part (especially) really really stinks. So do i have bad breath or no ? Very confused !!!!

Guest [05/08/2013 07:25] 

I am 31 and this is the first time I get them, and I dont know if it is a coincidence but recently I started drinking whole milk, I hope that is the cause because it doesnt sound fun at all from what I have been reading...

Guest [05/02/2013 01:16] 

Use a bobby pin!! I get stones all the time and the looped part of a bobby pin is the best way to scoop them out. Also, I noticed a lot of people saying its from dairy but I never drink milk and rarely have dairy products. The stones are just from bacteria. Has anyone tried a waterpik for removal? I feel like that would only push them further in..?

Guest [04/20/2013 02:34] 

I had tonsil stones, life was miserable for me. After being told for years to take post nasal drip meds, i couldn't bare it anymore. I did my research and found a ENT and he scheduled surgery because he to had suffered from TS, and so did his nurse....finally someone understood!! I got my tonsils removed two days ago and I pray it takes away the life long misery that I have had with bad breath. So far the pain is bad but no where as bad as I thought... Good pain meds and plenty of water is magic! I'm getting to catch up on some rest and my recorded programs!!! I plan to repost when I'm healed to let you all know if the bad breath continued.....

Guest [04/19/2013 13:40] 

***Bamboo skewers*** work much better than a Q-tips. Along with a pocket LED light.

Guest [04/18/2013 15:03]E-Mail  

great for the good information ,but I had my tonsils removed & still ihave bad breath, it's very discaraging kindly help.

Guest [04/11/2013 03:29] 

Eish guyz plz hlp me i hv this problem since i waz young nw i'm 21yrz wat should i do bcous this mell ic also cuming 4r my nose.There ic dat bad smell cums 4rm my nose nd bad breath cums 4rm my mouth i hv try many wayz nd i dnt got help plz any can help me

Guest [04/10/2013 16:51] 

I've never had a problem with dairy, but I started getting tonsil stones and the accompanying horrid breath after a persistent ear infection that took 3 different antibiotics to kill. I think the antibiotics killed the natural flora in my tonsils and that allowed these things to start growing.

Guest [04/06/2013 08:41] 

I am just shy of 37 and I am on my 48 hours out of having my tonsils out because of these tonsil stones and the pain has not been that bad at all. I have had much worse pain on a normal day with a sore throat. I have other medical conditions that they thought might make it worse but all I can say is drink a lot of water. Right now I am so happy I have had this done.

Guest [03/29/2013 18:22] 

I have been reading all these comments and I'm surprised how many people have the same problem! Just before I was reading this, I was gargling with warm water and salt and it didn't do anything. I tried to stick a q tip in my mouth but I couldn't get it past halfway down my tongue. So I thought I'd just wait for it it to come out. Then I made myself a warm drink of milk and honey and as I was drinking, one stone came out! It was huge! Probably 50mm. I was so happy but when I looked in my throat I saw another one! I guess it broke off or something. Anyway I continued drinking my milk and the other huge piece came out! I almost swallowed it, but I coughed it out. It was gross! I dunno if it was the milk or the warmth but I'm soooo happy! I'm gonna gargle with warm salt water regularly from now on.

Kim [03/29/2013 14:05] 

When I was 14 1 day I was sitting in class & felt something on my tongue so I reached up & took it out. It looked really strange & smelt stink as hell. I was puzzled as to what it was as I never saw it before. I didn't bother with it again until maybe weeks later more started to appear & couldn't figure wth was going on, I was scared to say anything. Over the yrs I keep having them & finally 1 day went to the doc for the flu & asked what those stone like tings are that come from your throat he said oh that's just dried mucus no need to worry. I wasn't satisfied with his answer so I came home & googled it & FINALLY after all these yrs I had an answer, tonsil stones. I found some really nasty vids on youtube but the 1 ting I realized is that I wasn't the only person it was happening to. This morning I woke up & my throat felt wierd it wasn't a sore throat type feeling which I'm accustom to so I took a light & shine it in my mouth & saw the area around my right tonsil was red & saw something white on my left tonsil so I grabbed the box of qtips & got to work. Now I've tried this before but couldn't find the "flap" that so many ppl talk about, well today finally I was able to find it & OMG what I found behind it shock me...a hole filled with stones! After about 45mins of poking & probbing & pushing I got out a # of em. The qtips aren't great cause once they get wet they don't grip the flap enough to keep it back so I had to improvise & find something else with a tip that I could get in the hole & push em out. By doing that I then found 2 more little holes on the side of the tonsil where the stones were pushing it from. I tried to do the same for the left tonsil but the hole isn't as big & it's a little harder for me. I'm planning on making an appointment with the ENT next week & see if its wise to have my tonsils removed. I'm 32 now so not sure how well it will work out. I've suffered quite a bit with infections of my tonsils for yrs & coupled with tonsil stones may very well be a reason to get em out

Guest [03/29/2013 06:39]E-Mail  

I'm a 32 year old woman who has spat these horrid things out since I was a kid they made my life hell and I caused myself a lot of damage sticking things in there to clean out my tonsils so I WOULD NOT recommend that at all. The only way to solve this problem is a tonsillectomy it is definately the worst pain I have had but well worth it and I would do it all over again ! My sons are both about to get theirs out

Guest [03/20/2013 00:52] 

Had problem for 30+ years, never had strep & rare sore throats, but amazingly horrid breath. Tried many things, Thera breath products, irrigating with Water Pik etc. Tonsillectomy done in my 40's was the answer. I think that children w/stones should have tonsils out & avoid a lifetime of misery. Recovery from surgery as an adult is rough-I had 2 weeks off & still felt lousy for another week. I don't think people with this condition should be poking around the back of their throat with metal pointy things. It seems barbaric & demeaning in a way. Self esteem suffers greatly when people avoid you because you smell bad. And romance....? Just get those tonsils out-the sooner the better in my opinion!

Guest [03/19/2013 14:27] 

I also have found that the metal nut pick that comes with a nut-cracker works well to reach further into the crypts of the tonsils to help remove them. But how do you remove the ones that form lower on your tonsils right at the back of your tongue and seem to be under a layer of skin? These are the ones that give you the sore throat and last for days...

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