What Are Tonsil Stones?

What Are Tonsil Stones?

Tonsil stones, also referred to as tonsilloliths, are calcified stones that can be found lodged in the tonsils. Tonsils are the glands located in the back of your throat and are an important part of the immune system. Learn about the causes, symptoms, removal, and prevention of tonsil stones with the experienced team at Breathe Clear Institute. 


How do tonsil stones form? Tonsil stones are formed when debris, including food particles, and bacteria get trapped in the crevices of the tonsils. They vary in size and may appear yellow or white in color. Causes of tonsil stones include tonsillitis, infection, and failure to practice good oral hygiene. 


Symptoms of tonsil stones include throat irritation, bad breath, ear pressure, coughing, difficulty swallowing, and swollen tonsils. 


To remove tonsil stones, an individual may use at home remedies, however, if the stones persist, medical or surgical treatment may be recommended by a healthcare professional. 

Gargling With Salt Water

One remedy that can be done at home is gargling with salt water. To create a salt water solution, you mix ½ teaspoon of salt with 8 ounces of warm water. The salt water can work to help dislodge the stones and soothe the throat. 

Gargling With Apple Cider Vinegar

Another method that has proven to be helpful for some is gargling with apple cider vinegar. Take a cup of warm water and mix it with 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. 

Using a Water Flosser

A water flosser may be useful in loosening up and removing tonsil stones. Water flossers are typically used to remove food and plaque. 


Lastly, an individual may have to undergo a tonsillectomy if their condition does not improve. A tonsillectomy is a surgical procedure in which the tonsils are removed from the mouth. One of the benefits of a tonsillectomy is the elimination of tonsil stones along with fewer infections, fewer sore throats, and less snoring. This type of procedure is very common in the United States. At Breathe Clear Institute, our doctor performs this outpatient procedure, which typically takes less than 45 minutes, in a nearby operating room. Recovery times differ between children and adults, but most can expect to feel relief within two weeks. 


For some, prevention may be more difficult, but practicing good oral hygiene (brushing twice a day, flossing, using mouthwash) is a great way to help keep them from forming and causing uncomfortable symptoms. 

Get the Relief You Need With Breathe Clear Institute

If you are suffering from recurrent tonsil stones, schedule an appointment with the leading ENT doctor and allergist at the Breathe Clear Institute. Dr. Davis won’t just alleviate your symptoms. He will get to the root of your issue by conducting a complete evaluation. From there, he will recommend the most effective and ideal treatment—whether it be medical or surgical. At Breathe Clear, your health is important to us and it is our goal to provide all of our patients with the best care possible. To make an appointment with Dr. Davis, you can either give us a call and our patient coordinator will assist you, or you can always fill out an online contact form available on our website. We look forward to helping you get the relief you need and deserve.

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